What does 2 Corinthians 9:15 mean?
ESV: Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
NIV: Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
NASB: Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
CSB: Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
NLT: Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!
KJV: Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
NKJV: Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
Verse Commentary:
This wraps up Paul's appeal to the Corinthians to participate willingly and cheerfully in giving generously to meet the needs of the suffering Jerusalem Christians. His concluding declaration is, "Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!" In the end, Paul's focus is not on the gift of money he wants the Corinthians to collect for the Jerusalem believers, it is on God's gift to all who are in Christ.

Paul describes God's gift as "inexpressible," but he may be referring to several different things. Perhaps he has in mind what he wrote about Christ's sacrificial gift to humanity in the previous chapter, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Or, Paul may be calling attention to an idea about the opportunity to participate in increasing righteousness and thankfulness to God on earth. These "harvests" are a gift to those who give generously. The opportunity to give and the cascade of good things that come from giving generously, in the end, provide great meaning and satisfaction to those who give in submission to Christ.
Verse Context:
Second Corinthians 9:6–15 contains Paul's explanation of benefits and opportunities tied to generous giving. The key point is that godly giving is a Christlike act of grace. God does not intend giving to be done as an obligation, or under a cloud of legalism. Rather, it should be inspired and driven by a willing and cheerful heart. Giving is an opportunity for believers to participate with God in meeting the needs of the poor. God increases the ability of believers who give generously to give even more. This results in increasing His righteousness on earth, as well as in causing thankfulness to Him to overflow. He will be glorified by those who receive the gift and pray for those who give.
Chapter Summary:
Paul continues to urge the Corinthians to follow through on their commitment. They had agreed to contribute to a collection for suffering Christians in Jerusalem. They should give willingly, even cheerfully, according to what they had agreed earlier. Not only will they participate with God in meeting the physical needs of others, they will contribute to an overflowing thankfulness to God. They will build a connection with their suffering siblings in Christ that will also bring glory to God. This chapter points out that God expects Christian giving to be faith-based, voluntary, and cheerful—not legalistic, oppressive, or mandatory.
Chapter Context:
Second Corinthians chapter 9 continues an appeal begun earlier in the letter. Paul urges the Corinthians to participate in the gift to the Jerusalem Christians. Paul is concerned their earlier enthusiasm might have waned. Everyone should give what he or she previously decided to give and do so willingly and cheerfully. God makes those who give generously abound so that they will be able to give even more. The result goes beyond meeting physical needs to increasing God's righteousness on earth, causing thankfulness to Him to overflow, and bringing glory to Him as connections are forged between the givers and those whose needs are met. After this, Paul will return to a defense of his spiritual legitimacy.
Book Summary:
Second Corinthians returns to similar themes as those Paul mentioned in his first letter to this church. Paul is glad to hear that the church in Corinth has heeded his advice. At the same time, it is necessary for Paul to counter criticisms about his personality and legitimacy. Most of this text involves that subject. The fifth chapter, in contrast, contains comforting words which Christians have quoted often in times of hardship. Paul also details his expectations that the church in Corinth will make good on their promise to contribute to the needs of suffering believers in Jerusalem.
Accessed 5/18/2024 6:42:37 PM
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