"Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? 2 Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves are proof that I am the Lord’s apostle. 3 This is my answer to those who question my authority."
(9:1). The word for “ministering” means basically a compassionate love toward the needy within a Christian community. Paul states that his purpose in writing is concerning the ministering or providing for the saints. The Corinthians had been taking up offerings for poor believers. This noble practice had caused Paul to hold them up as examples of generosity. Paul writes to the “saints.” The word here used for saints means holy, set apart, consecrated, separated, sanctified or devoted to God. Paul states that it is a privilege for him to be able to write.
(9:2). In verse two Paul lets the Corinthians know that he has been using them as role models to the Macedonians. He encourages them by saying that he knows of their willingness or forwardness to give. Paul then goes onto tell them the results of their willingness that he describes as “zeal”. The results of this zeal had “provoked very many”. The context of this verse has to do with giving so we must logically assume that those who were “provoked” were influenced to give in like manner.
(9:3). The word Paul uses for “brethren” means brother or one who has a general camaraderie based on a common origin. Paul says here that he send some of the believers so that the Corinthians would not be caught off-guard when the Macedonians arrived. Paul realized the potentially disastrous situation that could result if the Corinthians were found to be unfaithful. The Macedonians had been repeatedly told that the Corinthians were the role models for giving. If when they arrived and found the Corinthians to be greedy, selfish and stingy it would have the potential to destroy Paul’s reputation to the Macedonians and cause them to stumble. Paul uses a word to describe what his lifting up of the Corinthians would be if they were found to be unfaithful. That word is “vain” which means empty or void.
Giving reveals our heart.
As Paul talks about the power of giving, what are areas of your life that God wants you to be more generous?
Our giving should set a Righteous example (9:1-2).
Our giving should be substantial (9:2)
Our giving should be willing (9:2).
We should be always Ready to give (9:3).
We should be alert to opportunities to give (9:3).