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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 9

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1About this aid for God's people, it is superfluous for me to write to you. 2I know how eager you are to help and I speak of it with pride to the Macedonians, telling them that Achaia had everything ready last year; and most of them have been fired by your zeal. 3My purpose in sending these friends is to ensure that what we have said about you in this matter should not prove to be an empty boast. I want you to be prepared, as I told them you were; 4for if I bring men from Macedonia with me and they find you are not prepared, what a disgrace it will be to us, let alone to you, after all the confidence we have shown! 5I have accordingly thought it necessary to ask these friends to go on ahead to Corinth, to see that your promised bounty is in order before I come; it will then be awaiting me as genuine bounty, and not as an extortion.

6Remember: sow sparingly, and you will reap sparingly; sow bountifully, and you will reap bountifully. 7Each person should give as he has decided for himself; there should be no reluctance, no sense of compulsion; God loves a cheerful giver. 8And it is in God's power to provide you with all good gifts in abundance, so that, with every need always met to the full, you may have something to spare for every good cause; 9as scripture says: ‘He lavishes his gifts on the needy; his benevolence lasts for ever.’ 10Now he who provides seed for sowing and bread for food will provide the seed for you to sow; he will multiply it and swell the harvest of your benevolence, 11and you will always be rich enough to be generous. Through our action such generosity will issue in thanksgiving to God, 12for as a piece of willing service this is not only a contribution towards the needs of God's people; more than that, it overflows in a flood of thanksgiving to God. 13For with the proof which this aid affords, those who receive it will give honour to God when they see how humbly you obey him and how faithfully you confess the gospel of Christ; and they will thank him for your liberal contribution to their need and to the general good. 14And as they join in prayer on your behalf, their hearts will go out to you because of the richness of the grace which God has given you. 15Thanks be to God for his gift which is beyond all praise!

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