10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,
11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God,
13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,
14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you.
15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
liberality (v.11) = lit. “simplicity,” “sincerity.” Openness of heart manifesting itself by benefactions, without self-seeking.
administration (v.12) = waiting at a table; in a wider sense, service done with a willing attitude
abounding (v.12) = exceeding the ordinary, overflowing,
The clause in verse 14 could be translated, “for the obedience you render (present, give) to what you profess concerning the gospel.”
liberal (v.13) — same as liberality in v.11 above
indescribable (v.15) — words fail to adequately describe and commemorate it.
God gives a crop to the farmer sufficient to feed him and his family, and to provide seed for the next season, and to help the necessitous and the poor.
Christian benevolence not only supplies the wants of the needy but also motives a great thanksgiving chorus to God from the hearts and lips of the needy. It also fortifies the faith of the Christian recipients, for it is a demonstration to them of the reality of the Gospel and its moral power in the heart of the believer. It also awakens and deepens Christian love, for the recipients of the bounty feel an affection for the donors and desire to meet them and to know them.
Man’s gifts are measurable in language but God’s great gift of His Son—the best thing in heaven for the worst thing on earth—is [indescribable]. — Williams, page 905.
God does not save us just to make us happy forever. He says in v.11, “Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness.” True, we are not saved by good works, but we are saved “unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). These good works cause many to thank God, bringing glory to His name. — Stam, page 188.
The word “experiment” (v.13) is dokime in the Greek, having to do with proof. Thus the proof given by your diakonias, service, or ministry, of your acknowledged subjection to the gospel of Christ, will bring glory to God. We take it that the sense here is that the impoverished saints in Judaea were praying and longing that the grace of God might work in the Corinthians “exceedingly,” for their need was indeed great. The Corinthian believers may have expected this, but did they realize how truly valuable were these Judaean prayers in their behalf? Perhaps unwittingly, these poverty-stricken saints were praying the same prayer for the Corinthians as was Paul: that the grace of God might abound in them. — Stam, pages 188-189.
This gift [of Christ], he says, is indescribable, not “unspeakable.” In 2 Corinthians 12:4, we find Paul, “caught up into Paradise,” where he “heard unspeakable words, which it is not permitted to a man to utter,” but this “unspeakable” is a different word altogether. God’s gracious gift to us is rather beyond our comprehension and certainly beyond our ability to describe in words. — Stam, page 189.
In short, by giving unselfishly to the believers in Judea, the Corinthians would
- be helping them (the believers in Judea) physically.
- be enriching themselves (the Corinthians) spiritually.
- causing Paul and many others to thank God for them (the Corinthians).
- causing the Judean believers to glorify God for the evidence of the Corinthians’ adherence to the gospel
- causing the Judeans to pray for the Corinthians because of the evidence of God’s grace demonstrated by their giving.
All that from simply giving of their abundance to fellow believers in need.