Sermon on 2 Corinthians 9:8-11 (EHV)
Text: God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will overflow in every good work. 9 As it is written:
He scattered; he gave to the poor.
His righteousness remains forever.
10 And he who provides seed to the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed for sowing, and will increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you may be generous in every way, which produces thanksgiving to God through us.
You can have too much of a good thing. Too much candy will give you a stomachache. Too much rain will cause a flood. Too much money might affect your priorities. Too many things can feel suffocating. While many things are bad in large quantities, God’s grace, his undeserved love, is not one of them. Not only is an overabundance of God’s grace a wonderful thing to have, it is something that we absolutely need to have. As we study God’s Word this morning, we the GOD’S OVERFLOWING GRACE LEADS TO OVERFLOWING THANKSGIVING. 1. Because God’s Grace Flows To us, 2. God’s Grace Flows Through Us.
In our text for this morning, the apostle Paul is writing to the Christians in Corinth. In the verses prior to our text, Paul writes about a collection that was being gathered to help their fellow believers in Jerusalem. He encouraged them to be generous in their giving, supporting the work of the church and their Christian brothers and sisters. Just prior to our text, Paul wrote, “Each one should give as he has determined in his heart, not reluctantly or under pressure, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) However, where would the Corinthians get the resources to do this kind of giving? Why would they want to do it? Paul answers these questions in our text.
Paul wrote, “God is able to make all grace overflow to you.” (Verse 8) “Grace” here is more than just God’s undeserved love when it comes to our salvation. It includes every way that his undeserved love shows itself. What are the results of God’s superabundant grace? “So that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will overflow in every good work.” (Verse 8) All, all, all, every. Paul is very inclusive here. Nothing is lacking when God is involved. Everything we need is here and provided for us.
Consider this past week. How many times were you hungry? I’m not talking about when it’s almost time to eat a meal. I mean the hunger that says, “I wish I had food, but there is none. I’ll go to sleep and hope for the best in the morning.” How many times this week have you found yourselves with nothing to wear – not because you didn’t get around to doing laundry, but because your last pieces of clothing were ruined and unwearable? How many of you slept under the stars, not because you chose to go camping or “rough it” for a few days, but because you had no access to a roof over your head? “All things at all times, having all that you need.”
God provides. He provides through your hard work and skills. He provides through your family. He provides through people who care about you. God ensures that you have what you need, even if it means working a miracle to feed thousands of people with some bread and fish (John 6:1-15). God has the will, the power, and the follow-through to make sure that you are well taken care of, that you have everything that you need for your body and life.
However, that doesn’t even touch the real overflow of God’s undeserved love for us, does it? Why do we call God’s love for us undeserved in the first place? What makes it that God technically shouldn’t love us? It’s that we have sinned against him. God demands perfection from us, and we have been far from perfect. Even one sin means that God should turn his back on us. Despite that, we sin countless ways every day. We are unkind to people in our lives. We leave good things that we should do undone. We think the worst about other people. We prioritize other things in our lives over God and his Word. On our own, we could not be more the opposite of what God demands than we are.
“God is able to make all grace overflow to you.” (Verse 8) God opened the floodgates of his grace when he sent his Son, Jesus. Jesus was the fulfillment of every saving promise that God made to his people through history. Jesus, being both God and man, was able to take the full weight of our sins on his shoulders and take it all away. Jesus lived a perfect life in our place and died the death of hell on the cross that we all deserved. Because of that, even though we deserved to die an eternal death in hell, we will live in the perfection of heaven. Jesus’ death removes our guilt. His life has been credited to our account. This is God’s overflowing grace in its purest form.
How do you respond to something like that? What do you do about that? How do you show your gratitude to God, who hasn’t just put food on your plate and clothes on your back, but has given you heaven instead of your well-deserved hell? Paul guides us in our text. After assuring us that we will abound in every good work, Paul writes, “He scattered; he gave to the poor. His righteousness remains forever. And he who provides seed to the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed for sowing, and will increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you may be generous in every way, which produces thanksgiving to God through us.” (Verses 9-11)
Paul is quoting Psalm 112 in verse 9, “He scattered; he gave to the poor. His righteousness remains forever.” When you hear the words, it sounds like they’re describing God, don’t they? However, listen to Psalm 112:1, “How blessed is a man who fears the LORD. In his commands he delights greatly.” The rest of Psalm 112 describes such a person. These verses are not describing God’s generosity, but the believer’s generosity. Their generosity is spurred on by the fear, or respect, for the LORD. It’s driven by God’s grace. As that grace overflows, the Christian’s generosity, their thanksgiving overflows, as well.
How do you show your thanks to God? By being generous with what he has given you. Do you have food to spare? Share it with those who have less. Do you have financial resources beyond what you need? Share it with those who have less.
Maybe, today is a good time to take stock of our generosity. How overflowing is your thankful generosity toward your family after you’ve had a long day? Toward friends who might at times get on your nerves? Toward the person who always seems to need help, but never offers any assistance in return? May God help us to be generous at these times, as well!
It’s easy for us to become jaded in this life. Everyone seems to be trying to take advantage of someone else. How many times don’t we receive those phone calls about extending our vehicle warranties or similar calls? We don’t want to be naïve about the times and places we live in, but we don’t want to become cynical, either. Find ways and organizations that do well with your resources, who will get help to people who really are in need, such as Christian Aid and Relief. Help your family and friends, your coworkers and your fellow Christians. In do so, you also become the way that God provides daily bread for others.
However, you have a treasure worth far more than any amount of food or clothing or even piles of money. You have the gospel. You have the assurance of God’s overflowing grace. You have all that you will need for eternity. That, too, is something you can share. It might be uncomfortable to tell someone about Jesus. They might even think you are a bit weird. Who cares? This overflowing grace is too great, too important to be bogged down worrying about such things. Be bold in your sharing! Be bold in your thankfulness! Be bold in your generosity!
In addition, sharing the gospel goes beyond just our personal sharing of the good news. We do work together as a congregation and as a church body that we could not do as individuals. We have the opportunity for our overflowing thankfulness to spill over and share God’s overflowing grace with others. We do so as we give our offerings for the work of the church. We, also, do so as we look for opportunities to use the gifts that God has given in service to our fellow members.
There are so many different ways that we can help support the work that we do together. We don’t do this to build ourselves up or make a name for ourselves. Rather, these are all opportunities for us to share this overflowing love of God with a world that so desperately needs to hear it. We have a God, who has provided everything we could possibly need, both in our physical lives and in our eternal lives. May God bless our overflowing thanksgiving, our generosity to all, as we seek to thank our Savior, who has given himself for us. Amen.
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