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Does 2 Corinthians 9:6 indicate a reaping of earthly wealth?

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.ESV

The context certainly indicates that the sowing referred to is "ministry for the saints", or physical giving. Does "reap bountifully" also refer to receiving material wealth?

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I wasn't sure what the best tag for this is. Please re-tag it to something more accurate ... –  C. Ross Oct 23 '11 at 20:02
    
I'm not sure how to use biblical-theology, but the book should be tagged if possible. Good question. –  Jon Ericson Oct 24 '11 at 20:09
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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Well, Yes and No.

If we look a couple verses down we read this:

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (NIV)
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

We see two concepts at play here:

  • (v10) God will enlarge your harvest of righteousness
  • (v11) You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.

This passage in this letter seems to be indicating that if you give to the poor, God will make sure that you have enough to live off of and continue to give. Furthermore, it shows that God will reward your giving with a "harvest of righteousness".

So, will God make you rich?

No.

He will make sure that you have enough so that you can keep on giving, though. He will bless you in ways to make sure that you can continue to bless others. But that mark is far short of anyone's definition of "rich". However, God will continue to provide for your needs.

This concept harkens back to Jesus word's in Matthew 6:26

Matthew 6:26 (NIV)
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

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Don't you kind of stray kind of far into doctrine land here? (Maybe this question need re-framing a little?) –  Caleb Oct 29 '11 at 14:29
    
Yes, it is a bit too far into doctrine, I believe. However, I'm not sure what the guidelines are on doctrine, so it's hard to say. For example, I could imagine this in a commentary. –  Richard Oct 29 '11 at 19:46
    
So could I. Not usually what I go to a commentary for but I wouldn't be surprised to find it in most. I think most what I notice here is that it's more doctrine than it is hermeneutics. There is no discussion of the text, it's context, the audience, similar sayings or other considerations, it skips straight to pulling a couple of phrases and running with them. Mind you I think it's a good answer, however with this being the accepted answer without waiting for other angles I think perhaps the questioner would have been more at home on C.SE. –  Caleb Oct 29 '11 at 19:51
    
After looking at this with fresh eyes, I agree. It really should be moved to C.SE, pending the community agreement on some sort of doctrinal guideline –  Richard Nov 10 '11 at 12:36
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