What are the fruits of your righteousness mentioned in
2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness
Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV) 22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control."
I am going to suggest that the "fruits of your righteousness" refers to the fruits of the spirit. Baker's Dictionary indicates that we are made righteousness by the working of the holy spirit, which, to my mind, links the two together.
Dictionaries - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Righteousness
"God the Father is righteous (just); Jesus Christ his Son is the Righteous (Just) One; the Father through the Son and in the Spirit gives the gift of righteousness (justice) to repentant sinners for salvation; such believing sinners are declared righteous (just) by the Father through the Son, are made righteous (just) by the Holy Spirit working in them, and will be wholly righteous (just) in the age to come. They are and will be righteous because they are in a covenant relation with the living God, who is the God of all grace and mercy and who will bring to completion what he has begun in them by declaring them righteous for Christ's sake."
What are the fruits of your righteousness mentioned in 2 Corinthians 9:10?
Looking at the passage:
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
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.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
2 Corinthians 9:10-15 NIV
In verses 6 through 8 Paul uses the metaphor of the sower to encourage generous giving - "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously". The metaphor of reaping ties to the later idea of "fruits of righteousness" or "harvest of righteousness" in the NIV. One must sow in order to have fruit / a harvest.
Verse 9 quotes a phrase from Psalm 112:9 describing gifts scattered (like a sower scatters) to the poor as righteousness that endures forever. When Christians participate in God's eternal plan their right actions, or righteousness, endures forever just as God's plan is eternal.
In verse 10 the idea of sowing is continued with the truth that God gives the seed to the sower and God will enlarge the fruits or harvest of righteousness that results from sowing.
Paul goes on to describe the chain reaction of events - the fruits or harvest of righteousness - that result when Christians give generously as described in verses 12 through 15.
"This service that you perform"
So, when Christians are generous according to God's all of these things are the result or the fruit / harvest of their right actions - righteousness.
The word "righteousness" here is referring to acts of charity. This is a common meaning of the word in the first century. In this context, it is not merely referring to your overall behavior - right behavior - but rather your acts of charity.
The "fruits of your righteousness (acts of charity)" is a reference to all of the blessings that will come about from your charity. Those in need receive a blessing. You receive a blessing. And, God's kingdom is glorified.
We find Jesus using the word righteousness in the same context in Matthew 6:1-2:
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
There is also a "measure for measure" happening here. God responds to you as you respond to others.
As you are generous towards others through acts of charity God responds in generosity to you:
Now he (God) 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.
The same idea of "measure for measure" and charity is reflected in Jesus words in Luke 6:38:
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Giving charity is counterintuitive. Many assume that if they give something, then overall, they will be left with less. But God's economy is not a "zero sum game." God can and does increase your resources when you become a conduit to distribute those resources for His glory.
Let's see the context.
2 Corinthians 9:6
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
This shows a contrast: sparingly vs generously.
Verse 10 confirms this contrast and elaborates on the generosity side.
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.
The more you sow, the more you reap, provided you sow in righteousness. That's the key: righteousness.
What is this righteousness?
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.
If you sow righteousness, you will and see and reap righteous which is Christ.
What are the “fruits of your righteousness” mentioned in 2 Corinthians 9:10?
The more you sow in righteousness, the more you will reap in righteousness, the more you will know righteousness who is Christ.