Here the apostle comes to direct the Corinthians how and after what manner they should give their alms, so as to secure a blessing, namely, deliberately.
1. As he purposeth in his heart so let him give; as he determined and resolved within himself. When a Christian gives, he must take care that it be his own act as much as he can. Some men give what they did never intend, and bestow what they did never choose or design to bestow. Importunity extorts charity from some; they give, to get rid of the noise, and purchase their quiet with their alms; whereas the liberal man devises liberal things, the good man lays by in store what he intends to bestow in alms.
2. Freely and bountifully; For he that soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully; that is, he that giveth liberally to the poor, shall be rewarded liberally by God; no wise man will pinch his ground of the seed. The proportion, or how much every one should give, cannot be determined, because that must be measured according to the ability of him that giveth, and according to the necessity of him that receiveth.
3. Cheerfully, not grudgingly or of necessity; for the Lord loveth a cheerful giver. In all thy gifts show a cheerful countenance, says the wise man; let us give with the same cheerfulness that we should receive, and be as willing to give as the needy are to receive; nay, it is our duty to seek out objects, for some of Christ's members have as great modesty as they have necessity, and cannot speak for themselves, And let none think that this liberality will prejudice their estates; no, 'tis men's lusts that undo them, and not their charity.