Multiplication (2 Cor 4:15)

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:15, KJV)

In elementary school, we learned the three Rs, reading, writing, and arithmetic. My best subject was arithmetic. In those early days we memorized our multiplication tables. In my mind, multiplication was kind of neat as compared to addition. For you could take two numbers and cause them to become a much higher number through multiplication than through addition. The numbers nine added to nine would equal eighteen, while nine multiplied by nine would be eighty-one. Multiplication is much more powerful than addition.

Consider this from a monetary standpoint. If you tucked ten dollars a month into your mattress, in thirty years you would have saved $3,610. Yet, if you invested the same amount of money in something that earned 10% interest compounded monthly you would have $22,803.25 at the end of thirty years.

In a sense this principle of multiplication, as simple as it is, is something that motivated Paul to endure the hardships of ministering the gospel. In this verse the verb “redound,” perisseuo, means to superabound either in quantity or quality, to cause to increase (Strong G4052). The English Standard Version translates the word as “it may increase.

Paul understood that the more people who heard the gospel message and believed, the more people would abound in thanksgiving. The glory given to God would be multiplied by the number of people who experienced salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. If Paul kept the message to himself and never shared it with others, yes, he would give glory to God over and over again. Yet, if he could reach others with the same message they would also give glory to God over and over. In turn, if those whom he reached with the message would also reach others with the same message there would be additional multiplication of the glory ascending to God.

One believer could start a movement that would accomplish the highest end purpose of man to superabound through the lives of many. Every one of us who has believed could be that believer. Oh, we may not be like the Apostle Paul, or a person like Billy Graham whom God used to reach multitudes. However, could we not reach a few who might reach others also? Let us be emboldened to communicate the good news, the gospel, with others. Some will eventually believe and they also will multiply thanksgiving unto the glory of God.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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