The Experiential Key
By John Piper
God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
We know that faith in God’s future grace is the experiential key to generosity, because in 2 Corinthians, Paul holds out this wonderful promise: “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
In other words, if you want to be free from the need to stash away your money, if you want to overflow with an abundance (of grace!) for every good work, then put your faith in future grace. Trust the promise that “God is able to make all grace abound to you” in every future moment for this very purpose.
I just called faith in future grace the “experiential key” to generosity, so as not to deny that there is a historical key as well. There is a key of experience, and a key of history. When talking about the grace they received, Paul reminds the Corinthians of the historical key of grace, “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Without this historical work of grace, the door of Christ-exalting generosity would remain closed. That past grace is an indispensable key to love.
But notice how the past grace in this verse functions. It is made the foundation (Christ became poor) of future grace (that we might become rich). Thus the historical key to our generosity operates by putting a foundation under the experiential key of faith in future grace.
Thus, the experiential key to love and generosity is this: Put your faith firmly in future grace — namely, that “God is able (in the future) to make all (future) grace abound to you” — so that your needs are met, and so that you will be able to overflow with the love of generosity.
Freedom from greed comes from the deeply satisfying faith in God’s future grace.