Wednesday, 22 April 2015
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 1 Corinthians 16:1
Chapter 16 begins with a new thought which Paul has carefully placed after the great hope of the believer, the resurrection. He has given many instructions so far in this epistle concerning doctrine. He will continue this in part during this chapter, but it will also be a final chapter of greetings and exhortations.
And so he begins with “Now concerning the collection for the saints.” In the Greek, there is an article before “collection” which indicates that it is an issue which he had previously mentioned to them. It is not just any collection, but “the” collection, meaning something that had been talked about in the past.
The word for “collection” is logeia and is found only here and in the next verse in the New Testament. It means “a collection, collecting (of money), particularly of an irregular local contribution for religious purposes.” This collection was necessary for those in Jerusalem who were suffering deprivation because of persecution and because of the unstable political and religious climate of the times.
The words “for the saints” also give an indication that this was a previously discussed matter. All believers are “saints,” but these have been singled out which means that those in Corinth already understood who was being spoken of.
Paul continues with, “…as I have given order to the churches of Galatia.” In fact, this collection from Corinth and other appeals for those in Jerusalem are found noted at various points in Acts; Romans 15; 2 Corinthians 8 & 9; and Galatians 2. It was a matter which Paul felt was of the highest importance. As the Apostle to the Gentiles, he wanted them to understand the necessity of providing for the physical needs of the saints from which came their spiritual heritage. This is explicitly stated in Romans 15:27 –
“For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.”
Finally, this verse finishes with, “…so you must do also.” The word translated as “do also” is in the aorist imperative active. The implication in this is that they must do it and they are to do it immediately. It is something of great importance and of great necessity.
Life application: Paul felt the burden of contributing to the physical needs of those who brought the spiritual message of Christ to the Gentiles. Today, each of us receives spiritual food from pastors and teachers and it is right and proper that we should also endeavor to help them in their physical needs as well. Often, church budgets pay their salaries, but it is good to be attentive to other needs that may exist in their lives beyond the paycheck. They are ministering to you for your good, so remember to return the blessing to them for their good.
Lord, thank You so much for those who instruct me in Your word. Many have lived in ages past and some are alive today, searching out Your word, explaining to me its truths, and instructing me in how to apply them to my life. I thank You for them and I would ask that You give them an abundance of blessings because of the diligent efforts they have put into the care of these things. Amen.