Thursday, 23 April 2015
On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 1 Corinthians 16:2
Care needs to be given concerning this verse so that it is kept in its intended context. It is true that by this time the Lord’s Day, or Sunday, was considered the first day of the week and a time when the believers gathered together in worship. That is found in Acts 20:7 –
“Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.”
It is also later noted in Revelation 1:10 with the name “the Lord’s Day.” However, this verse in 1 Corinthians 16 says in the Greek “on the Sabbaths.” The wording is generally considered to follow a Hebrew idiom which would then be comparable to “the next day after the Sabbath.” The idea is that when one has their paycheck from the previous week, on that day is when the action is to be taken.
On whatever day this occurred, it is the principle of what Paul gives to those at Corinth that is important. The word translated here as “On the…” has the sense of “every.” Therefore, Paul is asking each of the Corinthians to “lay something aside.”
The implication here is that they were to set aside money, either at home or some trusted place, specifically for a collection that Paul would be taking. Rather than getting to Corinth and finding out that the people were lousy savers and had to take a portion of whatever they had available at the time, he was asking that they make a purposeful effort to put something aside for a specific reason. He didn’t want to get there and have a one-time collection that would fail to meet the needs of the saints in Jerusalem.
As far as the amount to be laid aside, he only gives a general guideline – “storing up as he may prosper.” There is no “You must give ten percent,” or “You need to give until it hurts,” or any such intimidation. The amount was solely up to the discretion of the believer based on how he felt that the Lord had prospered him. And he gives the reason for the specific weekly setting aside of this money. It is so “that there be no collections when I come.”
Paul wanted this gift from the Corinthians to be ready and to be an amount suitable for the purpose for which it was intended. By asking them to follow his guidelines, there would be no shortfall and there would be no pain in the giving. Paul’s intent was that needs be met and that it occurred from a grateful heart. Further, he wanted no one to say that they had been pressured into giving. The Old Testament standard of tithing was not considered in this request and it is never considered in the New Testament. If you have been told that you need to tithe to your church, then you have been instructed incorrectly.
Further, if you have been told to tithe, you have probably been misguided on what tithing actually entailed even from the Old Testament standard. To get your giving right, please watch this informative sermon and you will see that what is commonly preached in churches is not what the Bible proclaims for the Christian – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doblcpiO7yU
Life application: Giving is vital for the continuance of the church and for meeting its goals and expenses. However, it should never be done under compulsion and it should be from a New Testament perspective. Do not let pastors or televangelists shame you into giving. Give from a grateful heart from out of what you have been given.
Heavenly Father, You have given me so much. I am abundantly blessed in all ways. Help me to remember to return a portion of those blessings to ministries that will faithfully proclaim Your word. Help me not to be stingy, but at the same time, I pray that my giving is not under pressure or compulsion because I’ve been subtly made to feel guilty about it. Help my heart to be pure in the gifts I give. May You be glorified through my giving. Amen.