1 Corinthians 16:5


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia). 1 Corinthians 16:5

At some point, Paul had sent a letter to the Corinthians (which is not a part of the Bible) that he would travel to Corinth from Ephesus, stay for a while, and then go to Macedonia. After his trip to Macedonia, he intended to return to Corinth for a longer stay before heading to Jerusalem.

However, due to the chaotic state of affairs in Corinth, he decided that it would be better for all involved that he instead would forego this first trip to Corinth. Otherwise, he would be compelled to personally speak to them about the issues which are contained in 1 Corinthians rather than write them. If he did, it would be a meeting of discipline rather than loving embrace. In this, he only had the best in mind for all involved, but the Corinthians viewed his actions as a snub.

He explains himself fully at several key points in 2 Corinthians concerning this matter, but 2 Corinthians 1:23 gives us a direct statement from Paul’s heart concerning his actions –

“Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth.”

Life application: We have all felt snubbed at various times in our lives and we often allow these occurrences to cause rifts between ourselves and the perceived offender. But quite often, such snubs are unintentional or misunderstood. It is right, particularly among believers, to give others the benefit of the doubt and be willing to listen to the reasons for their actions and then to move on, letting go of the resentment we have harbored.

Lord, so many times I’ve felt snubbed by others over things which they have done or left undone in a matter which concerns me. At times, I’ve found that some of those occasions were actually intended to keep me from personal inconvenience and it was me who misunderstood. At other times, what happened was simply unintentional. I would ask that you help me with difficult times like this so that I handle them without making things worse. Be with me as I encounter such personal conflicts and guide my actions rightly. Amen.



1 Corinthians 16:4


Saturday, 25 April 2015

But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me. 1 Corinthians 16:4

In the previous verse, Paul mentioned that brothers from Corinth should be selected to carry their gift to Jerusalem. He also mentioned letters of approval to accompany them, evidencing apostolic authority in the matter. However, if the gift were of a sufficient size to warrant a personal visit by Paul, he would accompany them as well. This would be to highlight the exceptional generosity of the Gentiles towards the saints in Jerusalem.

No matter what though, Paul would not consider taking the money by himself without some from Corinth to accompany it. This was a safeguard in several ways. There were factions in Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 1:12), and those opposed to him could make unfounded claims against him. There were also many enemies which Paul had made in Jerusalem when he converted to Christ. In order to ensure that the entire process was kept above reproach, it was necessary for brothers in Corinth to be a part of the traveling party.

It is seen in Romans 15:25 that Paul did go with them when the gift was finally prepared. It is also noted in Acts 20:4 that delegates from Corinth went as well. In all, Paul made and exceptional example for others to follow. When matters of such importance are concerned, every detail is to be kept above reproach.

Life application: The Lord showed in the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16) that we are to be trustworthy with earthly riches. If we fail at this, then how can we be trusted with true riches? Let us take this to heart and remember that we have a responsibility to honesty in all matters because we bear the name of the Lord.

Lord God, help my heart to be free from thoughts of greed, immorality, and self-centeredness. This is just a temporary life and I know that You are far more pleased with how I act towards the eternal riches You offer than You ever would be if I became a millionaire with a large house, fancy cars, and glamorous looks. Those things will fade, but a heart directed toward Your glory will shine for eternity. Help me to remember this always. Amen.


1 Corinthians 16:3


Friday, 24 April 201

And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. 1 Corinthians 16:3

Over the years, translators have chosen one of two main ways of translating this verse. The first would be as the NKJV and others render it. The second would be such as the NIV and others render it. Side by side for comparison, they read:

1) And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. NKJV

2) When, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. NIV

The Greek could go either way, but the likely rendering is the second. The word “your” is inserted by translators in the NKJV because they have opted for the first view. Because of this, it could be misleading unless one knows that it is actually an inserted word.

At other times, Paul gave notes of recommendation concerning individuals (e.g. Romans 16:1), or he referred to letters of recommendation as a means of confirming authority or status (e.g. 2 Corinthians 3:1). He is the apostle with the authority concerning the matter, and it is his letter which would be received in the light which is needed for such a gift to the saints.

Therefore, Paul has asked those in Corinth to set aside money weekly. After his arrival, the money would be collected and counted. Those in Corinth would select men considered honorable and capable of taking the money to Jerusalem, and Paul would send a letter of introduction concerning the gift. This line of reasoning will become more obvious when the next verse is evaluated.

It could be that translators and scholars who hold the first view have been concerned that there is a letter written by Paul which had been lost and not included in the Bible. However, this is a non-starter. The Bible refers to other communications by writers of the Bible which are not included in its pages. Everything written by a prophet or apostle which is in the Bible is inspired and a part of the word of God, but not everything written by a prophet or apostle was inspired by God.

Finally, the word for “gift” here literally means “grace.” Such is the nature of a gift for ministering to others. Such gifts should be without compulsion and they should be without strings attached.

Life application: God has ensured that His word has everything necessary to guide us in our walk and instruct us in our theology. We have a reliable witness to His plan of redemption in the pages of the Bible.

Lord God, You have given me so much in this life of mine. Help me to be gracious in my giving to others as well. Give me a heart to never attach strings to a gift that I give, and also to never act out of a sense of compulsion either. Instead, may my heart be right towards You in whatever I give to others and in how I handle the many blessings which have come from Your open hand of grace. Amen.



1 Corinthians 16:2


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.




1 Corinthians 16:1


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.