Paul reassured the Corinthians about the resurrection and its power over death. The apostle addressed many issues in his letter to the Churches in Corinth, he now focuses on tithing. Because it was customary for a congregation to support its ministry leaders, the same would apply to the church in Corinth, a ministry initiated and led by Paul.
“1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 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 16:1-2)
The collection was meant to help the poor in Jerusalem which faced scarcity and persecution. Unlike old testament tithing, new covenant giving has no set amount or percentage. Believers were encouraged to give freely and do so in an organized manner described by Paul. The goal was to gather the collection on the first day of the week so it would be ready to be taken to Jerusalem at the appointed time.
“3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. 4 But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.” (1 Corinthians 16:3-4)
The apostle mentions it was up to the Corinthians to appoint someone who would travel to Jerusalem with Timothy to present the collection to the founding church. Paul mentions he would accompany those appointed if need be.
“5 Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia). 6 And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go.” (1 Corinthians 16:5-6)
Paul was planning on spending the winter in Corinth where he would continue to advance the word of God. Though the apostle did end up in Corinth, for about 3 months during which he gathered what he needed to carry on his ministry.
“7 For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. 9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” (1 Corinthians 16:7-9)
Paul’s plan was to sail the Ægean Sea directly to Macedonia where he would stay a while, and onwards to Corinth where he would not feel rushed. The apostle mentions he was in Ephesus at the time, awaiting Pentecost, the festival that commemorated the emanation of the Holy Spirit to the apostles held the seventh Sunday after Easter.
“10 And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. 11 Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren. ” (1 Corinthians 16:10-11)
The apostle calls on believers in Corinth to embrace Timothy as they would Paul himself. On his way to Macedonia, Timothy was instructed to stop in Corinth where he would do the Lord’s work as other disciples do, in the name of Jesus Christ. Timothy should be well received and treated with utmost respect in spite of his young age.
“12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brethren, but he was quite unwilling to come at this time; however, he will come when he has a convenient time.” (1 Corinthians 16:12)
Faced with challenges brought on by the enemy, Apollos who was with Paul in Ephesus at the time this letter was written. He would not accompany Timothy on the forthcoming journey to Corinth but Apollos did plan on visiting the great Greek city.
In this section of his letter, Paul reinforces the bond between the church and Jerusalem. The apostle also extends his concern for Timothy, who should be treated as a disciple of Jesus Christ and fellow missionary.
We should extend the same courtesy to God’s chosen deliverers, from collection volunteers at church to missionaries who, much like Paul, Timothy and Apollos, rely on donations to continue advancing the gospel to the four corners of the earth. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre