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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

1 Corinthians 16




Show Love in Everything You Do
- First Corinthians Sixteen -

In his last words in this epistle Paul explained some things about the first day of the week collection. He also restated the importance of love in every Christian action. He expressed his love for these brethren and showed the importance of the love that all must have for the Lord Jesus.

Contributions were being made to assist poor brethren in Jerusalem. Paul explained how this money should be collected and in principle taught us how to do our work for the Lord. He showed again the value and importance of love. Paul expressed his love for these brethren and taught them to love God and to love one another.

1 Corinthians 16:1-24 provides an amazing conclusion for a tremendous letter. (a) The brethren were encouraged to make a contribution to relief suffering saints at Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:1-4), (b) Paul promised to visit Corinth soon and to spend some time with them (1 Corinthians 16:5-9), (c) He asked them to receive Timothy and Apollos if they were able to visit (1 Corinthians 16:10-12), (d) He again showed the importance of watchfulness (1 Corinthians 16:13-14), (e) He commended the house of Stephanas and expressed thankfulness for the visit of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus (1 Corinthians 16:15-18), (f) He expressed the greeting of several to them (1 Corinthians 16:19-21), (g) He showed how horrible it was not to love the Lord (1 Corinthians 16:22), and (h) He concluded the letter with his benediction of grave and love.

Verses 1-4

The collection for the saints -- 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 : A terrible famine was taking place in Judea. (Acts 11:27-30) Many of the Christians there found themselves in deep poverty. This situation lasted several years. The brethren from other places helped at different times. (Romans 15:26) Paul had given the churches of Galatia instructions on how these collections were to be made. We do not have a record of this but we do have the same teaching here. The plan that Paul sets forth is the Lord"s way for churches to raise money for their work.

God"s plan was simple. Each Sunday each Christian must put aside or give part of what they have earned. On the first day of the week the disciples came together to break bread. (Acts 20:7) They were to put the money into the treasury so that when Paul came to collect it that it would be ready in advance. Each one was to give according to how God had prospered him. The Corinthians were to choose some brethren to deliver the money and Paul would send a letter with them. This removed any thought of dishonesty. Paul said he would even go with them and he did go. (Romans 15:25-27)

Verses 5-12

Paul and others to visit Corinth -- 1 Corinthians 16:5-12 : Paul had a desire to visit Corinth again. He hoped to see them when he passed through Macedonia. Paul told them that he might stay all winter there and that they could help him on his journey. He wanted them to go with him and to provide the things that were needed for the work that was planned. All of Paul"s plans were subject to the will of the Lord. We too must live our life by the thought "if the Lord permits" or "if the Lord will." Our life must be subject to the will of the Lord. Paul planned to stay in Ephesus until Pentecost. Pentecost was a national feast as well as a religious matter. He wanted to be there at Pentecost because a wonderful door of opportunity was open for this work. Paul faced many adversaries there. He did not want to leave quickly allowing the evil to think that they had won.

Paul encouraged the brethren to receive Timothy and Apollos if they were able to visit. Paul said Timothy was doing the Lord"s work, just as he was. Paul also wanted Apollos to visit Corinth. He was a good man and Paul felt that he could help the work there.

Verses 13-18

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith -- 1 Corinthians 16:13-18 : Paul"s desire was that the brethren would keep alert for any false teaching. He wanted them to be firm in their faith and to stay brave and strong in God"s service. But in all of this he wanted them to be reminded to show love in everything they did.

An example of the steadfastness that Paul desired of these brethren would be the house of Stephanas. They were the first in Achaia to have faith in the Lord. Paul said, "They have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints." That means that they had done all they could for God"s people. Paul said that the brethren should hear the exhortations of people like them and yield to their advice or admonition.

Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus came to Paul and it was such an encouragement to him. They supplied things that were lacking that had not been supplied by the Corinthians. They refreshed Paul"s spirit. Having these brethren there was like having the Corinthians present. These brethren were a blessing both to Paul and to the church at Corinth.

Verses 19-24

Special greetings were sent -- 1 Corinthians 16:19-24 : Aquila and Priscilla, together with the church that meets in their house sent greetings to Corinth in the name of the Lord. Aquila and Priscilla had been closely associated with Paul in the Lord"s work. They were at Corinth when Paul was there. (Acts 18:1-3) Later they went to help in the word at Ephesus. In the early years of the church congregations often met in the homes of the members. That was the case with the home of Aquila and Priscilla. The church met in their house. All the brethren that worked with Paul also sent their greetings to Corinth. In Paul"s day the way to give each other a warm greeting was with a "holy kiss." It was to be a genuine greeting, not something hypocritical.

Paul wrote the salutation of this letter with his own hand. Many of his epistles were dictated to others. He personally signed them to show that they were genuine. In his closing words he said that if anyone did not love the Lord they would be "Anathema Maranatha." The idea is that they will be accursed when the Lord Jesus comes! (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)

Paul"s prayer for the Corinthians was that "the Lord Jesus will be kind to you." He wished for them the favor, mercy, and salvation that is our though the Lord Jesus Christ.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 16:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". 2014.

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