THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS

This program of Scripture studies is designed to help you in daily honoring God with adoration through Bible study.

We have a great friend in Gary Godard.
He has set up an archive page.
To view ALL the prior Scripture studies by book and chapter, just clik


HERE.

Bruce McGee
P.O. Box 1627
Columbia, LA 71418

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE STUDY

1Corinthians

CHAPTER 16

Paul is concluding this letter to the church at Corinth.
Notice he does not reiterate his points.

This conclsion shows that Paul beleives the church at Corinth has
genuine believers in Jesus Christ.
They may be "babes" in Christ, and not acting like adults.
But Paul believes the corrective guidance he has given will
be heeded.
By the way, IT WAS!

In this rather short conclusive chapter, Paul makes several points.
I'm going to separate them as topics.
1) Giving
2) Selection of a special committee
3) Paul's plans
4) About certain people
5) A strong admonishment
6) Ministry of and to the saints
7) Thankfulness
8) Greetings
9) Salutation
10) And a TREMENDOUS ending statement!

GIVING
1 Cor 16:1-2 1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Let me state, quite emphatically, Paul is talking about GIVING.
He mentions NOTHING about tithing.

I once had a deacon tell me he was concerned because I didn't preach on tithing.
So, I explained to him that the Jewish people were given that law.
And, that the "tithe" ended up being about 33% of all they received!!
Then, I asked him if he were prepared to PAY 33%.

We did a little Bible study on that subject.
I showed him that there were only TWO places that Jesus ever mentioned tithing.
And, those mentions were in a derogatory manner to someone.
(See Matt. 23:23 and Lk. 11:42)

Then, I shared with him that we are to GIVE according to how God has "prospered" us.
He was quite well-to-do, and had many holdings from which he received income.
So, I asked if he couldn't afford to give MORE than 10% or even 33%?

The discussion ended abruptly.

The members were to GIVE to the church.
And, they were to give on SUNDAY -- "the first day of the week."

Paul wanted them to give each Sunday.
He did NOT want a special conflab about an offering when he came to the church.
They should do it REGULARLY and not only on special occasions.

Here's a good thought about giving.
START with 10% -- that's learning to budget God FIRST.
THEN, graduate to higher numbers as you grow in Christ.

Learn to put God and the church's needs FIRST in your budget.

SELECTION OF A SPECIAL COMMITTEE
1 Cor 16:3-4 3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

Paul did plan on coming to Corinth to be with the church there.
However, God's plan superceded his.
And, Paul looked forward to when God would allow him to again visit Corinth.

But, when he DID come, he wanted them to select a special committee.
This committee would be responsible for money collected to help the church in Jerusalem.
Each member should also be able to accompany him when he went to Jerusalem to take the collection.

It is not good for ONE person to be responsible for the funds collected in the church.
It needs to be a committee of three (or more considering the size of the church).
Counting the funds is one responsiblity of the committee.
Maintaining the funds is another.
And, dispensing the funds is another.

One person, being a "treasurer" allows for temptation.
When the treasurer is responsible to OTHER members of a committee (finance committee?),
then that temptation is certainly weakened.

Also note that Paul said "IF it be meet that I go."
In other words, Paul is putting emphasis on the fact that his life is in the hands of God's direction!

This is the way a Christian should live!

Paul calls this collection a "liberality".
The Greek word from which liberality is translated here is actually charis.
It literally means GRACE!

Special collections taken to aid others are actually from the saints.
These collections impart grace from the Lord Jesus THROUGH His people!
One might also say that regular collections for the church does the SAME thing.

PAUL'S PLANS
1 Cor 16:5-7 5 Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.
6 And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.
7 For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.

Again, Paul does plan to visit Corinth.
However, His plans may be amended by the Lord at any time.

He planned to visit Macedonia, and then perhaps to spend the winter in Corinth.
But perhaps, "For I will not see you NOW by the way..."

The church wanted him to come visit RIGHT NOW!
They were having some severe problems, and wanted Paul to come and help.

His letter would have to suffice, because Paul could not plan to come NOW.
He was first going to Macedonia, and then on his way back he hoped to stop in Corinth.

Again, note his statement, "IF the Lord permit!"

Paul was quite willing to go to Corinth, and he wanted to go.
However, God was showing him there was something else to do in God's will.


1 Cor 16:8-9
8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.
9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

More of Paul's plans.

It was God's will that Paul remain in Ephesus.
(He was there 3 years.)

The REASON was "a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries."

Now, ANY Christian who stedfastly stands for Christ is going to have adversaries!
Paul was experiencing that in Ephesus.

HOWEVER, God had opened a GREAT door of ministry there!
And it was having a tremendous effect!

Paul's preaching in Ephesus caused a revolution of sorts!
(See Acts 19:22-41)

There was indeed an UPROAR by some of the people.

HOWEVER, a great REVIVAL happened there because of His diligent preaching!
(See Acts 19:1-20)

When God is working and overcoming devilish oppostition,
STAY WITH THE WORK!!!

ABOUT CERTAIN PEOPLE
1 Cor 16:10-11
10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.
11 Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.

Timothy was a young man.
Paul thought the church at Corinth might perhaps not listen to him.
So, he admonished them to listen to Timothy and then to send him on to Paul at Ephesus.

Paul, in no uncertain terms, let the church at Corinth know that Timothy "worketh the work of the Lord!"

Timothy was an able minister, and the church was not to disregard his spiritual direction
simply because of His youth.

A person may be young physically, but quite mature spiritually.
Timothy was one of those people.

1 Cor 16:12
12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.

Go back and read 1Cor. 1:12-13.

One of the difficulties the church at Corinth suffered was divided allegiance.
They argued about who was the better leader - Paul or Apollos.

Yet, Apollos and Paul ministered TOGETHER!
Paul first came, and God began the church in Corinth through Paul's work.
Then, Appollos came and God built more through his work.

In fact, Paul wanted Apollos to visit Corinth, because he could probably
dispell some of the divisions.
It is not clear whether Apollos was with Paul there at Ephesus.
It IS clear that Apollos did not want to return to Corinth NOW.

And, in their conversation, Apollos had confirmed to Paul that he WOULD
return to Corinth when God made it clear he SHOULD.

A STRONG ADMONISHMENT
1 Cor 16:13-14
13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
14 Let all your things be done with charity.

WATCH YE!!
Paul had talked about several of the problems they faced.
Each of those problems arose out of selfish temptations:
dissension, erroneous doctrine, false prophets, general disorder.

Now he cautions them to be alert to these things and avoid them.

STAND FAST IN THE FAITH!!
In the midst of seducers of false teaching in Corinth, they were
to hold onto the truth of God and their confidence in Him!

QUIT YE LIKE MEN!
Be brave.
Show yourself unashamed of the Gospel!

OH! How we need THIS statement in America today!!

BE STRONG!
Nourish yourself in the Word, and stand against evil!
(See Eph. 6:10)

There is no better way to stand against the evils of this world than
to KNOW the TRUTH -- the WORD of GOD!

AND, there is no better way to react to the world than to "let all your things be done with charity (love)"!
Because Christ LOVED, we can be saved!
Because He resides in us, we can LOVE correctly!

Do EVERYTHING the way Christ would: GIVING of yourself for the benefit of others!

MINISTRY OF AND TO THE SAINTS
1 Cor 16:15-16
15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.

Corinth was actually the capitol of Achaia.
((When the Romans conquered Greece, it was divided into
2 provinces: Macedonia and Achaia. Ephesus was the capitol of Macedonia, and Corinth was the capitol of Achaia.))

Therefore, these people of "the house of Stephanas" were the "firstfruits" of that church in Corinth.
((Of course there were several families which Paul had brought to Christ there in Corinth.))

Paul said in 1Cor 1:16 that he had baptized Stephanas.

Now, what Paul says about this family is AMAZING!
They were ADDICTED to "the ministry of the saints"!
They were hung up on it!
They were bound to it!

What IS this "ministry to the saints?"
Being hospitable, charitable, loving, considerate, helpful.

I believe when Paul said, "submit yourselves unto such", he was saying,
"YOU do LIKEWISE!!"
GIVE yourself to helping the saved learn, grow and minister to others!!

Also, be sure you show the same respect to others who labor in the ministry.

THANKFULNESS
1 Cor 16:17-18
17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.
18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.

The three mentioned: Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, had brought the letter to Paul from Corinth.
(See 1Cor. 7:1)

But they didn't only bring the difficulties!!
They also brought refreshing!

Anytime it is our duty to bring difficulties to attention,
it is ALSO our duty to bring refreshing.
NOURISH others in the spirit of love and kindness!

GREETINGS
1 Cor 16:19-20 19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.

Most of the time, the word Asia is used to represent that part called Macedonia.
Ephesus was the capitol of Macedonia.

Paul expresses greetings to the church in Corinth from people in Ephesus.

Paul had met Aquila and Priscilla when he first came to Corinth.
It was in/through "the church in their house" that many in Corinth had been
brought to know Jesus as Lord. (See Acts 18:2)

When Paul had left for Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla had gone WITH him.
They had established ANOTHER "church in their house" there in Ephesus!

These special people wanted to convey their greetings in Christ to the church in Corinth.
Others did also: "all the brethren."
(Obviously those who had been saved in Ephesus.)

Now here's a statement: "Greed ye one another with an holy kiss."
WOW!
Is kissing okay in the church?
YES. But NOT the kind one most often thinks about!!

The "holy kiss" is referred to in Rom. 16:16, 2Cor 16:20, 2Cor. 13:12, and 1Thess. 5:26.

This was a genuine and caring greeting.
It was very special to those who had surrendered to Christ, and had been ostracized by their own families.

This kiss did not involve a bodily embrace.
The greeters would face each other, holding one another by the hands or shoulders, and
each would gently kiss the cheek of the other.

It did not express physical sensuality.
It expressed spiritual sensitivity.

In today's world, we are inundated with physical sensuality!
Hardly a commercial on TV is devoid of sensual implications.

A gentle hug is usually the sign of Christians who care for one another in a spiritual manner today.
Because of this, some folk misunderstand Christian affection.

It's not a love your brother sensual thing.
It's a love your brother SPIRITUAL thing!

When I was in the service, I experienced some very distasteful and scary things.
As, a result, after returning home, it was very difficult for me to be around people.
I didn't WANT to be around many people at a time.
And, if I had to, I would find a corner, put my back to it and watch others carefully!
That's because I didn't TRUST anybody.
It took me a LONG time to get used to showing genuine affection for others!

After Jesus renewed my faith, and rejuvenated my desire to be useful through His church,
I determined that no one I met would have reason to feel the way I had felt.
It is my desire to make people feel WELCOME in church, and in my presence.
I want them to know that I genuinely care.

SALUTATION
1 Cor 16:21
21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.

In Acts 18:17, we find that
Sosthenes was "the chief ruler of the Synagogue" at Corinth.
He was beaten by the Greeks because he was with those who brought Paul before the
justice.

Yet, here, in Ephesus - Sosethenes is evidently WITH Paul! (See Acts 18:17)
And Paul calls him "brother"!

We don't have any record of Sosthenes having been saved other than this.
But Paul, being weak in the eyes, and trembling in the hand,
probably used Sosthenes to write 1Corinthians as Paul dictated it.

And Paul SIGNED it with his "own hand".
This signified his approval upon all that had been written.

TREMENDOUS ENDING
1 Cor 16:22-24
22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

The word "Anatema" is derived from the Greek anathema.
It means banned, accursed.
The word "Maranatha" is derived from the Greek maranatha and has it's origin in Arabic.
It means the Lord has come, or our Lord IS coming!

There is no way to escape the meaning of Paul's statement here.
It is consistent throughout Scripture. (See John 14:6 and Acts 4:12)

There is no greater way to exemplify being Christian than to express our
love FOR Christ and express our love IN Christ for others.
WITHOUT that, a person denies Christ and is saved for destruction. (See 1Thess. 1:7-10)

A Christian cannot, and should not, punish those who do not believe in Christ.
A government should not punish those who do not believe in Christ.
(Conversely, a government should not punish those who DO believe in Christ!)

But God WILL!
One day He's coming for that purpose!

So, if you really love Christ:
1) EXPRESS your love for Him by doing the things He expects of you
2) Express your love TO OTHERS by exhibiting genuine care and concern for their well being.

Paul follows this example in the last two verses.

The word "grace" is derived from the Greek charis.
It means graciousness, particularly when applied to God's movement upon the heart.

That grace of the Lord Jesus Christ brought us eternal salvation!
That grace saw past our sin and offered us His love and forgiveness!
That grace continues with the genuinely saved ALL DURING his/her life!

And, then Paul says, "My love be with you ALL in Christ Jesus!"

No matter what their problems, Paul wants them to know that BECAUSE of Christ,
he loves them WITH the LOVE of Christ!!

What a tremendous concluding statement!
In this great book which addresses problems churches face everyday,
Paul wants the people to understand that LOVE conquers ALL!
"For God is LOVE!"
And, He HAS conquered all!!

If you really love Christ:
EXPRESS your love FOR Him,
And, express your love TO others!

PLEASE CONTINUE WITH US IN BIBLE STUDY TOMORROW.
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