1 Corinthians 16

1 Corinthians 16:1

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.

(a) The collection for the saints. Paul urged several churches to raise funds for the starving Christians in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:3, Rom. 15:26).

(b) The churches of Galatia. Galatia was a region in the highlands of Anatolia located in central part of modern-day Turkey.

1 Corinthians 16:2

On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.

(a) He may prosper. We give out of the abundance given to us. The idea that God is a divine slot machine who pays back those who gift first would have been repulsive to Paul (see entry for 2 Cor. 9:8).

(b) No collections. Money was a delicate subject between Paul and the Corinthians. Although he had planted the church, the Corinthians had not supported Paul financially. This led to an uncomfortable conversations and unnecessary drama (see 1 Cor. 9:4-6). Paul had no interest in taking up a special offering when he was in town.

1 Corinthians 16:3

When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem;

(a) Whomever you may approve. No doubt Paul could be trusted to carry the Corinthian funds to Jerusalem, but since the Corinthians were funny about money he wisely suggested they deliver their own gift.

(b) Your gift to Jerusalem. The saints in Jerusalem were suffering on account of the great famine foretold by Agabus (Acts 11:27-28). According to the Jewish historian, Josephus, many people in Jerusalem died “for want of what was necessary to procure food.” In other words, food was available, but it was prohibitively expensive. In this hour of great need Paul collected money from the Gentile churches to support the starving saints.

1 Corinthians 16:23

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.

Paul ends his letter the same way he starts it, with a gracious salutation (see 1 Cor. 1:3). Everything Paul wrote was bracketed by the grace of Jesus.

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