The Collection for the Saints
16 Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.
Plans for Travel
I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am. So let no one despise him. Help him on his way in peace, that he may return to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers.
Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but it was not at all his will to come now. He will come when he has opportunity.
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Now I urge you, brothers—you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints—be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people.
The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
1 Corinthians 16 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“But I will come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia; and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I may go. For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost; for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”1 Corinthians 16: 6-9
“Perhaps… I hope… If the Lord permits… a wide door for effective service has opened for me.” Statements that show Paul’s desire but also his never-ending mission. As Paul winds down his letter, his heart is to come and visit but realizes that the timing of this is in God’s hand and rests solely in God orchestrating where he is to go or stay.
Resting in such decisions is no easy task. This is particularly true when our own desires to do even good may not be the best. Paul lived firsthand what it was like to wait on the Spirit of God to direct his steps. His flexibility to follow was dependent upon the Lord’s permission. As he wrote, “a wide-open door has opened for me” he realized that very possibly although his heart was to go he may be required to stay.
I wonder what it would be like to live in such statements. I wonder if we would be content to live this way. Sometimes our own desires which are even good are not what God has deemed for our path at that moment. How flexible would we be?
1 Corinthians 16 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Paul begins with a collection for the saints. The Nelson’s New Illustrated Commentary provides a solid summary of what this means for Jesus followers today.
“Paul once again addressed a question asked by the Corinthians about giving. The first day of the week was the regular weekly meeting day of the early church. Lay something aside expresses the concept of Christian giving in the NT. The OT tithe (altogether coming to about 23 percent) was not adopted by the NT church, though certainly Christ practiced it. NT believers were encouraged to give liberally, but never a specified amount or percentage (Rom 12:8). Paul wanted to make sure that the Corinthians’ offering would be collected before he arrived so that he would not need to pressure the people when he saw them (2 Co 9:5).”Nelson’s Commentary
Paul ends this letter with the same focus that he began. He urges the Corinthians to put love first. Anyone who does not receives his strongest rebuke. As we reflect back on this letter, it is interesting to consider how specifically Paul responds to the issues that were ongoing in Corinth. We only know of Paul’s answers; we will never know the questions the Corinthians asked him. However, those answers still have relevance today.
Paul illustrates the destructiveness of division and placing one pastor against another. He shows us how infancy and compromise can affect the overall body and lead others into sin. Overall, there were many who demonstrated their spiritual gifts who did not possess love.
“There were in the Church at Corinth many highly gifted and very gracious people; there were also there many more, who, though they might have been partakers of some extraordinary gifts, had very little of that religion which the apostle describes in the thirteenth chapter of this epistle.”Adam Clarke
Clarke goes on to quote an old theologian who writes, “Knowledge that is not applying, is only like a candle which a man holds to light himself to hell.” The lesson we can learn today from Paul’s epistle is that we all lack love in varying degrees of our life. We all desparately need the love of Jesus in our lives to illustrate how we can and should love others. If our goal is only to gain knowledge, we have missed the message of Christ.