1 Corinthians 16 - Gifts for the Poor, Closing Exhortations

1. Why would Paul be making collections from outlying churches in Corinth, Galatia, and Macedonia for the church in Jerusalem? (Acts 24:17, 11:28, 8:1, Romans 15:25-26)

A: We don’t actually know. Acts 24:17 says Paul brought money for the gifts to the poor and to present offerings. It may be that the Christians in Jerusalem were in poverty because of the previous famine (Acts 11:28) or because of persecution (Acts 8:1).

Romans 15:25-26 - Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.

2. In Verse 16:2, Paul makes three important points about contributions to the church. What are they? (2 Corinthians 9:4-5, Malachi 3:8-10, Leviticus 27:30-33)

A: 1) When: the first day of the week, Sunday, was now the new day of worship and a collection was probably taken up at the worship service. Justin Martyr indicates in his Apology 1:67-68 that in his time (150 AD) offerings were brought to the church on Sundays.

2) Frequency: “every week.” Paul explains this is important so a special collection will not have to be taken up when he arrives.

2 Corinthians 9:4-5 - For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.

It is also important to have a weekly reminder that we are just stewards, that everything actually belongs to God.

3) Amount: “a sum of money in keeping with his income” or “a certain part of what you have earned.”

Malachi 3:8-10 - “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

Leviticus 27:30-33 - “ ‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it. The entire tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the LORD. He must not pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.’ ”

3. Let’s say you have a salary of $25,000 a year and you get a Christmas bonus of $1,000. Would you find it easier to give $50 a week to the church or one annual gift of $2,600?

4. What is the important principle Paul speaks of in Verse 16:3-4? (2 Cor 8:20-21)

A: To be responsible and properly account for money, it is vital to appoint men of integrity and discernment to see God’s will.

2 Cor 8:20-21- We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.

There are many charitable foundations in which the managers take huge salaries to enrich themselves. Paul didn’t want this to happen.

5. As Timothy and Apollus plan to go to Corinth before Paul, what fears or hesitations might they have? (Verses 16:10-12, 1 Corinthians 1:12, 3:5, 1 Timothy 4:12, 2 Timothy 1:7)

A: Timothy seems to have been somewhat timid and might be fearful about going alone.

1 Timothy 4:12 - Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

2 Timothy 1:7 - For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

With respect to Apollus, there are clearly divisions among the Corinthians and it seems that he had a personal following that Paul is trying to eliminate.

1 Corinthians 1:12 - What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

6. Have you ever been fearful to represent an organization or another person? How would you like to be a government official in a press conference with reporters shouting questions at you? How do you feel about being God’s representative? Among friends? Among strangers?

7. Which of Paul’s concluding exhortations in Verses 13-14 do you personally want most to apply at this time: (a) Be on your guard, (b) stand firm in your faith, (c) have courage, (d) be strong, (e) do everything in love? How will you apply a, b, c, d, or e to your life right now?

8. What have you learned about setting priorities for how much you will contribute and to whom? Is your giving more planned or more spontaneous? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each way of giving?

9. Given all the hard things Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, how do you account for the warmth of Verses 19-24? How does this compare with how he began the letter (Verses 1:1-9)?

A: Although he has been severe with them, Paul wants them to know that he loves them as believers in Jesus Christ. This is not just sugar-coating harsh words or a parent saying, “this hurts me more than it does you” when he spanks his child, but a genuine love for these believers and a desire to strengthen their faith and unify the church. Also, remember, the Corinthians are not being deliberately defiant or “bad,” but doing what they think is right, so it was very important to Paul not to lose them.

10. How do you feel about Paul’s exclamation at the end of Verse 22 (“Come, O Lord!”)? (Revelation 22:20) Are you ready—right now—for the second coming?

A: “Come, O Lord” was actually an expression used by early church members as a cry that the second coming of Christ may soon take place. Are you ready—right now—for the second coming?

Revelation 22:20 - He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon."
      Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Bible study courtesy of www.SwapMeetDave.com

Click here for
Click here for
Handout Sheet

Click here for Complete Menu of Bible Studies and Christian Resources

United We Stand! Jokes, Cats, Farts Bible Studies Meet Dave Ahl Cool Links Contact Me
Military Books Humor Books Inspirational Books Creative Computing Patriotic FDCs Take Our Survey
Military Vehicles Cartoon Books Thrillers & Mysteries Video Games Marketing Books Site Map

Copyright 2007 by David Ahl Send mail to Dave Ahl Chronological Bible on Sale Cheap! SwapMeetDave Home Page