Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 16
The final chapter in a wonderful book!
1 Corinthians 16
In this last chapter of 1 Corinthians we have some concluding remarks.
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
So Paul is now telling the church at Corinth to make a collection, an offering, for the poor church at Jerusalem. Again we see that ALL believers are called saints. The way it's phrased it sounds like this is something he had already mentioned to them.
A collection was also taken from the churches in the region of Galatia, and it's likely this instruction happened in Acts 16:6 or Acts 18:23. It's alluded to in Galatians 2:10.
A collection was needed because of the poverty and persecution there, Hebrews 10:34. Also see Romans 15:26-27.
It's a good lesson that churches should help each other out during difficult times.
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.
Upon the first day of the week is when the church met, just like today. This is Sunday, the day Jesus rose from the dead, and called the Lord's Day in Revelation 1:10.
According as GOD has prospered each person. First we see that every person in the church should be giving. Second we see that all we have comes from the Lord.
Paul wants this done ahead of time so people aren't scrambling to come up with donations while he's there. If you've read the rest of 1 Corinthians you know that there were more important matters that needed to be dealt with!
3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
"The Corinth church’s absolute independency or autonomy is here recognized by Paul. He indicates that the church had both the independent right and obligation to choose their own servants or messengers to carry their gift to the Jerusalem saints." - Garner-Howes
Note the difference of sentence construction and comma placement between different translations such as the ASV or NASB. I take this verse to mean that the church at Corinth will send letters to Paul concerning whom they have chosen, and when Paul comes he will appoint their chosen delegates.
4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
If it be determined that it would be helpful or proper to go with the delegates to Jerusalem, Paul will go with them.
5 Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.
Paul was writing this letter from Ephesus (v. 8), but letting them know he would take a slightly longer route going through Macedonia (northern Greece) first on his way to Corinth.
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.
Apparently Paul did stay there. See Acts 20:1-3.
7 For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.
8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.
He doesn't want to just see them briefly but to plan for an extended stay. For now he will stay at Ephesus where this letter was written.
I like how it reads, "if the Lord permit." We should always have the same attitude.
James 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
It seems like having many enemies was his reason for abiding longer in Ephesus! Enemies need the gospel as well, and when the gospel is preached, enemies will appear.
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.
Take care of Timothy. He was a young man, doing the Lord's work (1 Timothy 4:12). When he comes and when he leaves, take care of him and respect him.
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.
Perhaps the Corinthians wanted to see Apollos and thought maybe Paul was holding him back from visiting them because of the factions that had developed in the church (1 Corinthians 1:12, 3:4-5, etc).
Apparently there were some circumstances that delayed Apollos' return to Corinth.
Acts 18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
Also see Acts 18:24-19:1.
Some people speculate that Apollos wrote the book of Hebrews.
13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
A great stand alone verse. Behave like men and be strong!
After reading this epistle you can see why this exhortation would be particularly relevant.
14 Let all your things be done with charity.
Another great stand alone verse. Let everything be done out of love for God and each other. If you miss this you miss it all.
See 1 Peter 1:22 for similar instruction.
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,)
So the household of Stephanus were strong believers and baptized by Paul (1 Corinthians 1:16). I love how it says "they have addicted themselves" meaning they set themselves towards Christian service. We should be addicted to the things of God as well.
16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.
"The submission here recommended does not imply obedience, but kind and courteous demeanour." - Adam Clarke
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.
It is likely that by these three the reports of Corinth came to Paul and letters from the Corinthians asking for his advice.
1 Thessalonians 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you.
19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
The churches of Asia because that's where Paul is writing this, in Ephesus on the coast of modern day Turkey.
Aquila and Pricilla were Jews that had come from Italy, were tent-makers like Paul, and they were great Christians that risked their lives for Paul and others (Romans 16:3-4).
Note that the church met at their house. All Christian churches initially met in homes.
20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.
A holy kiss would be a token of affection in greeting brethren in Christ.
21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.
Paul wrote this himself, he didn't dictate to a scribe.
22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
For those that don't love the Lord, we could roughly translate this to, let him be accursed in the coming of the Lord. It could be more broken up and just mean, curse that person, and the Lord is coming.
Remember how the coming of the Lord is described in 2 Thessalonians 1.
2 Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
This letter ends with Love from God and love from brother to brethren.