1 Corinthians 16:1-24
“With Regards…”
Date: 20-Feb-11
Purpose (Why am I teaching this lesson? What effect did the writer expect it to have on the recipients?)
The purpose of this lesson is to understand the active responsibility of being a believer

Theme (What central idea does this passage communicate?)
Conclusionary exhortations

Introduction
Review & Homework:
Outline
A. Salutations & Reminders (v1:1-1:9)
B. Divisions within the church (v1:10-4:21)
C. …of conduct unbecoming a believer (v5:1-13) {church discipline}
D. Dealing with offenses in The Body (v6:1-11)
E. The bondage of sexual sin (v6:12-20)
 – Now For The Matters You Wrote About —
F. Marriage, Divorce & Singleness (v7:1-40)
G. Christian Liberty (v8:1-11:1)
H. Order in Worship (v11:2-14:40)
I. On Resurrection (v15:1-58)
Ü J. Conclusion (v16:1-24)
   1. A collection for the poor (v1-4)
   2. Paul’s plans to visit (v5-12)
   3. Final Exhortations (v13-24)
Homework
  • Read 1 Corinthians 16
  • Review your notes and come prepared to share how God used this study of 1 Corinthians to speak to you.

Nine months ago I embarked on leading this study in the book of 1 Corinthians.  You may not recall, but the first week I had planned to cover the first 9 verses of chapter 1.  They were all salutary verses, obligatory in a letter.  In 1½ hours we did not make it past verse 3.  The reason?

We were trying to understand why Paul, with all sincerity of heart would call those in Corinth SAINTS.  There is no doubt to any scholar that this letter was written to a bunch of misfits.  They were divisive.  They were selfish.  They were greedy, immoral, self-righteous and proud.  They brought the ways of their culture into their church.  They abused the grace of God with all forms of license.  The women flaunted their independence at God’s order.  The men had no qualms about taking their fellow believers to court to get what was due them, or practicing the immoral ways of their culture.  They were out for themselves.

Paul called them saints.

I could take the self-righteous approach and reproach them for things I would never do.  But you know what? I have committed many of the exact offenses.  I am in their class.

Positionally I am a saint.  Functionally I am a sinner.  A saint that sins.  Not pretty but the truth of my identity is clear.  My real issue in this life is to live up to my calling.  It’s not where I’m at, it’s where I am going.  Life is forward moving, not static, not backward motion.  Time only moves in one direction and it never stops.
The Text
Scripture
Observation
1 Corinthians 16:1-4
A collection for the poor

1 Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do.
2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.
4 If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.

¿: Why is Paul advising to set some aside every week?
¿: If they used this method, who was going to be credited with the giving, the individuals or the church?
Ü ¿: How would this collection aid Paul’s thesis of the letter (cf. 1 Cor 1:10)
¿: In what cases do you think it would seem advisable that Paul to go with the gift?
¿: Who was the gift intended for? Why?

God’s people” (read other xlations) = “the saints”
Read Romans 15:25-27
Ü ¿: Who was the collection for?
Ü The poor are called saints
Ü ¿: When Jews from all over the Roman empire were in Jerusalem at Pentecost who supported the thousands who came to the Lord?

On the first day of every week” – giving was part of their worship

¿: How much were they to give?
Üin keeping with his income”, “not grudgingly or from compulsion” (cf. 2 Cor. 9:7), “give and it will be given to you..” (cf. Luke 6:38), “sow bountifully…” (2 Cor 9:6)
Ü The “tithe” was an Old Testament system of taxation of support for the temple/levites – and the nation.  When you read all the taxes imposed regularly, at special times and over multi-year periods it amounted to about 23%.
Ü The Lord loves a cheerful and sacrificial giver, not one who gives of their excess OR one who gives because they are “supposed to.”

If it seems advisable for me to go
Ü Paul only wanted to go if the gift was generous, and not embarrassing?
Ü Paul only wanted to go if the funds collected were so much as to require his presence for added security?

¿: What does 1 John 3:17-18 say about our attitude toward a brother/sister in Christ?
1 Corinthians 16:5-12
Paul’s plans to visit

5 After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia.
6 Perhaps I will stay with you awhile, or even spend the winter, so that you can help  me on my journey, wherever I go.
7 I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.
8 But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost,
9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.

Applicable truths present in these verses:
  • Paul made plans for the future (didn’t live life haphazardly)
  • His plans left room for God to alter them (our original understanding of the Lord’s will may not have been complete or even correct)
  • Paul didn’t want to “just make an appearance,” he wanted to spend quality/quantity time (we should not take on a ministry without being willing to thoroughly prepare and work at it)
  • Sensitivity to God’s independent call on other believers (Apollos did not feel it was God’s time after Paul’s urging)

so that you can help me” – Paul was inviting himself to their help
Ü ¿: How would this be received today?

10 If Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am.
11 No one, then, should refuse to accept him. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.

¿: What would Timothy fear? [disrespect because of age cf. 1 Tim 4:12]
If the church did not pay full attention to Paul’s authority, how much less young Timothy’s?

¿: Compared to Paul and his mighty stature, how was Timothy to be treated?

12 Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.

Paul wanted Apollos to go with Timothy, perhaps the maturity would be huge asset to Timothy.  Paul respected Apollos even though he himself “strongly urged” Apollos to change his mind.

An important lesson: even though someone of Paul’s stature urges us – it’s the Lord’s prompting we should follow. Give weight, but always seek God’s wisdom.
1 Corinthians 16:13-24
Final Exhortations

13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
14 Do everything in love.

¿: What five admonitions does Paul give here?
Be on guard:
for subtleties of satan – cf. 1 Peter 5:8-9
for temptation – cf. Mark 14:38
against apathy – cf. Rev 3:1-3
for false teachers – cf. 2 Tim. 4:3-5
Stand firm:
To doctrine – cf. 1 Cor 15:1; 2 Thess. 2:15 – scripture is far more than a “commentary” on views how someone long ago lived.
Men of courage – “act like men” (NASB)
“Shall I come to you with a rod?” – 1 Cor. 4:21
Be strong:
Our strength comes from God.  Spiritual strength comes from self-sacrifice, self-denial, & self discipline – Phil. 4:13
In Love:
Love keeps our firmness from becoming hardness
Love keeps our strength from becoming domineering
Love keeps our standing firm on doctrine from becoming dogmatism


Achaia
uh-KEE-uh
15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers,
16 to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it.
17 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you.
18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.
19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.
20 All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

21 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord—a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.

These closing words are not simply niceties.  These are God’s words recorded for a divine purpose.  “All Scripture is profitable…” (2 Tim. 3:16)

In his conclusion to this letter, Paul intermingles his exhortations with all the ways love is exemplified:
  • In his evangelism of Stephanas as the first convert in Achaia
  • In the service of ministry for the saints
    15bthat they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints (KJV)
  • In submission, not only to leaders but to all who faithfully labor in the Lord
  • In true, refreshing, renewing companionship with fellow believers
  • In recognition of God’s servants
  • In hospitable love
  • In affection

The main part of the letter would have been dictated to a scribe.  Paul finished and signed the letter himself to establish the letter’s authenticity.

a curse be on him.. Come, O Lord” – God come and remove them before they cause harm to the body.  This can be taken as an admonition to submit the Christ before He returns and the chance is lost forever.

Paul ends the letter with the blessing of Grace and Love.  He began the letter with Grace and Peace (v1:3)

Conclusion
Personal Application:
Homework: Pass out outline
¿: How has God used this study in the letter to the church at Corinth to speak to you?
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