The Book of 1 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 16 Part 1

Our first reading this week is from 1 Cor 16:1-12
In this chapter Paul briefly summarizes a few of the remaining things that he needed to deal with. He wanted to set things in order in this congregation so that they could be fruitful in serving G-d.
v1: The collection for the saints: This was a collection taken up specifically for ministry purposes. It was not a normal offering/tithe. This congregation was collecting funds to send to the church in Jerusalem. 
·      Saints: Fellow believers. 
·      As I have given orders to the churches of Galatia: Paul’s instructions were consistent. There should be consistency, or uniformity, in how we behave in our congregations that belong to Messiah Yeshua. 
v2: Week: This word is not translated literally in the NKJV. It should be translated ‘Sabbath’. The word ‘Shabbat’ or ‘Sabbath’ has several different meanings or definitions. One definition of Shabbat (seen in both the New Covenant as well as in Judaism) is that it can be interpreted to mean a week (ie a seven day period).  The ‘first of Shabbat’ is talking about the first day of the week (ie Sunday). In Biblical culture (and even today in many places around the world) this was a working day and not the day of worship. Traditionally, money was not dealt with on the Sabbath – the day of worship. Paul here is talking about a normal work day – not a special time of assembly. 
·      Lay something aside: On the first day of work, when they received their wages, they were to set aside whatever they had personally determined (a conscious and well thought out decision) to give in order to participate in this collection or offering (Paul didn’t ask them to give at the end of the week when they could see how much they had left over, ie the dregs). 
·      First: Shows priority and not simply an afterthought. 
·      That there be no collections when I come: Paul did not want to take time to do a formal offering when he came to see them. 
v3: Whomever you approve by your letters: Paul wanted a written basis for what he was going to do. These letters were not just to approve those who were going to take that money to Jerusalem, but also most scholars see these letters as disclosing the  amount that was to be sent so that everything was documented (not because of mistrust – these were trusted or approved people- but for the sake of accountability and doing everything decently and in order).
·      Bear your gift: This confirms that this money was not a tithe toward the work in Corinth but was a love offering for those in the church in Jerusalem. 
v4: If it is fitting: Paul is showing humility or a submissive spirit. If they approved Paul to go he would then also go (together with the other approved people) to take this gift to Jerusalem on their behalf. 
v5: Paul emphasizes here that on his journey he is going to go through Macedonia. He feels a call to go through this location.
v6: I will remain: Paul was hoping to not just pass-through Corinth, but he wanted to possibly stay with them for a certain amount of time (through winter). 
·      Send me on my journey: He is wanting this congregation to assist him or equip him for the next leg of his journey. Paul is letting this congregation know, in advance, what his expectations of them are. 
v7: I do not wish to see you now: He does not feel that it’s the right time to visit Corinth in regard to his current traveling. 
·      If the L-rd permits: We again see Paul’s submission. He has decisions to make and he’s listening to the L-rd. He wants the L-rd’s permission in what he is doing and in where he is going, in how to pass through and in how long to stay. Paul’s desire is to be led by the L-rd, and not do things of his own accord. He wants to submit to the L-rd’s plans and purposes. 
v8-9: Paul is going to stay in Ephesus for a while because there is a great gospel opportunity (an open door) there, but there is also great opposition to the work that he is doing. 
v10: If Timothy comes: Often, if Paul could not get to a place, he would send someone else to go and serve in his stead. In this case his go-to fellow servant was Timothy. Paul loved Timothy and was impressed with his labours and workmanship.
·      Without fear: Paul didn’t want Timothy to have any concerns or worries when he was with the Corinthians. 
·      He does the workas I do: Paul commended Timothy to this congregation. Timothy was a fruit of Paul’s labour, and he carried out the same purposes, the same ministry, that Paul himself did. 
v11: Let no one despise him: This is again another commendation of Timothy. Paul did not want anyone to think little of Timothy. He wanted them to respond to his work, his call, his authority. Paul wanted them to be submissive to Timothy. 
·      Waiting: Paul was eagerly expecting or waiting for Timothy. 
v12: Quite unwilling: Paul uses strong words to tell them that Apollos won’t come to them yet, despite the fact that Paul wanted him to go at that time. 
·      When he has a convenient time: When he has opportunity. 

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