Our last reading in 1 Corinthians: 1 Cor 16:13-24
v13: Paul is in Ephesus and is facing severe opposition. In the midst of all that Paul is facing, he pens this verse to the Corinthians.
- Watch: This is a word that Yeshua frequently said to His disciples – especially in regard to the last days. This is a word of warning. It’s a word of being observant, expectant of prophetic happenings or events. We’re supposed to be watching so that we can discern what G-d is up to, so that we can participate in the work that He is doing.
- Stand fast in the faith: From a Hebrew perspective the word ‘faith’ and the word ‘truth’ are derived from the same root. If we are standing firm in the faith, it means that we allow the truth of G-d to be the foundation in our lives. At times (especially in the culture we find ourselves in now) this may mean that we need to speak out, warn people when things are not Biblically sound. In the last days, false teaching is going to get worse, it is going to become more prevalent and abundant. These false teachings are going to come from within the body of believers (see the book of Jude). We need to watch out for false doctrine and stand for truth.
- Be brave, be strong: We need to be people of integrity, not manipulated. We don’t submit to wrong things simply to avoid opposition. We don’t change Biblical views for popular views.
v14: Let all…be done with love: All of our works need to be done out of love.
v15: I urge you: Paul frequently exhorted and encouraged people.
- The household of Stephanas: 1 Cor 1:16. A house could also be another name for a congregation. Most of the congregations were in homes. This could be referring to both Stephanus’ family as well as to the congregation that met in his house (the firstfruit – the first of its kind in Achaia).
- Devoted: Addicted. It’s a word of commitment. To be given over to something. To put yourself in subjection to something. Ministering to the saints was a passion for these people. It was their faith in the gospel of Messiah that caused them to be committed to the Kingdom of G-d – they poured out their lives into ministering to other believers.
v16: Paul called on them to submit to those who had devoted themselves to whole heartedly doing the work of the L-rd.
v17: Lacking: These men provided for or filled up what was missing or what was empty.
v18: Refreshed: They brought a quietness or a stopping to any anxiety, stress, or pressure that Paul might have felt as they dealt with any concerns he may have had.
- Acknowledge such men: Recognise their authority, their call, their service. G-d equipped them for that purpose.
v19: Aquila and Priscilla: A husband and wife team.
- Greet you heartily: This is not just a greeting to say ‘hi’. This is a greeting that conveyed to the readers of this letter that Aquilla and Priscilla prayed for their well- being and the purposes of G-d to be fulfilled in their lives (G-d’s shalom/peace to be with and on them).
v20: Greet one another with a holy kiss: We need to express our compassion, our love, our desire for other individuals to be blessed. We need to show or give others a token of our affection to them.
v21: Paul puts his own personal touch on this letter.
v22: Love: This is not the word ‘agape’ but is the word ‘phileo’ – loving Yeshua with a brotherly or affectionate kind of love. We want to submit to Yeshua not out of obligation but out of true affection (phileo) for Him.
- Accursed: Anathema. If we do not like and are not committed (submitted) to how Yeshua leads us, His purposes, etc then this verse says we need to be cut off – cursed.
- Oh L-rd, come: Maranatha. Part of this word refers to the L-rd as having unbelievably high respect – our Master. Another part of this word, originally from Aramaic, means ‘to come’. Paul uses this term for the Master coming to judge those who stand against His L-rdship, His ways and purposes.
v23: Grace saves, but grace also helps us to live in the way that Yeshua wants us to live (Titus 2:11-13)
v24: Love: Paul now uses the word ‘agape’.
- Amen: This means ‘all these things are true’ – we can believe what Paul has written to us as they are truth.