Paul asks them to take up a collection for the believers in Jerusalem. He shares his missionary travel plans. He gives final instructions, and concludes. [UPDATED]
SUMMARY: Paul asked the believers in Corinth to take up a collection for the believers in Jerusalem. They were to plan ahead for this by saving a portion each time they got paid. This is the concept of Planned Giving.
VERSE 1. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I commanded the assemblies of Galatia, you do likewise.
the collection for the saints. Paul was taking up a collection for the believers in Jerusalem. Corinth would support Jerusalem.
the assemblies of Galatia. The churches in Galatia were taking part in this collection as well.
Why was Paul taking up this collection? It probably stems from a request that the apostles made of Paul. It was during his second visit to Jerusalem.
They acknowledged that Paul was entrusted with the Good News for the Gentiles. They gave Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, and they made a request:
Galatians 2:10. They only asked us to remember the poor—which very thing I was also zealous to do.
The expression “the poor” is probably code for “the Christian believers in Jerusalem.” The apostles were probably asking Paul to send them money.
VERSE 2. On the first day of every week, let each one of you save, as he may prosper, that no collections are made when I come.
The believers in Corinth might not have been familiar with a collection like this. So Paul gives them a plan for how to do it:
On the first day of the week. This probably means “when you get paid.”
let each one of you save. From their “paycheck” they are to set aside a certain amount. They are to save it for when Paul arrives.
no collections be made when I come. The collection is to be completed by the time Paul arrives. It is not to be a spontaneous collection.
This shows us the concept of planned giving. It is not spontaneous. Rather, it is planned ahead of time. It happens on a regular basis. It correlates to one’s income.
VERSE 3. When I arrive, I will send whoever you approve with letters to carry your gracious gift to Jerusalem.
I will send whoever you approve. Paul will not carry their gift. They will.
with letters. Paul will write a letter explaining this gift from Corinth. It wll be addressed to the apostles in Jerusalem.
Paul has set up some great financial accountability:
First, people could not accuse Paul of swindling their gift. It never came into his possession. He did not collect it, and he did not transmit it.
Second, the letter Paul will write to the apostles will probably tell them how much they should be receiving. That way, the individuals who are carrying the gift cannot swindle it.
VERSE 4. If it is appropriate for me to go also, they will go with me.
VERSE 5. But I will come to you when I have passed through Macedonia, for I am passing through Macedonia.
VERSE 6. But with you it may be that I will stay, or even winter, that you may send me on my journey wherever I go.
or even winter. Paul might spend the upcoming winter with them.
VERSE 7. For I do not wish to see you now in passing, but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.
until Pentecost. This refers to the Jewish celebration of Pentecost, and not the contemporary Christian simulation of Pentecost.
VERSE 9. for a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
VERSE 10. Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without fear, for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.
if Timothy comes. Paul sometimes sent his close assistant Timothy to act in his name.
VERSE 11. Therefore let no one despise him. But set him forward on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brothers.
VERSE 12. Now concerning Apollos, the brother, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brothers; and it was not at all his desire to come now; but he will come when he has an opportunity.
NIV translation: Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from First Corinthians.
VERSE 14. Let all that you do be done in love.
VERSE 15. Now I beg you, brothers—you know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have set themselves to serve the saints—
the first fruits of Achaia. They were among the first converts in the region.
VERSE 16. that you also be in subjection to such, and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.
VERSE 17. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus; for that which was lacking on your part, they supplied.
VERSE 18. For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge those who are like that.
VERSE 19. The assemblies of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you much in the Lord, together with the assembly that is in their house.
the assembly that is in their house. In those days, Christians met in each other’s homes. They did not have buildings.
VERSE 20. All the brothers greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
In those days, letters were often dictated to a scribe. However, the author might add a greeting in his own hand. Paul did that:
Colossians 4:18. The salutation of me, Paul, with my own hand: remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
1 Corinthians 16:21. This greeting is by me, Paul, with my own hand.
Galatians 6:11. See with what large letters I write to you with my own hand.
2 Thessalonians 3:17. The greeting of me, Paul, with my own hand, which is the sign in every letter: this is how I write.
love. The Greek word is “hphilei.” It is related to the Greek word philêmata, which means “kiss.”
let him be cursed. Paul is referring to the false brethren. He invokes God’s wrath on them.
VERSE 23. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
VERSE 24. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.