1 CORINTHIANS 16 Print E-mail

1 CORINTHIANS – Chapter 16

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Sunday Evening Service – 6/2/13, the Year of Our Lord

 

Paul brings his letter to the Corinthians to a close, dealing briefly with a variety of matters which still require his attention.

 

I have such a good time journeying with the writer’s of the Holy Bible that I am always sad to see a study of a book end.  So since we are enjoying Paul’s preaching, and sharing his journeyings,   we will continue on into II Corinthians next week.

 

1 Cor. 16: 1-3:Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do you.  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.  When I come, whomsoever you shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your gifts to Jerusalem.”

 

We follow this practice of receiving offerings in this church.  Paul did not want to have to spend his valuable time taking offerings when he visited the local churches.  Visiting ministers to this church-fellowship are not to spend their time taking offerings, but minister the Word and minister to the people by the Spirit as the Lord leads.

 

At the great council held in Jerusalem, the apostle had committed himself to “remember the poor” among the members of the Jerusalem church. 

 

Their giving was to be based on the measure to which God had prospered them, not something they couldn’t really afford to give.  Paul didn’t want any fund-raising going on when he came to be with them.

 

1 Cor. 16: 5-9: “Now I will come to you, when I shall pass through Macedonia; for I do pass through Macedonia.  It may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that you may bring me on my journey wherever I go next.  I really want to spend some serious time with you, so I won’t be coming your way right now; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.  I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.  For a great door and effectual is opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”

 

Paul’s plans are fluid.  He would like to spend time with them, not merely to call while passing through.  However, he is not about to cut short his ministry because of the “great, effectual” door in Ephesus.  We don’t know what the door was, but we know the Lord has “great, effectual doors” open for his ministers in the Kingdom.  We all pray for those doors.  Also, it is “key” that we are advised there are many “adversaries” when these doors open.

 

Many in the churches today are “afraid” of the “adversaries” and never go through those “great and effectual doors”.  Fear is the opposite of Faith.  If Christians continue to operate in fear, satan will continue to take more and more of our liberties; persecute the church and the “elect” will end up sitting in a rocking chair fearful to move forward into the power of the Kingdom.  After all, they could lose “their reputations” (sarcasm intended).

 

1 Cor. 16: 10-11: “If Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he works the work of the Lord, as I also do.  Let no man therefore despise him; but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come to me; for I look for him with the brethren.”

 

Paul is saying make sure Timothy feels at home in their fellowship.  Paul led Timothy to the Lord on his second missionary journey and took the youngster to his heart as a dear son.

 

He became a traveling companion, as well as someone Paul could send on a mission.  It appears that Timothy was dispatched to Macedonia, probably as an “advance man,” and that he and Erastus would then journey south to Corinth.

 

Knowing that Timothy is a youth and of a timid temperament, Paul fears the Corinthians will be inclined to disrespect him, perhaps even frighten him.  Paul expects them to send the young man back to him, rejoicing. 

 

1 Cor. 16:12: “As touching our brother, Apollos, I greatly desired him to come to 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.”

 

We can only surmise the story around Apollos not wanting to go to Corinth.  The Corinthians liked Apollos.  Remember they tried to form a special “denomination” around him.  There is no doubt that they wanted to see him again and ask questions about some of Paul’s teachings.  Perhaps they hoped to play one against the other.

 

I have certainly seen that spirit raise its ugly head to try to separate me from ministries I have been in relationship for years.  Some due to their “egos” or “love of money” fell for the ploy, but others have had the maturity to avoid the trap.

 

It appears that Apollos was adamantly opposed to going.  He may well have felt that the situation in Corinth was too critical for him to handle.  The word for “will in this verse is “thelema” and means “God’s will”.

 

1 Cor. 16: 13-14: Four Imperatives:

 

1.  Watch you --keep your guard up and watch out for spiritual traps---a call to alertness. 

2.  Stand fast in the faith---Stay close to the Lord---Be stable.

3.  Be men, brave and strong---literally "act like men".

4.  Let everything you do be done in love---Love must dominate even in the fight.

 

The first four imperatives call for militant action, the last for Love.  The first two are defensive, the second offensive.

 

 

As we have seen, there was plenty to make one wary in the Corinthian church.  Nothing has changed in the church of the 21st century.   All of the traps of satan that ensnared the Corinthian church are still at work in the church of the 21st century.

 

With the air full of speculations and bickering; and the believers acting like children, Satan would jump on the turbulent situation to exploit it.  Unless the believers laid hold of the Lord and the basics Paul had deposited with them, believers could find themselves taking sides in controversies, and going along with carnal thinking.

 

1 Cor. 16: 15-16: “I beseech you, brethren (you know the house of Stephanas, that is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints).  That you submit yourselves to such, and to every one that helps with us, and labors.”

 

Paul has surely tried to install leadership in the Corinthian church, but was unsuccessful.  Leadership was impossible to establish, because everybody wanted to be chief.  Nobody wanted to be submissive to anyone.  The result was anarchy.  Apparently the Corinthians had not caught the import of Jesus’ words, “But you are not to be like that.  Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” (Luke 22:26).

 

The service to others was characterized by such men as Stephanas.  Now the others were to be subject to them, so creating an endless circle of mutual care and esteem; a certain remedy for division.  Those who serve, work and labor, gain Paul’s respect.  The last verb “kopiao” suggests toil involving fatigue; those who spent themselves for Christ and His people.

 

Their presence alone proved to the apostle that such men of sterling character, as servants of the Corinthian church, were God’s own guarantee of its ultimate stability and growth.

 

Yes, we are Sons of God!  That honorable “state of being” does not exempt us from being “servants”.  Yes, we have gone Beyond the Bride to birthing the Man-child and learning how to be the wife, but that does not exempt us from serving one another.

 

1 Cor. 16: 17-18:  “I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus; for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.  For they have refreshed my spirit and yours; therefore acknowledge and appreciate men like these.  I urge you to give them the recognition they deserve.”

 

These three men came to Ephesus from Corinth and brought him up to date on the situation in Corinth.  The three brought greetings of love to the apostle.  However, the situation in Corinth was not good as we will learn in II Cor.  Paul is commending the three men of doing a good job as official representatives of the church.

 

I will speak boldly that our awesome church, Eastgate Ministries, Inc. is filled with wonderful men and women of God of the spirit of Stephanas.

 

1 Cor. 16: 19-20:  The churches of Asia salute you; Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.  All the brethren greet you.  Greet one another with a holy kiss.”

 

Paul stayed in Ephesus for almost three years.  He trained pastors in his school and they fanned out over Asia establishing churches in different cities.  Asia is the name given to the Roman province that takes in much of western Turkey.  It was the original home of two of Paul’s closest friends, Aquilla and Priscilla.

 

They had settled in Rome, but were expelled by the Emperor Claudius and went to Corinth where they met Paul.  They were great co-workers with Paul in the Corinthian church, but when Paul left and settled in Ephesus, they went with him and worked with him there.  They were vigorous Christians, even risking their lives for Paul.  They opened their home as a meeting place for believers in that city.   They were very skilled in doctrine, having corrected Apollos’ thinking on certain basics of the faith.

 

In the Middle east, the custom of men kissing men was and still is common. 

 

1 Cor. 16: 21-24:  The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.  If any man loves not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema Maranatha.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.  Amen.

 

Having dictated the letter up to this point, the apostle pens the concluding sentences himself as a token of its genuineness. 

 

Anathema means “a curse be on him”.  Absence of Lord could have but one result.  Every cruse was broken at the cross.  However, it has to be apprehended by Faith, the Holy Spirit and the Blood of Jesus.  Anyone who has not received Jesus as their Lord and Savior and his precious blood, is still under the curse.

 

The only way into the grace of the New Covenant is to receive the blood, death, and resurrection of the Son of God.  Otherwise a man is still under the curse of the law.  I didn’t write this verse, Paul did!  I am only the messenger.

 

  The apostle has no patience with those whose hearts are casual or lukewarm toward the Lord.  He doesn’t see how any man can truly have Jesus and not have a heart that burns with love for Him.

 

There were some who wanted Paul out of the picture so they could run things. (Sad to say, I have met some of those folks along my journey as well).  This is the spirit of Jezebel and is still rampant in the carnal heart of ambition.  I have testimony after testimony of those who thought, “now she will step aside, and I will take-over).

 

Man doesn’t hire God’s servants and man can’t fire them.

 

Maranatha is an Aramaic word meaning “Our Lord, come”.  The word is an expression of the longing in hearts for the return of the Lord from all who love his appearing (Parousia).

 

The “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” is a phrase with which all Paul’s letters begin and end, not as a mere convention, but in the conviction of it sure supply and all sufficient power.

 

My love embracing all of you in Christ, ties into one the diverse strands of Paul’s deeply stirred emotions.  Rebuke, exhort, praise, counsel, scourge, encourage; do what he must---or they their worst---he will love them to the end.

 

This is the heart of a true Pastor and minister of the gospel of Christ.  We are always praying the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ grow everyone up into the Lord has chosen them to be.  When people fail, we rebuke, exhort, praise, counsel, scourge, encourage, do what we must---we still pray and believe for their redemption.  We never take it personal, if we do, satan has us ready for the slaughter.

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V.

 
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