1 Corinthians 16

These notes are based on the NASB text.

16:1 Now concerning the collection with the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.

Paul urged the Corinthians to participate in an offering “for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem (Romans 15:26). This offering is also mentioned in 2 Corinthians 8-9, Galatians 2:10, and in Romans 15:25-29. The fund-raising project must have been successful as seen in Romans 15:25-29, written after 1 Corinthians. Paul suggested a practical plan for the collection of monies.

16:2 On the first day of every week let each of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.

[A] “On the first day of the week” suggests that each member of the congregation was to come to worship on the Lord’s Day prepared to contribute to the offering. Giving was to be worshipful and systematic.

[B] “let each of you put aside and save” suggests that each member of the congregation was to participate, rich and poor alike. They were to set some monies aside and bring them to their assembly on the Lord’s Day.

[C] “as he may prosper” suggests that giving was to be proportionate. People were expected to give according to their income and means. Those that had more should certainly give more.

16:3 And when I arrive, whomever you may approve, I shall send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem;

16:4 and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me.

Paul believed in the proper handling of money. He encouraged the church to select a “finance committee” to handle and deliver their gift to Jerusalem.

16:5 But I shall come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia;

16:6 and perhaps I shall stay with you, or even spend the winter, that you may send me on my way wherever I may go.

16:7 For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits.

Paul had mentioned that he would visit Corinth in 1 Corinthians 11:34. He was at Ephesus when he wrote to the Corinthians and hoped to spend the winter with them and then travel to Jerusalem with their offering for the poor saints.

16:8 But I shall remain in Ephesus until Pentecost;

16:9 for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

Paul was a good stewardship of the opportunities God placed before him. He would remain in Ephesus and preach Christ. As with all opportunities and open doors, there is the prospect of danger and opposition. Such was the case for Paul. (Refer back to 1 Corinthians 15:32).

16:10 Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to be afraid; for he is doing the Lord’s work, as I also am.

16:11 Let no one therefore despise him. But send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brethren.

Paul advised the Corinthians to encourage Timothy, a young man with great potential in the Lord’s work. Though he was young, they were not to despise him. See also 1 Timothy 4:12.

16:12 But concerning Apollos our brother, I encouraged him greatly to come to you with the brethren; and it was not at all his desire to come now, but he will come when he has opportunity.

See Acts 18:24-28 for more information about Apollos. Paul encouraged Apollos to return to and minister in Corinth.

16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.

This is good advice for any church!

[A] Be on the alert” – be watchful and vigilant. See 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

[B] “stand firm in the faith” – do not be “tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine,by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14).

[C] “act like men” – do not remain “babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1) but rather put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11).

[D] “be strong”

[E] “Let all that you do be done in love.” See 1 Corinthians 13:1 – 14:1.

16:15 Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints),

16:16 that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.

Stephanas and his household were the first converts in Achaia and were baptized by Paul (see 1 Corinthians 1:16). They were faithful workers in the Lord’s work worthy of the respect of the church.

16:17 And I rejoice over the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus; because they have supplied what was lacking on your part.

16:18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.

Stephanas and Fortunatas and Achaicus visited Paul in Ephesus. They probably delivered the letter from the church to Paul and likely delivered Paul’s response to the church. They conferred with him about church matters and refreshed his spirit as well.

16:19 The churches of Asia [located in what is now part of Turkey] greet you. Aquila and Prisca [an alternate spelling of Priscilla] greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house [church buildings not bilt until third century].

Aquila and Priscilla were a husband-wife team. Paul met them in Corinth. Like Paul, they too, were tent-makers (Acts 18:1-3). They are mentioned six times in the New Testament.

16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

The “holy kiss” was an expression of brotherly love. Men kissed men and women kissed women.

16:21 The greeting is in my own hand – Paul.

Paul added his personal signature to the letter which he had dictated to a secretary (an amanuensis). See also Galatians 6:11 and 2 Thessalonians 3:17.

16:22 If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed. Maranatha.

Maranatha means “O Lord, come.” This expressed the hope of believers.

16:23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.

16:24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Paul closed this tough letter in a tender way.

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