1 Corinthians 16

1Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

1Co 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Notice Paul doesn't mention percentages. Everyone is to give according to how they have prospered. Here is another verse by Paul. This collection was to help the believers who was having hardship.  They were to willingly give to help those who were poor because of the gospel's sake.  All throughout history people who stood up for the truth of the gospel were deprived of personal property.  They suffered material loss because of their faith.  In those times, those who prospered were to willingly help those that suffered.  So much for the modern prosperity gospel.  Tell that to those who are in prison or who have had their property confiscated because they would not deny Christ. 

2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

First we give as we prosper and then as we purpose in our hearts. No percentages. Paul does say that he who sows sparingly will reap sparingly.

Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Our giving is not just money but we are to freely give what God has blessed us with.

Luk 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Still Jesus mentions no percentages. This is a freewill giving from the heart, not anything imposed or pressured. We are never to threaten, browbeat or even promise riches if one gives. 

Tithing is a good base to start with and I believe in giving tithes if it is by choice. I don't believe the New Testament teaches compulsory tithing. Tithing was the way the Israelites gave to the Levites and priests who were to distribute the tithes to others including the poor. It was mostly food and grain.  This might be a good system to support our pastors but it is never to be a law imposed on people.  I've actually heard preachers almost threaten God's judgment on people who don't tithe.  Where do they get that in the New Testament?  It might be a good idea and a good system to run the church but never is it to be forced by intimidation.  That takes away all the joy that comes from giving because we love.  I don't want to be robbed of giving because I want to give.  I don't want to give because I'm afraid not to or because I think I'm going to get rich in return.  Remember also the New Testament says just as much about giving to the needy as it does about giving to preachers of the gospel.  When Jesus says to give, He doesn't just mean our pastors.  Yet, if we walked in the law of love, we would never desire our pastors to be in want.

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying. I like the tithing system.  I'm all for it. I tithe myself. I just believe in tithing because I love my pastor and want to support him.  It is a shame to see a church live in luxury and a pastor struggle to pay his bills.  What I'm against is scaring people into tithing or promising them riches if they tithe.  I believe in teaching them to give from their hearts and also not neglect the poor.  Some small churches suffer because people do not tithe and give.  If we stop supporting our local churches, they will eventually die out.

We now live by love where we give because we love. That means that if we are down to the last dollar we don't have to support the rich TV preachers who have two or three houses and many fine cars. At the same time a congregation that has nice homes and allows their pastor to live in a dump could not be living by any law of love. For example. Why begrudge a pastor's wife a new dishwasher if we have a dishwasher?  It is actually fun to give if it is done in love. 

1Co 16:3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

1Co 16:4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

1Co 16:5 Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.

1Co 16:6 And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.

1Co 16:7 For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.

1Co 16:8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.

1Co 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

Paul had many doors opened to him to preach the gospel but had many adversaries to hinder his purpose. I'm glad the Lord and His people will win in the end. It doesn't matter how many try to stop the gospel, in the end the righteous will reign and the rebellious will be destroyed.

1Co 16:10 Now if Timothy come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.

1Co 16:11 Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.

1Co 16:12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto 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.

1Co 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Col 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

2Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

1Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Hold fast, contend for the faith, watch and pray until the Lord returns again.

1Co 16:14 Let all your things be done with charity.

All the commandments can be kept if all would be make perfect in love.

1Co 16:15 I beseech you, brethren, ye (know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

1Co 16:16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboreth.

1Co 16:17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.

1Co 16:18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.

When we meet together to pray and exhort one another, it is a refreshing.  This is part of walking in love and caring one for another.

1Co 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

1Co 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with a holy kiss.

1Co 16:21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.

1Co 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

This means bound for destruction. That may sound harsh but we must remember the great price that was paid in order to buy eternal life for all who would believe. After God offered up His own beloved Son, allowed Him to suffer, not only physical torture and death, but had to endure all our ugly filthy sin upon His own sinless body. He paid the price for our sin even though He did no sin. He took our place and in doing so made a way that we can be forgiven of sin and made free from sin. If we repent of sin and accept this free gift, we will be resurrected from the dead just as He was and we will have eternal life. After all this, if some still reject and refuse but choose rather to remain in their sins, their sins will take them to an eternal hell. Sin takes us there but God made a way for us to escape. If we refuse God's life raft, it is to our own peril.

1Co 16:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

1Co 16:24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

 

11 Corinthians 1

 
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