1st Corinthians 16 Building Biblical Church Culture
Paul ends this letter to the Corinthian Church with some specific instructions that give us principles for how we should do things here at Midtown Church.
This whole letter is full of building blocks for a Biblical Church Culture.
The purpose of this scripture is to give them & us clear direction for Christ’s church
1 Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia. 2 On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.
- This is the Scripture that sets the cultural standard in Christ’s body for giving
- Giving / allocating is to be done regularly
- The longer you have it the better chance you will spend it
- This is a prescription for how we should give. Why?
3 When I come, I will write letters of recommendation for the messengers you choose to deliver your gift to Jerusalem. 4 And if it seems appropriate for me to go along, they can travel with me.
- The norm is not to just give, but to be involved in the ministry
- Working with others in our church and others is how ministry is to be done:
5 I am coming to visit you after I have been to Macedonia, for I am planning to travel through Macedonia. 6 Perhaps I will stay awhile with you, possibly all winter, and then you can send me on my way to my next destination.
- This is an example of on-going involvement as a church with other ministries
- Taking the time to build relationships that honor Christ
7 This time I don’t want to make just a short visit and then go right on. I want to come and stay awhile, if the Lord will let me. 8 In the meantime, I will be staying here at Ephesus until the Festival of Pentecost. 9 There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.
- Paul is an example of investing in others based on being led by God
- Working hard where you are, looking for the next opportunity
- Opportunities to serve God will come with Opposition: Paul trusts God
10 When Timothy comes, don’t intimidate him. He is doing the Lord’s work, just as I am. 11 Don’t let anyone treat him with contempt. Send him on his way with your blessing when he returns to me. I expect him to come with the other believers.
- There may be people doing ‘The Lord’s Work’ that you don’t think should be in that position
- Proper authority structures are put in place by Christ to lead HIS church
- The standard is that people will be sent with Timothy to do missionary work
12 Now about our brother Apollos—I urged him to visit you with the other believers, but he was not willing to go right now. He will see you later when he has the opportunity. 13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love.
- The Corinthians were big fans of Apollos, they want him to come, so did Paul
- Apollos had to do what Christ wanted, not what the Corinthians wanted
- The exhortation is to do what Apollos stood for in his absence (Grow Yourself)
- This echoes previous messages: Love has to be the overriding influence in life
15 You know that Stephanas and his household were the first of the harvest of believers in Greece, and they are spending their lives in service to God’s people. I urge you, dear brothers and sisters, 16 to submit to them and others like them who serve with such devotion.
- Stephanas was an example of one who came to Christ and poured out his life
- God’s Leaders (proved by the laying down of their lives) are to be followed
- Why are the Corinthians not in tune with God’s chosen leadership?
- Apollos was the flasher, more accomplished leader, but God placed Stephanas
17 I am very glad that Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus have come here. They have been providing the help you weren’t here to give me. 18 They have been a wonderful encouragement to me, as they have been to you. You must show your appreciation to all who serve so well.
- These Corinthian men had brought the questions to Paul from the Corinthians
- These are men who were surrendered to Christ and the work of the Gospel
- Christ’s Churches are to show appreciation to those who sacrifice like this
19 The churches here in the province of Asia send greetings in the Lord, as do Aquila and Priscilla and all the others who gather in their home for church meetings. 20 All the brothers and sisters here send greetings to you. Greet each other with a sacred kiss.
- There is to be fellowship with other groups of believers
- They know each other well enough to really care about each other
21 HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL. 22 If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come! 23 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus.
- This letter was dictated by Paul, he wanted to be sure they knew it was from him
- This statement is much like what Jesus says in Matthew 12:31
“So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.”
How do you give? Do you see a Scriptural imperative to do what is being prescribed?
How are you getting involved in ministry besides giving monetarily?
What investments in Midtown are you making right now? What are you planning to do?
Are you in tune with what the leadership of Midtown is doing? Why or why not?