1 Corinthians 16


The Collection for God’s People

16     Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.

Paul writes a lot about giving but doesn’t specifically mention tithing. He does mention giving in proportion to one’s income, and in 2 Corinthians 9 he specifically says to give what you have decided in your heart to give, and not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. If he meant “10%” he would have just said so.

Some might use that as an excuse not to give 10%, but I think we should challenge ourselves to willingly and cheerfully give that much and more. Most in the U.S. are in the richest 2% of people who have ever lived, and God expected the poorest Israelite to tithe. I do not say that to make someone feel guilty, but to make them think about how much they might enjoy giving to their church and to other legitimate ministries that meet people’s physical and spiritual needs. We’ll have all of eternity to consider how we used the money God gave us in this short life.

Personal Requests

5 After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. 6 Perhaps I will stay with you awhile, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.

10 If Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. 11 No one, then, should refuse to accept him. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.

12 Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.

13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.

 I assume that meant “agape” love, the highest form of love where we put the interests of others above our own interests. That kind of love may mean involve tough messages, not patronizing, indulgent love.

15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers, 16 to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it. 17 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.

Final Greetings

19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. 20 All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

21 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.

22 If anyone does not love the Lord—a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.

24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.




5 Responses

  1. There is not a shred of evidence which says that God expected the “poor Israelite to tithe.”

    Although money was common even in Genesis and was required for worship it was never included in any of the 16 texts which describe the contents of the tithe. Tithes were always only food from inside Israel and could not come from pagans or pagan lands.

    The poor and those who earned their livelihood from non-farm occupations were among tithers.

    New Covenant giving after Calvary is: freewill, sacrificial, generous, joyful, regular and motivated by love for man and God. That is sufficient to meet the church’s needs unless the pastor has stopped emphasizing personal evangelism.

    Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

  2. What did Paul want to say about tithing?
    If you want to know more listen to a prophetic word by Zac Poonen about tithing
    [audio src="http://www.cfcindia.net/through_bible/48.%201%20Corinthians-1.mp3" /]

  3. After reading Russell Earl Kelly’s comment about tithing, I was wondering if anyone was going to address the tithing issue. Sharon, thanks for the link. I’d never heard of Zac Poonen. I listened to his entire message and really enjoyed it. Thank you again for sharing that.

    Any other thoughts about tithing, anyone?

  4. I thnk this area is so easy to fall into legalism: 10%, must meet the church’s needs, this group does, this group does not, etc. Tithing really comes down to the heart condition as Jesus taught with every sermon. It is not about the empty shell of your actions but what is your heart is saying when you do them.
    The direct example is the rich man and poor woman – the rich man gave out of abundance and his need for recoginition by fellow man. If he gave secretly the same amount, it would have made ALL the difference in the world in terms of his heart condition. The woman gave secretly AND sacrificially – two key ingredients that remark on her heart condition.

  5. Hi JL,

    Good point, thanks!

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