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© Rosemary Bardsley 2015


Read verses 1-4. List Paul’s instructions about the collection.







The matter of the collection of money for the needy Christians [literally, ‘the saints’ - verse 1] in Jerusalem [verse 3] was either one of the questions the Corinthians had asked Paul, or a topic previously mentioned by Paul, or both.

Check these scriptures about giving to Christians in need:
Matthew 25:31-46
Romans 15:25-28
2Corinthians 8:1-9:15
Galatians 2:10
Ephesians 4:28
1Timothy 5:3-16

His instructions to the Corinthians are clear, and help us to understand some of the qualities that should characterize our giving to those in need.

[1] Paul commands regular giving – ‘on the first day of the week’. [It is not clear if Paul meant for this money to be brought to the church gathering on the first day of each week, or for each individual to simply set it aside, privately, to be brought to the church gathering when appropriate.]

[2] Paul commands individual giving – ‘each of you’.

[3] Paul commands deliberate and dedicated giving – ‘should set aside’.

[4] Paul commands proportionate giving – ‘in keeping with his income’.

[5] Paul commands giving in advance – ‘saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made’. Paul does not want the collection of money to be associated with him and his visit. His calling is to preach and teach the truth, not to be the collector of monies. He does not want his teaching to be compromised by any perception of money-grabbing on his part. He wants the Gospel of grace to be given free of charge. So he distances himself and his calling from this necessary collection, which should issue from the faith and the compassion of the believers, not from coercion by a famous preacher.

Check these Scriptures for Paul’s refusal to demand payment for his ministry:
Acts 18:3  
1Corinthians 9:7-18
1Thessalonians 2:6-9
2Thessalonians 3:7-8

[6] Paul commands the appointment of responsible men to carry the collected monies to Jerusalem. He would himself write letters of introduction for them, and, if appropriate, they would travel with him.


Read verses 5-18. Answer the questions in each section below:

B.1 Personal plans – 5-9
[1] What were the two reasons that Paul did not go immediately to Corinth?


[2] How did Paul express his recognition of the sovereign will of God?


[3] Other than that, did he base his decisions on supernatural guidance, or on the given circumstances of his ministry?

B.2 About Timothy and Apollos – 10-12
[4] How did Paul express his commendation of Timothy?

[5] What instructions did he give the Corinthians about Timothy’s visit?

[6] It seems that Paul was concerned about the Corinthians’ reception of Timothy. How is this concern expressed?


[7] Check these references to Apollos’ history with the church in Corinth:  Acts 18:24-19:1; 1Corinthians 1:12; 3:4,5,22.


B.3 About  final encouragements – 13,14
[8] List the five commands given by Paul in these verses.


[9] Suggest how each of these applied to the Corinthian Christians.



[10] Suggest how each is important for Christians today.



B.4 About Stephanas and his household – 15-18
[11] What historical facts are given about Stephanas?

[12] How does Paul instruct the Corinthians about the proper respect for Stephanas and others like him?


C.    FINAL GREETINGS – verses 19-24

Paul final words include:

[1] Greetings from various groups and people.

[2] A command to ‘greet one another with a holy kiss’ – a commonly accepted greeting in the culture, and a counter action to the factions dividing the Corinthian church.

[3] Paul’s authentication of the letter by writing his final greetings himself, rather than by his secretary.

[4] An unexpected curse on any who do not love the Lord – probably addressed to any in the church whose faith was non-genuine.

[5] A plea for the Lord to come. This was possibly evoked by the disturbing potential presence of fake faith in the church.

[6] The normal benediction asking for God’s grace to be with them.

[7] Paul’s personal expression of love to ‘all of you in Christ Jesus’.