Monday, February 8, 2010

1 Corinthians 16 (Odds & Ends)

Paul ends this first letter to the Corinthian church with a bunch of little items that must have come to mind as he was signing off. They seem to all be issues that are either secondary or so obvious as to just merit a reminder.

Money: Paul instructs the church to collect regularly so that there will be a pool of money ready when he comes. This is not giving being taught as a discipline for the sake of discipline, at least not here. It is giving for a specific need. If there were regular monetary needs that the church had, we do not see them here. This was a gift for the suffering church in Jerusalem. It is interesting that it is the newer, “offspring” church giving to the parent, and not the reverse. That is not a principle, but rather the way the need lay at the time.

Leadership: Paul tells the church to subject itself to its Godly leaders. That could open a whole can of worms in today’s church. We value our little meetings and voice too much these days. So many people are involved in church as it is the only place where they feel like they have power in their lives. Their boss tells them what to do, their spouse tells them what to do, the government tells them what to do, but at church they can wield power, make decisions, and throw up blockades all they want. That is not what Paul had in mind in all his teaching in this letter.

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