1 Corinthians 16:1-24
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New Testament: 1 Corinthians 16:1-24
Summary: The Collection for the Saints, Plans for Travel, Final Instructions, Greetings
And before we begin the actual reading, here’s what’s going on there 1st Corinthians 16 talks about love for the needy. These instructions concern the offering Paul was taking up from the churches to help the needy believers in Judea. The principles involved may be applied to Christian giving in general. Our giving should be voluntary in proportion to God’s blessing, systematic and handled honestly. We’ll read about love for leaders.
We have the privilege of encouraging God’s work as we pray for his servants. Even men like Paul, Timothy and Apollos needed the help and encouragement of God’s people. Are you praying for leaders? And we’ll read about love for the church. Love, steadfastness and submission make for a strong church.
When you have people who are devoted to the work of the Lord, people who refresh you in the Lord, well, God is going to bless them and you’re going to be blessed in the process. What a joy to be part of a church family that ministers in love. And we’ll read about love for Christ. Oh, come, Lord, come is a prayer that reveals Paul’s daily anticipation of the return of the Lord. When he made his plans, he included the blessed hope.
Do you love him and love his appearing?
If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! ~ 1 Corinthians 16:22
1 Corinthians 14:21 describes how God can use words in a strange language to warn people in a very severe manner. In 1 Corinthians 16:22, there are two such words in the King James Bible: ‘ANATHEMA MARANATHA’. Their purpose is to warn people very severely.
Our Bibles should probably translate the word ‘ANATHEMA’. It is a word in the same Greek language that Paul used for all his letters. It means a curse, in other words, an extremely severe punishment. Some people were using that same word to declare a curse against Jesus (12:3). However, their words would have no effect; nobody can declare a curse against God. God defeats all his enemies. So, instead, the curse would be against them, because they had made themselves God’s enemies.
There is only one way to avoid this terrible punishment. If we do not want to be God’s enemies, we must become his friends. We can love God because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the punishment for our evil deeds (John 3:16). However, if we refuse his kind offer to forgive us, we will suffer his judgement against us.
Love for Christ is not something different from love for God. The Father, Son and Spirit are one God. Whoever loves the Son, loves the Father too.
The word ‘MARANATHA’ comes from the Aramaic language. It means, ‘the Lord (Christ) is coming’ as in Jude 14. Or it may be a prayer: ‘Lord, come’ as in Revelation 22:20. That is wonderful for the people who are friends of God. The Lord is coming to rescue them from every enemy.
However, it is terrible news for anyone who has chosen to join God’s enemies. The Lord is coming to carry out his judgement against his enemies.
Finally, I’ll Be Happy