In 1 Corinthians 16:1-3, Paul deals with the material matter of giving which concerns the working of the church. We live in a life that revolves around money.
Paul was practical in all that he did and taught. He deals with the collections of the poor saints who lived in Jerusalem. There had been a drought, and many who had traveled to Jerusalem became Christians remained there, leaving their homes, jobs, and stayed in Jerusalem, and at this time there were many in need.
Paul was giving direction to the church at Corinth to help the needy Christians who were in Jerusalem. And, that is the role of the church, to help others who are in need.
God has always been concerned with the poor and needy.
The Law of Moses Concerning the Poor
- Leviticus 19:9-10
We see this play out in Ruth.
Paul did not want the church to fall behind what had been expected of the Jews.
But he was also concerned with teaching Christians to love one another through giving and supporting each other.
This collection was mainly for the Jews but made by Gentile Christians. While there had been some biases between the Jewish Christians to the Gentile Christians, this giving would go a long way to show that they were of one body, Christ.
- 2 Corinthians 9:13
Providing his converts an opportunity to serve and translate the teachings of Christ to benevolence.
- 2 Corinthians 8:7, as you abound…
Elders, deacons and members of the church need to be concerned about giving in the church. Those who give regularly and liberally means those who are attending are truly dedicated to the Lord and His church.
“It is more blessed to give…”
How is the Collection to be Observed?
Every Christians should be concerned about the collection.
Let us consider prayerfully the collection as we have opportunity to give in our lives.
The Period of the Collection
"Upon the first day of the week…”
- Acts 20:7
We know we are to observe the Lord’s supper on the first day of the week, to break bead. So, by conclusion the same regularity should be observed given that the same exact phrasing is used. It does not say, the day that suits your convenience.
It does say, upon the 1st day of the week, and every week has a first day of the week.
The true worshiper will understand that it is to be a regular part of the true worship, in spirit and truth.
The Persons of the Collection
“Let everyone of You.”
The Lord’s plan includes everyone to give as they are able.
The individual is not lost in the crowd. We are to each perform our Christian duty as individuals.
- Mark 13:34
We each have a part to play, and a work to do in the church.
- 1 Corinthians 3:8
We must bring our gifts to God as individuals and not a group.
If each individual is responsible to God for our own labor, our own work, we should each give to God from an individual worship.
The truth is nothing we own is our own, it all belongs to the Lord and we are the stewards of those things.
- Psalm 50:10-12
We should not be deprived of the opportunity of giving. If we are only takers something will die.
Two Kinds Christians Offering Collections
Sea of Galilee is fed by the Jordan River. It is surrounded by lush green land, animals and and filled with fish in the sea.
The Jordan continues also, into the Dead sea. It takes the water, is the lowest spot on the earth, and is saturated with salt.
It is 5 times saltier than the oceans.
Surrounded by the most barren place on the earth. Nothing lives in it’s surrounding area.
The Sea of Galilee receives but also gives.
The Dead Sea receives, but never gives, it’s lifeless.
These two seas can be a symbol of two kinds of Christians.
Some receive and in joy offer giving to the Lord.
Others, receive but never give, and never learned the joy of it’s more blessed to give than receive.
Each Christian, needs to joyfully be involved in this giving.
Laying By in Store during the Collections of the Saints
- Malachi 3:10
The storehouse in the New Testament is the local church.
- Acts 4:34,35
Those who had sold their possessions and gave the prices of the sell to the apostles for the saints.
This was voluntary Christian actions, it wasn’t part of some communal expectation, or a government program. It was given to he apostles so that each could have what they needed.
The church at Philippi supported Paul in his work,
- Philippians 1:3-5
- Philippians 4:14-16
It is not our money to give, but it’s God’s. And He has the right to tell us how to use it.
The church is the Bride of Christ, thus we should use the funds for His glory.
The Portion of the Collection
"As God hath prospered him…”
The Law of Moses and Giving
- 1/10 of increase of tithes, Leviticus 27:30
- Half Shekel Temple tax/ man on Day of atonement, Exodus 30
- A gift for each of the three annual feasts
- Every 3rd year an extra tithe was taken for the poor, Deuteronomy 26:12
- Malachi 3:8
In failing to offer their tithes to God it was considered robbing God.
We are no longer under the law of Moses, but under the law of liberty, Galatians 3:23.
- Matthew 5:20
We can’t afford to be less liberal than the Pharisees.
The Purpose of the Collections
That there be no gatherings in the last minute.
The wisdom of the God given plan, that their giving should be constant, and regular, so that they would have when it was necessary to share with others as the need came along.
- 2 Corinthians 9:6,7
We are to lay by in store to meet the needs of the church as they come up.
Protection for the Collection
A wise administrator, ensures the funds go where they have been purposed to go. We cannot take too great care to administer the use of the funds.
- Romans 14:16
They were to select someone who through confidence would bear the collection to Jerusalem.
- 2 Corinthians 8:19-21
- 2 Corinthians 8:5
Have you given yourself to the Lord? Have you become dedicated to God through Jesus Christ?