Thursday, October 22, 2009

1 Corinthians 16:1-9

In Chapter 16, Paul goes from talking about the resurrection of Jesus straight to talking about money. The two are directly related.

The effect of chapter 15 was to move us from what is temporary to what is eternal; from what is perishable to that which is imperishable; from a materialistic way of life to living spiritually. Chapter 16, then, becomes a very concrete way of living that new focus out.

As those who share in the resurrected life of Jesus, we are to give generously, and freely share what we have with others. Here we learn several governing principles for sharing what we have as an essential part of living faithfully in light of the resurrection.

1. Giving should be systematic.
Paul writes that on the “first day of every week” the Corinthians should set aside a portion of their income as an offering to God. Money is to be given in faith at the beginning of the week, not out of what (if any) might be left when the week is done

2. Giving is for everyone.
Notice that Paul addresses his instructions to “each of you.” Anyone who had an income also had the privilege of sharing in giving to God’s work.

3. Giving is relative to earnings. Those who make more should give more (“you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income” is how the TNIV puts it. The Message is more succinct: “Be as generous as you can.”)

Clearly, these principles apply to us as well. Duty goes with doctrine. May we be those who give as freely to others as God has given to us.

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