Paul is closing his letter with a reminder of the collection for the saints. Each Sunday, the Lord’s Day, they were to make a collection above and beyond what was collected as a tithe to the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 9:4-12). They were to give to this collection in proportion to their income, according to how God blessed them, the more God blesses the more one should give.
Vs. 5-9 – Paul is planning on traveling to see the Brothers and Sisters in Corinth after traveling through Macedonia, but he is staying where God is moving and effective… even though there is also opposition. How often do we look at opposition as a reason to not share the gospel and not do ministry? Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The Holy Spirit tells us, “Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:10-12).
Vs. 10-11 – They were supposed to keep an eye out for Timothy as he was coming their way and doing the Lord’s work, spreading the Gospel, and they were to take care of him while he was with them, before helping him on his way.
Vs. 12 – they must have asked after Apollos, so he lets them know that Apollos would be coming their way when he had the chance to do so.
Vs.13 – We are to be on the alert, “Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The enemy of our souls is out to separate you like a lion does from the flock, but when we stay together we confuse and outnumber him.
We, as Christians, must be alert to temptation – distractions, loss of focus…
The enemy’s schemes… “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Sanctified by God… We must be on the alert, standing firm, and grounded in what we believe. Standing ready in our faith and on guard against attack.
One more thing to be ready for – and the church has sure lost its sense of urgency on this one – Christ is coming back!
The world Is in conflict with God’s Church so, be courageous, don’t be afraid, don’t shrink back from what the enemy throws at you, step up and do the right thing no matter the consequences. But do so in love, “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called and about which you have made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12). But how do we fight in love?
When fighting is the last option that is love, when we are fighting for the Lord and not for ourselves, that is doing so in love. When we think of the other person first, that is love (see Philippians 2:1-5).
1 Corinthians 13 – God’s Church is built in, with, and through the love of God!!! In the forgiveness and love of the Gospel, we have got to be sharing with our unbelieving neighbor!
- Are you sharing the gospel?
- Are you fulfilling your purpose as a part of His Church in a local congregation?
Further Reading: Proverbs 3:9, Malachi 3:8-12, Matthew 23:23, Luke 6:38, Luke 11:42, Mark 12: 41-44, 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, Matthew 24:4-24, 36-44, Luke 21:34-36, John 6:39-44, John 3:16-18, John 11:21-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, Galatians 5:1, Galatians 6:7, Philippians 1:27, Philippians 4:1, 1 Thessalonians 3:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:6, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10