1 Corinthians 16

The Word Made Fresh

1Now, about the offering for the saints. Follow the directions I gave the churches of Galatia. 2On the first day of the week each of you should lay aside whatever extra you earn and save it for when I come; then you won’t have to take up collections when I get there. 3Select some to take your gift to Jerusalem; I’ll send letters with them. 4They can make the journey with me if it seems advisable for me to go.

5I’ll pass through Macedonia on my way to visit you. 6I’ll stay with you through the winter and then you can send me on my way to wherever it is I will go. 7I don’t want to see you just in passing. If the Lord allows, I hope to spend some time with you, 8but I’ll stay in Ephesus until Pentecost 9because a door there is opened wide for me to do effective work, but there are many who oppose me.

10If Timothy should come, make sure he has nothing to fear from you. He is doing the Lord’s work just as I am, 11so don’t let anyone trouble him. Send him on in peace so that he might come to me. I’m expecting him with the brothers.

12As for our brother Apollos, I begged him to visit you with the others, but he wasn’t willing to do so now. He’ll come later when he has an opportunity.

13Stay alert! Be strong and courageous in your faith. 14Do everything in love.

15You know, of course, that Stephanas’ family were among the first to be converted in Achaia, and they are devoted to serving the saints. 16I beg you to be of service to people like them, and to everyone who joins them in the work. 17I am so happy that Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus have come; that has made up for your absence. 18They refresh my faith, and yours as well, so do give some recognition to such people.

19The Asian churches send their greetings. Aquila and Prisca and the church in their house send you warm greetings in the Lord. 20Everyone here sends greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

21I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. 22Whoever doesn’t love the Lord be cursed. Come, O Lord! 23May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you, 24and I send my love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.


1-4: Amid all this talk about the indescribable things yet to be, don’t forget about the all too describable suffering of many of the saints. Persecution of Christians in Jerusalem had taken on a less dangerous face since Paul presided over the stoning of Stephen, but Christians there were still persecuted and discriminated against, leaving many of them in deplorable poverty. Paul wants to make sure their fellow believers in Corinth, as in Galatia, send some support, and boldly and rather blatantly asks for them to start collecting a relief offering which will be sent to Jerusalem. To protect his integrity, he makes clear that he himself will not take charge of the offering, but that they will designate some of their own whom they know to be trustworthy.

5-9: Paul intends to lay over in Ephesus for a while, but will return to Corinth, he says. We will read in his next letter that he makes at least three visits to Corinth.

10-11: Timothy seems always to have been Paul’s favorite.

12: Paul apparently wanted Apollos to go to Corinth as he had decided not to go there himself immediately.

13-14: Good advice for us all.

15-18: Paul had baptized Stephanas and his household (see 1:16), and apparently they are present with him at the writing of this letter, and may be the ones who will deliver the letter to Corinth. Fortunatus and Achaicus are not mentioned elsewhere.

19-20: Aquila and Prisca were Paul’s helpers in Ephesus (see Acts 18:24-28).

21-24: A final word of encouragement. As with the letter to the Romans (Romans 16:22), Paul is dictating this letter, not writing it himself. But he signs it at the end.


Christianity is a forward-looking faith. Always there is work to be done. Always there are souls to save. Always there is a loving God watching over us and guiding our efforts to live as children of the light.