INTRODUCTION TO 1 CORINTHIANS 16
This chapter concludes the epistle, with some directions to the Corinthians concerning a collection for the poor saints; with some intimations of himself, Timothy, and Apollos coming to them, and giving them a visit; with exhortations to watchfulness, constancy, courage, and charity; with recommendations of some persons to them mentioned by name; with divers salutations of them by himself and others; and with his good wishes for them. He urges them to make a collection for the poor saints, from the example of the churches of Galatia, according to his order, 1Co 16:1. He points out the time when he would have it made, on the first day of the week; and the persons that should contribute to it, every member of the church; and the act of distribution, by laying up in store; and the manner, measure, and rule of doing it, according as they were blessed in Providence with temporal things; and the end of it, that there might be no collections to make when the apostle should come among them, 1Co 16:2 and this, when made, and being ready at his coming, he proposes to send to Jerusalem, by persons approved of and recommended by them, 1Co 16:3 and that he would also go along with them, should it be thought fit and proper, 1Co 16:4. He signifies his resolution of coming and paying them a visit, when he should pass through Macedonia, 1Co 16:5 when he had some thoughts of tarrying with them for a while, at least throughout the winter season, 1Co 16:6 in all which he submits to the will of God, 1Co 16:7. The reason why he could not come as yet was, because he had determined to stay at Ephesus till Pentecost, where he now was, 1Co 16:8 and what prevailed upon him to stay there was, because there was an opportunity of preaching the Gospel with a prospect of success; and there were many enemies to hinder it all they could, and therefore the apostle's presence seemed necessary, 1Co 16:9. He intimates, that Timothy would come to them shortly, and exhorts them to take care of him, and carry it respectfully to him; giving this as a reason, because he was engaged in the same work of the Lord he himself was, 1Co 16:10. He enjoins them, that whilst he should continue with them they would not despise him on account of his youth; and when he should depart from them, to conduct him in peace to him who was in expectation of him, along with other brethren, 1Co 16:11 and then he excuses Apollos not coming to them at present; and observes, that it was not for want of entreaty in him, but for want of will in Apollos, who notwithstanding would come when a convenient time should offer, 1Co 16:12. Next follow several exhortations to be upon their watch and guard, to be steadfast in the doctrine, grace, and profession of faith, and to behave themselves like men of a truly Christian spirit and courage, and to do everything in their church state in the exercise of the grace of love, 1Co 16:13,14 and then he recommends unto them the family of Stephanas, and exhorts them to have them in respect and reverence, and be subject to such, and particularly that family; partly because they were the firstfruits of his ministry, in those parts; and partly because they had given up themselves to the ministry of the saints, 1Co 16:15,16 as also because the coming of Stephanas to him, together with two other persons, named Fortunatus and Achaicus, had made him glad; supplied what was lacking in them; had refreshed his spirit and theirs; and therefore should be took notice of, and respectfully used, 1Co 16:17,18. And then follow various salutations, first of the churches of Asia in general, then of Aquila and Priscilla, and the church in their house, 1Co 16:19. Next of all the brethren at Ephesus, or that were with the apostle, 1Co 16:20 and last of all of the apostle himself, 1Co 16:21. And the chapter is closed with several wishes of different sorts, and which respect different persons; those that love not Christ, and live and die so, he wishes they may be accursed at the coming of the Lord, as they will be; and which is mentioned to deter professors of religion from everything that looked like want of love to Christ, whom they professed, 1Co 16:22 as for others, even as many as loved Christ, and which he hoped of them all, he wishes the grace of Christ might be with them, 1Co 16:23 and gives his love to them all, without any distinction; and which is to be understood not of a natural, but spiritual affection, it being in Christ, and for his sake, 1Co 16:24.