A Study of I Corinthians #5                           

Southern Christian University

James A. Turner


Begin with chapter fourteen and go through chapter sixteen.

Please read all the references. They will help you to gain a better understanding.


Chapter Fourteen

In this chapter he deals with the fact, that some had wrong views concerning the most important gifts.  It looks like those who had the gift of speaking in tongues, thought that it was the most important gift.  "Follow after love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts."  The spiritual gifts were still important.  They had not ceased when Paul wrote the letter, but he has told them that the gifts will cease when the complete revelation has been given.  "But rather that you may prophesy.  For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God.  For no man understandeth; but in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men edification, and consolation."  The prophet would be speaking in their native tongue, and they would understand what he was saying and profit by it.  "He that speaketh in a tongue edifieth himself but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.  Now I would have ye all speak with tongues, but rather that ye prophesy:  and greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except that he interpret."  Now, if he has the gift to speak in a language that he has not learned, and receives instruction in that language, and he has a gift of interpreting and interprets in the language of the brethren present, then that would be fine.  "Except ye interpret, that the church may receive edifying." If a foreigner should come and speak in the public assembly of the church and he speaks in his own language, there would be no understanding, unless there was an interpreter present.  "But now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall it profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophecy, or of teaching?  Even things without life giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they give not a distinction in the sound, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?"  So even mechanical instruments of music, by giving the proper sound, the distinct sounds by which the people know what is piped or harped.  "For if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who shall prepare himself for war?”


In the tenth chapter of the book of Numbers God gave Moses instruction to make two silver trumpets, and the use that was to be made of those two trumpets. They were to use them one way to call together the leaders of Israel, and another way to call together all the congregation of the people, and another way when it was time for the tabernacle to be taken down and the tribes to move out on their journey again.  It was used another way if an enemy was making an attack.  So that is what he is talking about here, "If a trumpet give an uncertain voice.  Who shall prepare himself for war?"  But it was sounded in such a way that they would know the purpose.  "So also ye, unless ye utter by the tongue speech easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken, for ye will be speaking into the air.  (no understanding)  There are, or it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and no kind is without signification.  If then I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh will be a barbarian unto me.  So also ye, since ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek ye that you may abound unto the edifying of the church."  In chapter twelve he already emphasized that everything is to be done for the profit of all. 


Verse thirteen, "Wherefore let him that speaketh in a tongue, pray that he may interpret.  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.  What is it then?  I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also:  I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also."  All the passages in the New Testament, which speak of the kind of music that is to be used in Christian worship, specify singing, and this one is no exception.  “Else if thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that filleth the place of the unlearned say the A-men at thy giving of thanks, seeing he knoweth not what thou sayest?" So brethren are to be edified even by public prayers!


Verse eighteen, "I thank God, I speak with tongues more than ye all.  Howbeit in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue."  So five against ten thousand, five words of understanding would be more important than ten thousand words in a foreign language.  "Brethren, be not children in mind:  (think like men) yet in malice be ye babes, but in mind be men."  That is a good statement.  Do not let your anger, turn into hatred, be like children in that respect.  If parents stay out of differences between their children and their neighbor's children, they will usually get things worked out real soon. They will forget all about their differences, in a little while.  "In the law it is written, with men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak unto this people; and not even thus will they hear me sayeth the Lord."  That is a quotation from Isaiah 28:11, following.  Of course, it is talking about how God would use the Gentile people to teach the people of Israel. 


Verse twenty-two, "Wherefore tongues are a sign, not to them that believe, but to the unbelieving:  but prophesying is for a sign not to the unbelieving, but to them that believe.  If therefore the whole church be assembled together, and all speak with tongues, and there come in men unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?" When they come in and they do not know the foreign tongues the tongue speakers are speaking,  they will think that here is a madhouse of worship.  Verse twenty-four.  "But if all prophecy  (in the language that the people know) and there come in one unbelieving, or unlearned, he is reproved by all, he is judged by all."  Everyone that would get up and speak in the assembly of the church in the language of the people of that community, and an unbeliever comes in, he would hear and understand what they were saying and he would be judged by each speaker.  "The secrets of his heart are made manifest; and so will he fall down on his face and worship God, declaring God is among you indeed.  What is it then, brethren?  When ye come together, each one hath a psalm, hath a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation." 


From what he says in these verses we learn that they were just having a house of confusion.  Everyone that had any showy gift wanted to demonstrate his gift.  And evidently tongue speakers and others, were speaking at the same time.  But Paul said, “Let all things be done unto edifying.”  Well, two or three cannot speak at the same time and the church be edified.  "That all things be done unto edifying.  If any man speaketh in a tongue, let it be by two or at the most three, and that in turn; and let one interpret.  But if there be no interpreter; let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God." That would do away with all the tongue-speaking services that I have been to.  I did not attend one where they had an interpreter get up and tell what they had said.  "And let the prophets speak by two or three, and let the others discern."  The church at Corinth (1:7) had many with miraculous gifts, and no one group of those who had gifts were to take over the entire service.  The various gifts were to be properly utilized.  "But if a revelation be made to another sitting by, let the first keep silence."  The one that is up speaking, and the person who has the gift of prophecy and receives an immediate revelation, and he wants to give it, then the person who is speaking; let him keep silence and let that one that has received the immediate revelation get up and speak.  "For ye all can prophecy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be exhorted.  And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." 


And again, there is a passage that would do away with most of the tongue speaking services of our day.  I can remember the days when some of them at tent meetings, would get down and roll in the saw dust, and make it appear that they could not control themselves, and that is what they wanted people to believe.  But here even those who had the miraculous gift of speaking by inspiration, they had control, one man could stop and let another man speak.  "The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.  For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace."  And that definitely shows that they were having a house of confusion! God is not a God of confusion, and you need to change this!  There are several ways in which that principle applies.  When we use one scripture to make it mean contrary to another scripture, we are trying to make God a God of confusion.  God is not a God of confusion.  His word is in complete harmony when it is used correctly.  "As in all the churches of the saints."  Again, what Paul gave in one church, he gave in all the churches.  "As in all the churches of the saints.  Let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be under subjection, as also sayeth the law."  


So women are not to speak publicly when the whole church is assembled.  Now, there is a place for women to teach in private (Acts18:26, 21:9)and to teach classes of the children in the church, but they are not to be preachers.  They are not to speak in the public assembly of the church.  Some have asked the question: “If the elders of the church say it is all right for a woman to speak in the public assembly of the church, what is wrong with it?”  Well, the elders of the church are not to make laws for God.  And God has said that the women are to keep silent in the church, and elders do not have the right to give women the right to speak in the church.  "And if they would learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home:  For it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church."  Well, we are living in a day where some churches have done contrary to this instruction, and a few churches in our brotherhood, have those who say that women have a right to speak, or preach, in the worship serves of the church, and some even say, that they can serve as elders in the church.  Well, the inspired apostle says to the contrary, and Romans 3:4 says, “let God be found true and every man a liar.”  Who are we going to listen to?  Are we going to listen to what God says, or what is popular for the day?  "What was it from you that the word of God went forth?  Or came it unto you alone?"    Evidently, there were those that were acting in such a way that said, “We have a right to decide this matter”, and that contrary to what God had instructed through the inspired apostle.  And so he is rebuking them in verses thirty-six through forty.  "If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of things that I write unto you that they are the commandments of the Lord."  So he did not write anything that was not the commandments of the Lord, including the instruction and the commands that he gave in chapter eleven.  "But if any man is ignorant, let him be ignorant."  If he does not know that it is a commandment of the Lord, do not listen to him.  "Wherefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophecy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.  Let all things be done decently and in order." 


Chapter Fifteen

Chapter fifteen is a great chapter on the resurrection of the dead.  It is the most complete passage in the entire Bible about the resurrection.  Some of the Corinthians were saying “there is no resurrection of the dead.”  Verse twelve,  “Now, if Christ is preached that he had been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead."  They were either saying it had already passed, or else just saying that there is no resurrection.  So in the beginning of the chapter, Paul calls attention to the fact that he had preached to them the facts of the gospel, that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, that he was buried and that he raised again the third day, according to the scriptures.  They had believed and been saved by a resurrection gospel, but some were saying there is no resurrection of the dead.  And he goes ahead and reasons if Christ is preached that he had been raised, verse twelve, “how say some among you, that there is no resurrection of the dead” and that is a question of rebuke? 


Then he reasons if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised, and if Christ has not been raised our preaching is vain and your faith is vain, and we have been false witnesses of God, for we have taught people that God raised Christ from the dead.  And if he has not been raised from the dead, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins, and if we have only hoped in Christ in this life, then we of all men are most pitiable.  But verse twenty, "But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the first fruits of them that are asleep."  The first fruits testify that more fruit is coming and so Christ is the first fruits of the dead.  His resurrection is the crowning miracle of all miracles giving us assurance that all of us are going to be raised from the dead. (Acts 17: 30-31).  "For since by man (Adam) came death, by man (Christ) came also the resurrection of the dead."  By the first man, Adam, physical death and spiritual death came, and by Christ comes a spiritual resurrection to those who hear him (John 5:24-25; Ephesians 2:1-6), and when he comes again he will raise all of those who have died physically (John 5:28-29; Acts 17:30-31)

And I would like for you to give attention to what a good job Paul does in showing that there will be a resurrection, and how easy it will be for the Lord to raise all from the dead.  Now, remember, he says in verse twelve, "Now if Christ is preached that he has been raised from the dead."  That is what he preached to them.  They had believed and obeyed the facts of the gospel, and that is what the other apostles had preached.  "How say among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?" But I would like to briefly go back to the beginning of the chapter.  He had preached to them the facts concerning the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ.  They had believed and obeyed those facts in a form when they were baptized into Christ and thus they had been saved.  And he says they had believed and they had been saved.  So they had been saved by a resurrection gospel, but some were saying, “there is no resurrection of the dead.” 


Then after he had done that in the first four verses he tells about some of the appearances that Christ made during that forty‑day period after his resurrection, before his ascension.  He says he appeared to Cephas, verse five, and then to the twelve, and then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, among who the greater part remains until now, but some are fallen asleep.  So there were nearly five hundred brethren, still alive, that had seen Christ after he was raised from the dead, yet some of the Corinthians were saying there was no resurrection of the dead. I hope you will give attention to my outline entitled The Six Baptisms Of The New Testament.  It is no big thing in regard to what people conclude about the baptism of John so far as we are concerned because we are not faced with that problem today.  But I can remember the day when a lot of our brethren would say that John's baptism was not for remission of sins, it was just a baptism of repentance.  Mark 1:4 and Luke 3:3 plainly state that the baptism of John was for or unto remission of sin.  For is used in the King James Version and unto in the American Standard Version.


It is the same Greek word used in Acts2:38.  "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."  So the baptism, of the great commission, is not for remission of sins if John's baptism was not for the remission of sins.  But, we believe, of course, that the baptism of the great commission is for (K.J.V) or unto  (A.S.V.) remission of sins. When Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper he said, “And this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins. (Matthew 26:28) For or unto, in Matthew 26:28 is the same Greek word used in Acts 2:38. If the Greek word, for or unto, remission of sins means because of as some preachers affirm then Christ died because men’s sins were already forgiven! How ridiculous! There is a Greek word that means because of, but it is not the same word that is used in Acts 2:38 and Matthew 26:28.



There are those occasionally today that reason that those that had been baptized with the baptism of John and the baptism of Christ and his apostles under the limited commission that they had to be baptized again.  But we have no New Testament record, of any person who was baptized by John or under that limited commission, of Jesus and his apostles (Matthew 10:5-15) that were baptized again.  Those who reason that they had to be baptized again are not giving proper consideration to I Corinthians 15:6, "Then he appeared to five hundred brethren at once."  Now, this appearance, I think, would very definitely be at the meeting in Galilee.  After Jesus had kept the last Passover with his apostles and they had sung a hymn and went out, he told them that all of you will be offended in me.  For it is written, I will smite the shepherd and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee." (Matthew 26:31‑32)  The two Mary’s went to the tomb early as it was dawning toward the first day of the week, and when they got there, the angel of the lord had rolled the stone away, so they and Peter and John could see that Jesus had been raised from the dead, (Luke 24:1-12; John 29:1-10; Mark 16:1-7) and the angel said to them, “Go and tell his disciples that he goeth before you into Galilee” (Matthew 28:1-10). So do you not think that the meeting at Galilee would be that meeting where there were five hundred brethren at once?  Well, who baptized those if they had to be baptized again?  And then on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:41, "Those that believed his word were baptized both men and women and there was added unto them that day about three thousand souls."  So evidently those who had been baptized by John, and kept their faith and Christ and his apostles under the limited commission were charter members in the kingdom of God.    When Paul wrote nearly five hundred people who had seen Christ on that occasion, plus all the other appearances that Christ had made to people.  Now notice also verses seven and eight, “then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles and last of all, as to the child untimely born, he appeared to me also.”  Now put this with Galatians 1:18‑19.  Is Paul not speaking of James, the Lord's brother? And then from the context that the Lord appointed him as an apostle during the forty days before his ascension. 


The brothers of Jesus, a short time before the cross, did not believe in him (John 7:5) but the cross-made all the difference.  They were present with the 120 waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, (Acts 1:12-14).  And then James is spoken of as an apostle in Galatians 1:18-19.  Paul tells us that it was three years after the Lord appeared to him and qualified him as an apostle, before he went up to Jerusalem to see any of the apostles, and then he went up and visited with Peter.  And he says, “Other of the apostles saw I none save James the Lord's brother.  And the reason I think it is talking about appearing to James to qualify him to be an apostle is on the basis of verse eight, "And last of all as to a child untimely born, he appeared to me also."  And of, course, we   know from Acts 9:15-16, 26:15-18 that he appeared to Saul, or Paul, for the purpose of qualifying him as an apostle, especially to the Gentiles. 


I want to read a few more verses here, and then we are just going to kind of brief over some of it.  He states of himself, “for I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God”.  Now, this does not mean that he was weak in any other way, but he just thought in that spirit of humility, he states why he regarded himself to the least of the apostles because he sought to destroy the church of God.  "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not found vain, but I labored more  abundantly than they all."  I would like for you to give attention to verse ten.  He is surely comparing himself with the twelve   when he says, “But I labored more abundantly than they all”.  And when we get to Romans 15:18-24 and read that he had preached the gospel from Jerusalem even unto Illyrecum. Please look at the map and see that great expanse of territory.  Paul was not married, and he was free to go as he wanted to go, and the Lord's blessings were with him, and he surely did more preaching than any one man has ever done.  


Verse nineteen, "If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable."  Then he emphasizes again that Christ has been raised from the dead, and the first fruits of them that are asleep (15:20).  The first fruits testify of fruits to come; and so Christ's resurrection testifies that all are going to be raised (Acts 17:30-31).  The resurrection of Christ is a crowning miracle of all miracles.  It is the assurance that all are going to be raised from the dead.  And then he talks about and compares Christ with Adam that by man Adam came death and by Christ comes life.  Verse 22, "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive."  And so we have the guarantee that all are going to be made alive when Christ comes.  And when he comes, he is coming to deliver up the kingdom to God.  And if there was not another passage in the entire Bible that shows that the premillennial doctrine is a false doctrine, verse twenty-four would be enough.  "Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power."   They teach that Christ came to establish his kingdom, but the Jews rejected him, and he ushered in the church age, and that we are now in the church age, and the kingdom age is still to come.  Of course, that kingdom age, according to them, is in substance raising up the old kingdom of Israel.  And that doctrine is false from beginning to end.  I do not know of any false doctrine that defeats itself more from the standpoint of plain contradictions, of many other plain passages of the New Testament. Hebrews 1:13, in speaking of Christ says, "Sit at my right hand until I make thine enemies a footstool of thy feet.”  When Christ ascended back to the Father, he took his place at the right hand of the throne of God on David's throne, (Isaiah 9:6-8; Jermiah 23:5-6; Zecheriah 6:12-13; Hebrews 7:25; I Chronicles 29:23; Luke 1:30-35; Acts 2: 23-36) and he is to reign there until “he puts all enemies under his feet” and the last enemy is death. 


Move down to 15:29.  Verse twenty-nine,  is a verse that has received a lot of discussion down through the years, and I am not sure that anyone knows exactly the   meaning of it.   “Else what shall they do that are baptized for the dead, if the dead are not raised at all?  Why then are they baptized for them?"  Some of our brethren have concluded; that baptism is because of the death of Christ, that he died for us when we were in our sins, and he died for our sins, and we are baptized because of his death for us. But, I believe I looked up that word "for" in Young's Analytical Concordance.  There are a number of Greek words for our English word "for," and if I remember correctly, it says that this one means "in behalf of."  Else what shall we do that are baptized in behalf of the dead? It looks like to me it would be more logical to conclude that there was a false doctrine back there.  We have false doctrines ‑‑ The Mormons today, like to call attention to this passage, and they baptize, at least some of them, for the dead.  And they may have had such a false practice back there.  And look at the latter part of it, "If the dead are not raised at all, why are they then baptized for them?" And them does not correspond with it being because Christ died for us.    But, anyway, we know that the New Testament does not teach that any person can change the state of another after the spirit departs from the body, and that each person will give an account of himself unto God “according to that which he hath done in the body, according to that which he hath done, whether it be good or bad”.  And there is no passage in the New Testament, which teaches any baptism for the physically dead.


And he goes ahead with a little rebuke when he said, "If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."  In other words if   there is no resurrection of the dead, there is no hope or anything beyond this life, and we might as well eat and drink for tomorrow we will die and that would be the end. But then he said, "Be not deceived evil companionships corrupt good morals.  Awake to soberness, righteously, and    sin not:  For some have no knowledge of God:  I speak this   to move you to shame."  Then he says, “But some one of you will say, ‘How are the dead raised? And with what body do they come?” I would guess that some of those brethren at Corinth were reasoning somewhat like the man in Oklahoma.  I remember brother Maddox telling about being with a brother in Oklahoma, and he said to brother Maddox, “We are in Indian country here, and we no doubt are just walking over one Indian after another, and their bodies have returned to the dust of the earth, and that dust of the  earth is going back into plant life and animal life  over  and over again, so how can God raise the dead?”  Well, the God that created man out of the dust of the earth the first time knows how to raise the dead.  And here Paul reasons, "Thou, foolish one, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die, and that which thou sowest thou sowest not the body that shall be, but a bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other kind, but God giveth it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of his own."  Now, just think of the strength of that.  Of all the thousands of different kinds of seed, and those seed bring forth after their kind, and the plant that does come forth does not look like the seed that was sown, and my, those seed come up quickly when we have a few showers and warm weather like we have now; and can just literally cover the ground in just a few days.  But each seed has a body of its own. The point of reasoning is that a God that can raise all of those seed, and give each seed a body of its own, he can surely raise the dead. He then speaks about different kinds of flesh, that there are four kinds of flesh beginning with verse thirty-nine. 


One flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another flesh of birds, and another flesh of fish, and those four different kinds of flesh stand.  When you go home and your wife is cooking chicken or fish, you don't have to ask her what you are going to have for supper, do you?  All right.  The flesh of those is very different, but when it comes to the flesh of beast, you may not be able to distinguish whether it is deer, beef, or some other animal.  And then beginning with verse forty, God has made different kind of bodies.  He has made “celestial bodies  (heavenly bodies) and terrestrial bodies (earthly bodies).  But   the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another."  And think of the difference between looking up at the heavenly bodies and looking at the things on the earth.  Now, further, "There is   one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars:  For one star different from another star in glory."  And with all of the technical equipment they have today to look at the stars, they still have not been able to number the stars.  And here “one star differs from another star in glory’.  Surely a God that can create like that, he can raise the dead. 


But this passage also shows that there is a connection between that physical body that is sown and the body that will be raised, verse forty-two beginning, "So also is the resurrection of the dead.  It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.  It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory."  I have had a few brethren reason that the resurrection will not be a literal resurrection.  But this says that there is a connection between the body that is sown and the body that will be raised.  Revelation 20:12-14 does the same thing.  And he goes ahead to reason  “as we have borne the image of the earthly, (Adam), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly, (Christ 15:49)”. 


Verse fifty, "Now this I say brethren that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."    Meaning that no person is going into the eternal kingdom with a fleshly body, but that fleshly body must be changed into an incorruptible body.  "Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.  In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:  For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."  And again, please remember that the Bible teaches that there will be that last trump. I regret very much some of our brethren are talking about the trump as being the going forth of brethren to preach the gospel, when more than one passage states that he is coming, and when he comes the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible "For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this   mortal must put on immortality.  But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory  (Isaiah 25:8).  O death, where is thy victory.  O death, where is thy sting?  (Hosea 13:14).  The sting of death is sin; and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God who giveth us  the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."  So the fifteenth chapter of I Corinthians is the great resurrection of the whole Bible! 


Chapter sixteen

They had also asked him in that letter about the collection for the saints.  He says, "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I gave   order to the churches of Galatia, so do ye.  Upon the first day of the week let each one of you lay by him in store, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come." The inspired apostle lays down the command that we are to lay by in store on the first day of the week as we are prospered, and that means in proportion to what we have made, we are to give a portion back to the Lord in accordance to the way we have been prospered.  Paul and his company were making up a collection for the poor in Judea. Do you remember from chapter eleven of Acts where the prophet Agabus, went to that Gentile church at Antioch of Syria, and signified that a famine was coming, and that church sent contributions before the famine even came.  Every man according to his ability determined to send relief, and they sent it to the elders by the hands of Paul and Barnabas.  That reference implies that Paul had already participated in encouraging relief for the people in Judea, and then in Galatians chapter two when James, Peter, and John encouraged him to remember the poor; he surely did remember the poor and took up collections from all of the Gentile churches.  That is what this is about, of taking up collections from the churches for the poor in Judea.  He then tells them that he will come to them after he has passed through Macedonia. 


Verse seven, "I do not wish to see you by the way; for I hope to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit."  And they get peeved at him, as we learn from chapter one of II Corinthians, because he changed his mind in regard to going into Macedonia before he went to Corinth.  We will notice that when we get into chapter one of II Corinthians. But notice again that Paul wrote the first Corinthian letter while he was on his third missionary journey during that three years that he stayed at Ephesus.  Verse eight, "But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.  For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries."  Now, I doubt that he tarried there until Pentecost because Demetrius, the head of the silversmiths union, called the silversmiths together, and they caused a big riot (Acts 19:23-24:1).  From Acts nineteen Paul had already sent Timothy and Erastus into Macedonia after the big book burning which came at the conclusion of two years and three months of his stay at Ephesus. 


In regard to his first plans, he had first planned to just go from Ephesus, he could have sailed right across to Corinth.  But after he wrote I Corinthian and not knowing how that they would receive that letter, he decided to revisit the churches of Macedonia and then go down to Greece, to the church at Corinth.  (II Corinthians 1:17-24). After he left Ephesus, we learn from II Corinthians that he went to Troas, and there was a door open for him to preach the gospel, but he had expected to meet Titus with news from the church at Corinth.  Titus was not there, and he was so concerned about how the Corinthians had received that first Corinthian letter that he left that open door and went on into Macedonia (II Corinthians 2:12-13).  In II Corinthians 7:5-6, he tells us that God had comforted him by the coming of Titus, but where he was in Macedonia when Titus met him, he did not say.  Remember that there was the church at Philippi, the church at Thessalonica, and the church at Berea.  He could have been at either one of those places when he wrote the second Corinthian letter (II Corinthians 8:22-9:5). 


Verse ten, “Now if Timothy come, see that he be with you without fear: for he woreth the work of the Lord, as I do: let no man therefore despise him. But set him forward on his journey in peace, that he may come unto me: for I expect him with the brethren (16:10-11).”  After Paul had spent two years and three months at Ephesus (Acts 19:8-10) he sent Timothy and Eastus into Macedonia (Acts 19:22). Verse ten implies that Timothy was to also visit the churches of Achaia after he had visited the churches of Macedonia (Acts 19:21). Verse eleven seems to imply that there was a very contentious element in the church, and Paul warns, “Let no man therefore despise him.” They had seemingly asked Paul to send Apollos to them, but he tells them that,  it was not at all his will to come now (16:12).”


Verse thirteen, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all that ye do be done in love.” Consider the power of the exhortation of these two short verses. Any church would soon be a very strong church if all would follow these short exhortations.


He tells them how that he appreciated the coming of Stephanas , Fortunatus , Achaicus, and that the household of Stephanas had set themselves to minister unto the saints, and that they should be in subjection unto such.  And that should hold today, that when people take on a special work, that is the kind of work that the Lord has instructed us to do, all of us should be in subjection, and aid, and help them in that work.  Verse twenty-one, "The salutation of me, Paul, with mine own hand."  Several passages (I Corinthians 16:21; Colossians 4:18; II Thessalonians 3:17; Romans 16:22; Galatians 6:11) teach that Paul had someone else who did the writing, but he took the epistle in hand and wrote enough to show that the epistle was from him.  One of the main reasons for that was to prevent people forging epistles in his name.  And it looks like from chapter two of II Thessalonians, that maybe somebody had already done that when he wrote II Thessalonians. 

End of I Corinthians.