1 Cor. 16:1-2
The topic about money will always be a very controversial issue. It was during the start of
Christianity and even until now. With so many false preachers taking advantage of their flocks, we
can clearly see how money can be collected and misused by those wolves in sheep’s clothing. After
Paul have taught and corrected the Corinthian Christians regarding their mistakes, He now is
teaching them the principle of “Stewardship”. The money we are talking about here, was a
collection for the suffering saints in Judea where there was a famine (Acts 11:27-30; Rom. 15:25-27).
Illustration 1: It’s Not Supposed to Hurt
When you go to a doctor for your annual check-up, he or she will often begin to poke, prod, and
press various places, all the while asking, “Does this hurt? How about this?” If you cry out in pain,
one of two things has happened. Either the doctor has pushed too hard, without the right sensitivity.
Or, more likely, there’s something wrong, and the doctor will say, “We’d better do some more tests.
It’s not supposed to hurt there!” So it is when pastors preach on financial responsibility, and certain
members cry out in discomfort, criticizing the message and the messenger. Either the pastor has
pushed too hard. Or perhaps there’s something wrong. In that case, I say, “My friend, we’re in need
of the Great Physician because it’s not supposed to hurt there.” Ben Rogers
I. Definition of the word “Collection”
A. “Collection” means the gathering of money.
B. Paul in his defence before Felix said, “Now after many years I came to bring alms to
my nation, and offerings” (Acts 24:17). This collection from this verse is termed by
Paul “alms” and “offerings”
C. It was to be given to the “saints” in Jerusalem (Rom. 15:25-26). Note that It doesn’t
say the collection was for the poor, or the indigent, or the less fortunate. It was for
“the saints.”. There is no example in the New Testament of large church-funded
social works projects geared toward the unsaved.
D. By looking at 1 Cor. 16:1, it seems that a systematic collection was established. Paul
gave instructions to churches in Galatia and Corinth
II. Purpose of the Collection
A. To provide for needy Christians
1. It was “the collection for the saints” – 1 Cor. 16:1
2. It was “for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem” – Rom. 15:26
3. For the “ministering to the saints” – 2 Cor. 9:1
4. It “supplieth the want of the saints” – 2 Cor. 9:12
III. Basic Principles of Giving in the New Testament
A. The giving is done on the first day of the week and is a part of the believer’s
worship. This was the day when the early churches met for worship and Bible
preaching (Acts 20:7). It is Christ’s resurrection day. The sabbath was associated
with the old creation and with the Law; the first day is associated with the new
creation and the gospel of grace.
B. The giving is to be universal. Every believer is to participate in the offering (“let
every one of you,” 1 Cor. 16:2). It is not something only for the rich or for those
without debts. It is both for those that are in the full-time ministry and those that
aren’t. Giving is a Christian grace (2 Cor. 8:7). Giving is a privilege; it is one of the
ways that we glorify and honor God by giving back a portion of what He has given to
us, and every believer should participate in this worship (Prov. 3:9-10). It is one of
the ways that we participate in and further the Lord’s Great Commission (Mat.
28:19-20; Acts 1:8). “If every Christian would conscientiously follow the direction of
Paul here, there would be no want of funds for any well-directed plan for the
conversion of the world” (Barnes).
C. The giving is to be regular, systematic, and purposeful rather than haphazard and
irregular. The needs of the churches and of the Lord’s great work is regular and ongoing,
and the giving should therefore be in accordance. “If today’s church
members were as systematic in their giving as they are in handling their other
financial matters, the work of the Lord would not suffer as it sometimes does (The
Bible Exposition Commentary).
D. The giving is to be proportional to one’s income (“as God hath prospered him,” 1
Cor. 16:2). The biblical pattern for giving is the tithe, which was practiced by God’s
people both before and during the Law of Moses. Abraham tithed (Gen. 14:18-20),
and he is our father in the faith (Rom. 4:16). We believe that tithing is a scriptural
principle that should be practiced by New Testament believers. “The Jewish
believers in the church would have been accustomed to the tithe, but Paul did not
mention any special proportion. Certainly the tithe (10 percent of one’s income) is a
good place to begin our stewardship, but we must not remain at that level. As the
Lord gives us more, we should plan to give more. The trouble is, too many saints, as
they earn more, involve themselves in more and more financial obligations; and
then they do not have more to give to the Lord. Instead of finding a suitable ‘level’
and remaining there, they keep trying to ‘go higher,’ and their income is spent
rather than invested, As the old saying goes, ‘When your outgo exceeds your
income, then your upkeep is your downfall’” (The Bible Exposition Commentary).
E. The giving is to be put into store (“let every one of you lay by him in store,” 1 Cor.
16:2). While it is possible that Paul was instructing the believers at Corinth to lay
their offerings aside in their own homes each week, I believe it is more likely that he
was instructing them to bring their offerings to the church.
Illustration 2: In Giving, Man Got New Start
I was preaching one night when at the close of the service a well-dressed man approached me and
said, “Dr. Smith, I owe you everything I have in life.” I looked at him in amazement. Then he told me
“I was down and out,” he began. “I had lost my job. My wife and two daughters had left me. I was
dressed in rags. One day I happened to stroll into The Peoples Church during one of your Missionary
Conventions. You were speaking, and you were making some of the most astounding statements I
had ever heard in my life. You said, ‘You cannot beat God giving. Give and it shall be given you.
Square with God and God will square with you.’ I sat up and listened.
“Just to test your sincerity,” he continued, “I filled in one of your cards, promising to give God a
certain percentage of all He might give me. That, of course, was easy because I had nothing. To my
amazement, within a few hours, I got a job. When I received my first pay, I sent in the amount I had
promised. Before long I got a raise. Then I contributed more. Soon I had a new suit of clothes. In due
time I got a better joy. Presently my wife and daughters came back to me. I continued giving. Before
long, all my debts were paid.
“Now,” he exclaimed, “I own my own home here in Minneapolis and I have money in the bank. All
that I owe to you. I found that you were right. I discovered that God was as good as His Word.”
—Oswald Smith Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
IV. Blessing of the Collection
A. The givers are blessed.
1. For it is more blessed to give than receive. Acts. 20:35
2. Cheerful givers who sow bountifully will reap bountifully. 2 Cor. 9:6-7
3. That they might have an abundance for even more good works – 2 Cor. 9:8-11
B. The Recipients are blessed
1. The needs of the saints are supplied. 2 Cor. 9:12a
2. They are filled with praise to God and longing for their brethren – 2 Cor. 9:13-14
C. God is exalted
1. Many thanksgiving to God. 2 Cor. 9:12
2. God is glorified. 2 Cor. 9:13
Illustration 3: Rockefeller’s Testimony
Yes, I tithe, and I would like to tell you how it all came about. I had to begin work as a small boy to
help support my mother. My first wages amounted to $1.50 per week. The first week after I went to
work, I took the $1.50 home to my mother and she held the money in her lap and explained to me
that she would be happy if I would give a tenth of it to the Lord.
I did, and from that week until this day I have tithed every dollar God has entrusted to me. And I
want to say, if I had not tithed the first dollar I made I would not have tithed the first million dollars I
made. Tell your readers to train the children to tithe, and they will grow up to be faithful stewards of
the Lord. —John P. Rockefeller, Sr. Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
Paul’s instruction about giving is simple to follow and easy to do if you are willing to do
it. We cannot out give God, and if you want abundant blessings in your life, you must
give God what is due to Him. Why don’t you try and give to God now and see how the Lord Jesus Christ fulfill His promises.