1 Corinthians 16
Sermon Bible
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

1 Corinthians 16:8-12

What Christianity does for a Man.

I. Christianity made Paul courageous. "There are many adversaries." A very good reason for leaving Ephesus, but, some of us would have thought, a bad one for remaining there. Paul looked at the "door" first, and at the adversary next.

II. Christianity made Paul considerate. "See that Timothy be with you without fear." He wished the young man to have a good start at Corinth, knowing how much depends upon the beginning.

III. Christianity made Paul magnanimous. "I greatly desired Apollos to come unto you." Paul was in speech contemptible, as in bodily presence he was weak; but he honoured the eloquence of his brother, and desired to extend his influence and fame.

Parker, City Temple, vol. ii., p. 68.

1 Corinthians 16:9I. "The door is great" by reason of the commanding position of Ephesus in Asia. To Ephesus, as the capital of the Roman province, and the centre of provincial life, there poured multitudes daily from every quarter of Asia. Hither Gentiles and Jews alike hastened continually on errands of business, religion, and pleasure. And the lecture room of Tyrannus welcomed all who came, whether attracted by curiosity or by love of the truth. By degrees St. Paul had gathered round him a band of evangelists who carried the gospel back to their own Asian towns. Thus, to those seven cities of Asia, and to others not numbered in the mystical seven, the faith was first brought; churches were planted and organised, or (to use the Apocalyptic figure) the Divine candlestick was set up, ministering the oil of grace through the golden channels of apostolic order, and burning brightly amid pagan darkness.

II. Thus, St. Paul's figure of a great door set open exactly describes his joy at finding the gospel penetrate so soon from Ephesus through Asia. But the metaphor gains a further significance when we look at the peculiar character of Ephesian paganism. At Ephesus heathenism is living, active, enthusiastic. The very strangeness of the worship, which may have once repelled the Western Greek, was now rather a help than a hindrance to its popularity, and suited the religious temper of the time. St. Paul confronted at Ephesus a heathen worship with ancient prestige, richly endowed, the centre of the great city's interests. And yet here, more than in sceptical, idle Athens, the gospel wins its way. Without blaspheming the great goddess; by reasoning of temperance, righteousness, and the judgment to come; proclaiming, by the facts of the Christian creed, the love of God the Father, the redemption by the Son, the regenerating power of the Spirit—the Gentiles of Ephesus were converted and were baptized.

III. Who were the adversaries whose number and strength St. Paul so frankly avows? He had the deadly hatred of the Ephesian Jews and of the shrine-makers of Diana. It is singular that the most influential friends of St. Paul in his peril are men who were high priests of Cæsar's worship, men under whose guidance Athens was soon to forget her title of sacristan of Artemis in her pride of being sacristan of the Augusti. Cæsar is not one of those adversaries spoken of by the Apostle. Yet whatever comes, whether Cæsar be friend or no, the Church is safe in the hands of her Almighty Lord. He can open a great door and effectual, though there be many adversaries.

E. L. Hicks, Oxford and Cambridge Journal, Nov. 11th, 1880.

Reference: 1 Corinthians 16:10-24.—F. W. Robertson, Lectures on Corinthians, p. 255.

1 Corinthians 16:13Christian Fortitude.

Consider the necessity and the true grounds of Christian fortitude.

I. The necessity of it may perhaps not pass altogether unquestioned. It is well known that the Christian must be meek and lowly; poor in spirit, a peacemaker; not returning evil for evil, nay, loving his enemies. Where, then, in such a character and career, is the necessity for fortitude? But we Christians want fortitude in and because of this very meekness and peacefulness which have been alleged. Some men are by nature meek, and they very often prove to be of the bravest where it was little expected, but the man who is meek by practice and duty must be a brave man indeed. Such meekness is itself the result of victory, and victory hardly won. The Christian is one who acts from conviction. His opinions are taken up not because they are the fashion of his time, but because they appear to him to be nearest to the truth and to the will of God. For this he needs a steady and manly courage. Again, the Christian has in his own course, to say nothing of his intercourse with others, abundant occasion for fortitude. He sees and feels enemies around him which others know not of.

II. In entering into the sources of the Christian's fortitude, we must at once connect it, as our text does, with the central springs of his faith and hope. From nothing short of these can it proceed. The Christian's courage is not worldly; it is not deistical; it is not merely sprung of natural religion. Stand fast in the faith. The Christian's courage rests on a definite foundation which has been laid independently of himself. And that foundation is in one word, Christ; Christ in all His fulness and firmness, revealing to him his own unworthiness, his Father's love, his Saviour's work, the Spirit's indwelling witness; and all summed up in those words which no reasoner ever arrived at—my God.

H. Alford, Quebec Chapel Sermons, vol. v., p. 215.

1 Corinthians 16:13The things which are necessary to spiritual strength are: (1) right and sound principle, (2) mental and emotional nutriment, (3) work, (4) regimen, self-control, and government, (5) seasonable rest, (6) genial influences, (7) a godly atmosphere, (8) help wisely administered, (9) abstinence from all enervating influences, (10) a will to be strong.

S. Martin, Westminster Chapel Sermons, 1st series, p. 1.

References: 1 Corinthians 16:13.—H. J. Wilmot Buxton, Sunday Sermonettes for a Year, p. 210; L. Campbell, Some Aspects of the Christian Ideal, p. 148; J. H. Thom, Laws of Life after the Mind of Christ, p. 341; Christian World Pulpit, vol. v., pp. 16, 23; M. Tyler, Ibid., vol. xxviii., p. 395; Preacher's Monthly, vol. i., p. 260; D. Rhys Jenkins, The Eternal Life, p. 127; Hay Aitken, Mission Sermons, vol. iii., p. 97; W. M. Taylor, Christian at Work, May 13th, 1878; H. W. Beecher, Sermons, vol. i., p. 55; Plain Sermons, vol. vi., p. 278. 1 Corinthians 16:13, 1 Corinthians 16:14.—Church of England Pulpit, vol. iv., p. 73.

1 Corinthians 16:21-24Anathema and Grace.

I. This passage shows the terror of the fate of the unloving.

II. The present grace of the coming Lord.

III. The tenderness caught from the Master Himself, in the servant who rebukes.

A. Maclaren, The Unchanging Christ, p. 260.

References: 1 Corinthians 16:22.—Talmage, Christian World Pulpit, vol. viii., p. 121; A. Mursell, Ibid., vol. xxv., p. 252; Mason, Contemporary Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 293.

Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.
And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.
For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.
But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.
For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.
Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.
As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
Let all your things be done with charity.
I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.
I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.
For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.
The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.
The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.
If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
William Robertson Nicoll's Sermon Bible

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