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Duties That Continue

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DUTIES THAT CONTINUE[1]

INTRODUCTION:

1.      Read 1 Corinthians 16.

2.      Regarding the text:

(1)          Paul is closing his letter to the Corinthians.

(2)          Paul addresses a variety of subjects but particularly that of a collection for the poor Xians in Judea.

A.       Paul has mentioned this matter to the Corinthians before (Galatians as well).

B.       It seems that the Corinthians expressed a readiness to make a collection, but for some reason (i.e. divisions and contentions in the church) the collection was not yet made.

(3)          Paul calls their attention to the collection and instructs on when, who, how much, and where.

(4)          Paul, expresses his intention to come to Corinth.

3.      A unique feature of Christianity is that our opportunities and needs have a way of matching our talents and resources.

4.      Another unique feature of Christianity is that we never reach a state of “self-actualization”  or “perfect fulfillment.”

(1)         You do not “retire” in Christianity.

(2)         Our duties continue. 

(3)         In the text, Paul identifies several “continuing Christian duties.

A.       Their miraculous gifts would pass.

B.       However, in their absence, there were certain things which would need their continued attention.

DISCUSSION:

I.            the need to give is persistent (vv. 1-4).

1.      Christians will always need to give.

(1)           Some question whether the church should have a “treasury” or not, but a study of the Bible reveals that it is a Biblical idea.

A.         Jesus and the apostles had a “treasury.”

B.         There was such a thing as laying money “at the apostles feet” (Acts 4:34-37).

C.         The elders in Judea had a fund (Acts 11:29-30).

(2)           Corinthians Christians received the same instruction as Galatian Christians (v. 1).

2.      Their giving was to be “on the first day of the week” as they prospered (v. 2).

(1)           Indicates regularity (cf. Acts 2:42).

(2)           Indicates continuity and generosity (cf. 2 Cor. 8,9).

3.      Giving is a part of who we are and the one Whom we serve.

(1)           We give out of gratitude for the blessings we receive.

(2)           We give because we are commanded to do so.

(3)           We give because we feel compassion towards others.

(4)           We give to sow the seed.

(5)           We give so that we are ready unto every good work.

4.      We have ample opportunity to give.  Let us never be guilty of complaining about what others would perceive as a blessing.

                Illustrate:  A family visited incoming new neighbors.  To make “small talk” one wife began complaining about having to buy new shoes for their child.  He was so active and hard on the shoes he wore them out!  The wife of the new neighbors began to cry and hurried from the room.  Her husband explained, “She got choked up hearing about you talk about your son’s shoes.  You see our son was born without any legs and has never been able to walk.  We’ve never been able to buy him a single shoe, but oh, how we wish we needed to!”  A growing healthy church will have needs.  Let’s not be guilty of complaining about what others would consider a blessing.

II.          some needs are not always perceptible .

1.      Some needs are obvious to us. (I.E. support of mission work – vv. 5-7; 15-16).

(1)           Paul was always traveling and in need of a place to stay and supporters to send.

(2)           Notice Paul’s statement in verse 7.  What would we think if a missionary made such a statement to us?

(3)           Notice verse 10 and 11 (cf. Timothy).

(4)           The need for hospitality was obviously more urgent then.  BUT missionaries today have equally urgent needs.

A.         Are you informed as to what they are?  Do you know whom we support?

B.         Are we somewhat insensitive to their pleas?

(5)           Notice vv. 17-18.  Indicates needs of missionaries.  (It isn’t a holiday!)

2.      Some needs we have to be looking for, waiting for (vv. 8-12).

(1)           Paul would tarry in Ephesus because a great and effective door had opened.

A.         Do you see open doors for the kingdoms sake.

B.         Maybe you are not comfortable studying with others, but you could refer them.

(2)           Apollos (v. 12) wanted to come to see them but had to wait for a “convenient time.”  It seems he did not want to divert his attention from current work.

(3)           Acquila and Priscilla (v. 19) used every opportunity.

A.         They hosted evangelist (Acts 18:2,3) even if it risked their own safety (Rom. 16:4).

B.         They taught so many others (Acts 18:24-26).

C.         The church met in their home (Rom. 16:3-5).

3.      The need is relentless!  Question is, “Are you really looking to see it?”

III.        meeting the need is part of striving for the perfection of christ.

1.      Giving is a fundamental element of Christianity.  Paul stresses here.

(1)           Bible has more to say about giving than it does baptism.

(2)           Giving is at the foundation of our salvation.

2.      Illustrate:  Coaches stress “fundamentals” even with the most gifted athlete.

3.      Paul closes this letter with a review of fundamental matters.

(1)           Giving.

(2)           Watch (v. 13a).

A.         “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” (1 Thess. 5:6)

B.         “Be sober, be vigilant… (1 Pet. 5:8).

(3)           Standfast in the faith (v. 13b).

A.         Paul gives similar instruction to Philippians (1:27); Thessalonians (1 Thess. 3:8).

(4)           Be Brave (v. 13c).

A.         KJV – quit you like men.

B.         Andrizo – “to make a man of.”

C.         There are still battles to fight that require manliness and bravery (cf. Eph. 6:10-18).

(5)           Be Strong (v. 13d).

(6)           Let all be done with love (v. 14)    (cf. 1 Cor. 13; 14:1).

(7)           Submit (Notice v. 15-16).

A.         Have you ever noticed we are resistant to being told what to do?

B.         God’s people are quick to align with those who do right and want to go forward.

(8)           Maintain good realtions with other congregations (v. 19-20).

(9)           V. 22 – Love Christ above all!

CONCLUSION:

1.     As a congregation of God’s people, we do many things well and by the power of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ we account for much good in this community, state, nation and world.

2.     How much more could we be doing for our Lord, if every member practiced the elements of this chapter earnestly and continuously?

3.     If you are a Christian, there is enough here to keep you busy for a lifetime.

APPEAL:

1.     If you are not a Christian, we direct your attention once again to verse22.

2.     If you do not love the Lord, you are to be accursed.

        (1)     Anathema = “a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed.”

        (2)     “A man devoted to the direst of woes” (Thayer).

3.     If you love the Lord, you will keep His commandments.

        (1)     Mk. 16:16;  Jn. 3:5.

        (2)     Lk. 13:3.

        (3)     Mt. 10:32.

        (4)     Rev. 2:10


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[1] Lesson outline from Jack Wilhelm.  Adaptations made by Toby L. Soechting for preaching at Howe, TX.

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