1 Corinthians 16:9-16
- 1 Cor 16:9 (KJV)
For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many
Paul now gives the reason why he wants to stay at Ephesus. A tremendous
witnessing opportunity had opened up for him in the city of the great temple
of Diana. The word “effectual” carries with it the meaning of “effective.”
When we look at the great tumult that the true Gospel caused at Ephesus, we
see why Paul called it a “great” (megas) door for evangelism. We read in
Acts 19 that Paul’s ministry was being very effective and that resulted in
the creation of many adversaries. The word “adversaries” carries with it the
meaning of ”those who oppose.” Since Ephesus was a great center of the pagan
cult of Diana, there were many who made their living by selling the pagan
statues and other religious artifacts. When people started being converted
to Christianity, this began to cut into the profits of the businessmen and
whenever money is at stake, trouble will arise. Paul called these
unbelievers beasts in 1 Corinthians 15:32. The main one to oppose Paul was
probably Demetrius the Silversmith. Instead of them taking Paul to task
through the proper legal channels, they instead enflamed the whole town and
caused much confusion, much like a wild animal would when being attacked.
This verse is also a warning to us, that wherever we bring the true Gospel,
we can expect to face major opposition.
1 Cor 16:10 (KJV)
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.
In case Paul did not arrive in a timely manner at Corinth, he stated that
maybe others might come to them, including Timothy. He was asking this
church to allow Timothy to work among them without any opposition from the
church. They might have thought that because Timothy was young, he would be
of no value in aiding the church during rough times. Paul also gave Timothy
a good recommendation that he too, was a true fellow worker with Paul in his
missionary endeavors. Sometimes a substitute may be regarded as inferior.
Remember when we were in school and received a substitute teacher? How did
we view them?
1 Cor 16:11 (KJV)
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.
The word “despise” carries with it the meaning of “belittle or to make of no
account.” (1 Tim 4:12 KJV) Let no man
despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in
conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Even though Timothy was younger, he was still to be treated as a brother and
a guest of that church. He represents the Apostle Paul to this church plus
he is a colleague of Paul’s, which means he was chosen by the Lord for this
task to aid in the helping of the churches that he visited. Paul wanted him
to be treated in peace, so whatever work Timothy would do there, would not
be hindered by any problems. He was also to be helped on his way in peace so
he could rejoin the Apostle Paul who looked for him to be among the brethren
who was helping him in his missionary task. Paul was probably waiting to
hear a first hand account of the situation of the church at Corinth and to
see if his letter was being regarded or discarded. I am sure Paul awaited
anxiously for Timothy’s arrival.
- 1 Cor 16:12 (KJV)
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.
Here Paul was desiring that Apollos would be able to make a visit to Corinth
in the Lord‘s timing. It seemed that Apollos may have been considered one of
the teachers whose teachings may have been the seed of a faction.
(1 Cor 1:12 KJV) Now this I say, that every one
of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of
Christ. In the first chapter, Paul was mentioning
the fact that the Corinthian church was divided into factions and Apollos
was named as one of those who the Corinthians were following. This shows a
great character in the Apostle Paul and much wisdom. If Apollos was able to
go to Corinth, he would then be able to bring together the factions which
seemed to be dividing the church. Paul was not fearful if Apollos went there
because he obviously knew that Apollos was a mature Christian and would have
ability to close the breaches among the “preacher followers” and unite the
church under the leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was always
concerned for the churches and wanted to help them in every way that he
could and that is why he delegated work to capable people.
(2 Tim 2:2 KJV) And the things that thou hast
heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who
shall be able to teach others also. This should
always be the norm in today’s churches, instead of people being promoted or
chosen for office by favoritism, they should be chosen because of quality of
Christian walk and leadership ability.
- 1 Cor 16:13 (KJV)
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
Paul gives four exhortations in this verse which applies to all Christians:
1) Watch Ye - This is to say, that we as Christians, are to consistently
keep a vigil over our actions, habits, and basically our entire Christian
walk. We are to make sure that we keep our lives in concert with the life of
a true believer. Especially, we need to ask ourselves to see if we are
giving any appearance of evil. An appearance of evil, is evil, in the eye of
the beholder and we are constantly being watched by the unbelieving world.
2) Stand Fast in the faith - We are to stay firm on the Christian Faith. We
must never allow false teachings or anything which impairs the true Gospel
to even be considered. Too many Christians today think they are very strong
in the Gospel and instead of running from false gospels, they tend to want
to give them a listen, and eventually they wind up snared. We are also to
stand firm in the face of persecution. When tough times come, that is when
we are to cling to the true Gospel and not to abandon it for temporary
3) Quit you like men - The word “quit” carries with it the meaning of “act
like a man or bravery.” We are to be as mature Christians in contrast to
baby Christians. Paul had this problem at Corinth in that they were so
carnal, they were unable to digest the true meat of the Gospel. Paul is
admonishing these Christians to grow in the faith and live as mature
Christians. Children play with toys and normally accept what they are told
but a man will check things out in the Scriptures and will investigate
teachings before they are accepted.
4) Be Strong - They are to increase in spiritual strength by growing in the
word and they are to remain strong. A strong Christian does not kowtow to
false teachings and teachers, they will rebuke them and the false teachings.
When Christians back down to the false teachers, they weaken themselves and
their testimony, and this will cause a stunt in spiritual growth plus it
gives the false teacher the upper hand, and will aid them in proving that
their teachings cannot be logically refuted. This is why it is imperative
for Christians to grow in the faith by studying the Word.
- 1 Cor 16:14 (KJV)
Let all your things be done with charity.
In reference to the four exhortations that Paul just gave them, they must
all be done under the umbrella of true Christian love. There can be no
selfishness in the life of a Christian because we are all servants of the
Lord Jesus Christ. (Luke 17:10 KJV) So
likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded
you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty
to do. We are to be strong children of God with
the mindset of the servant.
- 1 Cor 16:15 (KJV)
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,)
Paul begins a reflection here but completes it in the next verse. In this
verse he points out the house of Stephanas which were the first ones to
become saved in the region of Achaia. They did not sit around and take to
bickering, instead they began a ministry to the brethren. Notice the word
“addicted” in this verse. It carries with it the meaning of “devoted or
committed.” When someone is addicted to alcohol or drugs, they are committed
to those things always desiring more. When a true Christian is addicted to
the ministry, they are always striving to minister, in fact, they look for
opportunities to minister. Paul was naming them as a sort of a pattern
ministry and that these of this Church should begin to desire and do
ministry as this house does.
- 1 Cor 16:16 (KJV)
That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth
with us, and laboureth.
Paul wanted the Corinthians to humble themselves under people who have
ministries such as the house of Stephanas. This way, those who are young in
the faith will be able to learn that the Christian life is service and not
just coming to church every week. The work that many Christians do really
deserve the notice of the local church so they can be set as a model of
doing ministry, especially for those who desire to get into a ministry.
Unfortunately, it seems in the modern church that no good deed goes
unpunished and the lazy are the glorified. Those who do nothing to further
the Kingdom of God should be considered the least in every congregation.
Those who further the Kingdom of God should be set as models for the other
Christians, maybe it will provoke others unto good works.