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The Collection for God’s People October 22, 2011

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on 1 Corinthians 16:1-4.

Summary: Paul begins by telling the Corinthians to “pass the hat” for poor believers in Jerusalem based on the following plan: on each (Christian) Sabbath, each believer should save whatever they could – according to their business profits – so that when Paul arrived in Corinth he would not have to “pass the hat” again. At that time, Paul would send the collected amount with messengers approved by the Corinthians to Jerusalem – along with letters introducing them. He concludes by offering the following caveat: if the collected amount is quite significant, he will join the Corinthians’ approved messengers on their trip to Jerusalem.

Thoughts: Verse 2 shows that the early church met on Sundays, and Paul instructed them to bring their contributions for the poor believers in Jerusalem to their gatherings. Hodge offers some insights on the connection between church gatherings and Sundays:

The first day of the week was made sacred for Christians by divine appointment; there are five grounds for saying this.
1. It may be inferred from the distinction given to that day by our Lord himself (John 20:19,26).
2. It was intended to commemorate a great event. The sanctification of the seventh day of the week was intended to keep in mind the great truth of the creation of the world, on which the whole system of revealed religion was founded; and as Christianity is founded on the resurrection of Christ, the day on which Christ rose became for that reason the Christian Sabbath.
3. The apostle John called it “the Lord’s Day” – that is, the day set apart for the service of the Lord (Revelation 1:10).
4. From the beginning it was the day on which Christians met for worship (Acts 20:7).
5. The practice of the whole church, with clear evidence of apostolic sanction, is authoritative.

It is interesting to consider the current structure of our workweek – especially in Western countries – and ponder how the meaning of Sunday has changed over time. Indeed, Sundays have gradually evolved into well-orchestrated festivals for “lovers of pigskin.” One might wonder how our culture would have been affected if Christ had been resurrected on, say, a Wednesday. How would our workweek have evolved to accommodate that hypothetical event? Would we have renamed Wednesday as “Sunday” in that case (and shifted the entire week accordingly)?

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