Monday, March 9, 2009

1 Corinthians, chapter 16

We come to the end of our study of 1 Corinthians today. On the surface, chapter 16 looks mostly like a personal letter to the church from Paul. There are not any huge insights, but we can still take a lot from it. In that time, many of the churches were working apart from each other. They did not have the internet or instant communication that we do now. Each church kind of did their own thing in regards to the gospel, and there was no real centralized leadership as the apostles spread throughout the world.

We do see Paul trying to centralize that leadership here though. Instead of going off and following their own teachings, Paul wanted to make sure each of the churches was following as close to the original gospels as possible. That is why many of the books of the New Testament were written as Paul's personal letters. They are reminders to the different churches about things they needed to work on. They also continue to press home the centralizing point of Christ's sacrifice and how salvation can be found through His blood.

1Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. – 1 Corinthians 16:1

This is the first verse of this chapter, but it is the most relevant. If one of the churches that Paul visited was doing something right it was important for him to tell the others. That is the only way the proper teachings were going to flourish in this era of limited communication. Paul was one of the few common messengers in the early church, so this final chapter kind of wraps up what he needed the church in Corinth to know. We later see that he reminds other churches of what the church in Corinth was doing write. It is, therefore, no wonder the New Testament flows so well even today. This collection of letters continues to serve as a unifying force in the church, just as it did when it was originally written.

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