This chapter concludes the epistle with some directions concerning a collection for the poor believers, with a word about his intentions to visit them again and with exhortations to watchfulness, courage and love.
(Vs. 1.) "Now concerning offerings and collections of money which are to be given by believers for the support of ministers, for the preaching of the gospel here and in other lands, for the relief of the poor, for widows and for orphans: you are to do the same as I have instructed the churches of Galatia to do." The Lord's people are generous, sharing with others what God has given to them (Acts 4:34, 35; 2 Cor. 8:7-9; 9:6, 7).
(Vs. 2.) It is plain from this and other scriptures that the early churches assembled on the first day of the week (John 20:19; Acts 20:7). When they assembled on this day, offerings were to be received.
1. The persons giving everyone.
2. The spirit of the gift willingly (2 Cor. 8:12;9:7).
3. The amount given to be based, on what a man has and in proportion to his blessings (2 Cor. 8:12, 13). Paul did not want to take up any collections when he visited them lest people accuse him of covetousness.
"When I arrive, I will send those whom you approve to Jerusalem to carry your gifts of love, and if it seems wise for me to go with them, I shall do so. I intend to pass through Macedonia, and it may be that I will spend the winter with you that you may provide the things necessary for my journey."
The apostle is careful to base all of his journeys and his work on the will and providence of God. "I will visit you, I will tarry with you, if the Lord permits" (James 4:13-15). We desire only that which is agreeable to the will of God.
(Vs. 8, 9.) Pentecost was the Feast of Harvest observed fifty days from the Passover. It is mentioned by the apostle, not as a feast that believers observed (for Christ fulfilled all those) but to point out the time he would stay in Ephesus. He desired to be in Jerusalem for Pentecost, not to keep it, but to preach the gospel to the many Jews from everywhere who would be there (Acts 20:16). "I will remain this time in Ephesus, for God has opened to me here a great and effectual door." By God's grace, Paul's ministry at Ephesus brought many to faith in Christ. "I have many enemies here," as there always are where the gospel is preached.
(Vs. 10, 11.) "If Timothy comes to Corinth (1 Cor. 4:17), see that you put him at ease, receive him well and care for him properly, for he is a minister of the gospel and engaged in the same work of the Lord that I am." Paul always showed a deep love and concern for other preachers and a strong interest in their work. He told Philemon to receive Onesimus as he would receive Paul (Philem. 17).
(Vs. 12.) Apollos was known to them and had preached among them (Acts 18:24-28). He is mentioned in I Corinthians 3:4-6, and some think he left because of the divisions. Paul wanted him to go back and preach at Corinth, but he did not feel led to go at this time. However, he would come when he had opportunity.
(Vs. 13, 14.) "Watch ye." Be on guard against false doctrines and false teachers, set a watch on your hearts, tongues, actions and entire conduct, watch over one another to encourage, edify and comfort. "Stand fast in the faith," do not depart from the grace of faith (Heb. 3:12; 10:38, 39) or from the doctrine of faith (1 Cor. 15:1, 2). "Quit you like men, be strong," or behave like mature men, not like children whom the least opposition will terrify and throw down, but be courageous in the face of adversity. "Let all things be done with charity." Let all things be done in true love to God and others, motivated by God's love for us (Eph. 4:32; 2 Cor. 5:14).
(Vs. 15, 16.) "Brethren, you know that Stephanas and his household were the first converts in your country (1 Cor. 1:16) and that they consecrated and devoted themselves to the service of God's people. I exhort you to respect such leaders, submit to them and follow their example, as well as everyone else who co-operates with us and labours in the gospel" (Heb. 13:7, 17).
(Vs. 17, 18.) It seems that the church had sent these men to Ephesus to visit Paul, to acquaint him with the state of the church and to encourage him. He said that their visit made up for his absence from them and refreshed his spirit as well as theirs. Such men are to be appreciated, acknowledged and honoured.
(Vs. 19.) This verse carries greetings to the church at Corinth from the churches in Asia and from Aquila and Priscilla and the church which met in their house. Aquila was a Jew of Pontus and Priscilla was his wife (Acts 18:2, 3).
(Vs. 20.) "Salute one another with a sincere kiss of love and friendship." It is a holy kiss denoting true and pure motives (Rom. 16:16; 2 Cor. 13:12).
(Vs. 21.) Some think that Paul had someone write for him, but to prevent counterfeits, and that the church might be assured this was from him, he wrote his salutation with his own hand.
(Vs. 22.) If any man does not love our Lord Jesus Christ, he shall be (anathema) accursed. Our Lord shall come! (Maranatha)
(Vs. 23, 24.) "The grace, favour and spiritual blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. I love you all in Christ and for Christ's sake!"