Back in the day, Paul was a very important man. He traveled all around teaching new Christians how to conduct themselves. The church in Corinth was one of the churches that depended on his sound advice. About three years after Paul had first visited Corinth, a delegation of leaders from Corinth came to visit him in Ephesus where he was staying.
In Corinth, as everywhere, except Jerusalem, Christians had no one great central meeting place. They met in homes, halls or wherever else they could. There were many Christians in Corinth but not one great congregation. There were several small groups that developed into rival, competing units and they couldn’t agree on anything. Some of the main issues that concerned these Christians were factions, immorality, lawsuites, meat offered to idols, abuses of the Lord’s Supper, false apostles, problems about marriage and many others. Paul wrote a letter to the church to address these issues. The letter is what we now call 1 Corinthians.
Toward the end of the letter, Paul addresses a promised collection that they were going to send to Jerusalem to meet the needs of the persecuted belivers. Our book calls them:
Pauls P’s – A Pattern of Giving(1 Corinthians 16:1-4)
- Giving should be personal-Paul said “Let each one of you…“
- Giving should be periodic-Paul instructed them to give regularily – “on the first day of every week“. The first day of the week was the established Day for Christian Worship (Acts 20:7)
- Giving should be out of a private deposit – Paul said, “Put aside and save…“. Open a seperate account specifically for giving!
- Giving should be premeditated – Paul instructed them to do this before he came so that he wouldn’t have to “pass the hat” when he came. Our giving should involve thought, planning and prayer.
In our study of giving as it relates to Gods Way of Handling Money, we can learn from Pauls instructions to the Corinthian Christians. We should approach our giving with thought, planning and prayer and our giving needs to be deliberate. We don’t want our giving to become like another bill to pay monthly.