on 1-corinthians 16 :2
Upon the first day of the week - The apostle prescribes the most convenient and proper method of making this contribution.
1. Every man was to feel it his duty to succor his brethren in distress.
2. He was to do this according to the ability which God gave him.
3. He was to do this at the conclusion of the week, when he had cast up his weekly earnings, and had seen how much God had prospered his labor.
4. He was then to bring it on the first day of the week, as is most likely, to the church or assembly, that it might be put in the common treasury.
5. We learn from this that the weekly contribution could not be always the same, as each man was to lay by as God had prospered him: now, some weeks he would gain more; others, less.
6. It appears from the whole that the first day of the week, which is the Christian Sabbath, was the day on which their principal religious meetings were held in Corinth and the Churches of Galatia; and, consequently, in all other places where Christianity had prevailed. This is a strong argument for the keeping of the Christian Sabbath.
7. We may observe that the apostle follows here the rule of the synagogue; it was a regular custom among the Jews to make their collections for the poor on the Sabbath day, that they might not be without the necessaries of life, and might not be prevented from coming to the synagogue.
8. For the purpose of making this provision, they had a purse, which was called ארנקי של צדקה Arneki shel tsedakah, "The purse of the alms," or what we would term, the poor's box. This is what the apostle seems to mean when he says, Let him lay by him in store - let him put it in the alms' purse, or in the poor's box.
9. It was a maxim also with them that, if they found any money, they were not to put it in their private purse, but in that which belonged to the poor.
10. The pious Jews believed that as salt seasoned food, so did alms, riches; and that he who did not give alms of what he had, his riches should be dispersed. The moth would corrupt the bags, and the canker corrode the money, unless the mass was sanctified by giving a part to the poor.
on 1-corinthians 16 :2
Upon the first day of the week - Greek, "On one of the Sabbaths." The Jews, however, used the word Sabbath to denote the week; the period of seven days; Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:9; Luke 18:12; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, John 20:19; compare Leviticus 23:15; Deuteronomy 16:9. It is universally agreed that this here denotes the first day of the week, or the Lord's Day.
Let every one of you - Let the collection be universal. Let each one esteem it his duty and his privilege to give to this object. It was not to be confined to the rich only, but was the common duty of all. The poor, as well as the rich, were expected to contribute according to their ability.
Lay by him in store - (παρ ̓ ἑαυτῷ τιθέτω θησαυρίζων par' heautō tithetō thēsaurizōn). Let him lay up at home, treasuring up as he has been prospered. The Greek phrase, "by himself," means, probably, the same as at home. Let him set it apart; let him designate a certain portion; let him do this by himself, when he is at home, when he can calmly look at the evidence of his prosperity. Let him do it not under the influence of pathetic appeals, or for the sake of display when he is with others; but let him do it as a matter of principle, and when he is by himself. The phrase in Greek, "treasuring up," may mean that each one was to put the part which he had designated into the common treasury. This interpretation seems to be demanded by the latter part of the verse. They were to lay it by, and to put it into the common treasury, that there might be no trouble of collecting when he should come. Or it may, perhaps, mean that they were individually to treasure it up, having designated in their own mind the sum which they could give, and have it in readiness when he should come. This was evidently to be done not on one Sunday only, but was to be done on each Lord's Day until he should come.
As God hath prospered him - The word "God" is not in the original, but it is evidently understood, and necessary to the sense. The word rendered "hath prospered" (εὐοδῶται euodōtai) means, properly, to set forward on one's way; to prosper one's journey; and then to prosper, or be prospered. This is the rule which Paul lays down here to guide the Christians at Corinth in giving alms, a rule that is as applicable now, and as valuable now, as it was then.
That there be no gatherings when I come - No collections λογίαι logiai, 1 Corinthians 16:1). The apostle means that there should be no trouble in collecting the small sums; that it should all be prepared; that each one might have laid by what he could give; and that all might be ready to be handed over to him, or to whomsoever they might choose to send with it to Jerusalem; 1 Corinthians 16:3 - In view of this important verse, we may remark:
(1) That there is here clear proof that the first day of the week was observed by the church at Corinth as holy time. If it was not, there can have been no propriety in selecting that day in preference to any other in which to make the collection. It was the day which was set apart to the duties of religion, and therefore an appropriate day for the exercise of charity and the bestowment of alms. There can have been no reason why this day should have been designated except that it was a day set apart to religion, and therefore deemed a proper day for the exercise of benevolence toward others.
(2) this order extended also to the churches in Galatia, proving also that the first day of the week was observed by them, and was regarded as a day proper for the exercise of charity toward the poor and the afflicted. And if the first day of the week was observed, by apostolic authority, in those churches, it is morally certain that it was observed by others. This consideration, therefore, demonstrates that it was the custom to observe this day, and that it was observed by the authority of the early founders of Christianity.
(3) Paul intended that they should be systematic in their giving, and that they should give from principle, and not merely under the impulse of feeling.
(4) Paul designed that the habit of doing good with their money should be constant. He, therefore, directed that it should be on the return of each Lord's Day, and that the subject should be constantly before their minds.
(5) it was evident that Paul in this way would obtain more for his object than he would if he waited that they should give all at once. He therefore directed them honestly to lay by each week what they could then give, and to regard it as a sacred treasure. How much would the amount of charities in the Christian churches be swelled if this were the practice now, and if all Christians would lay by in store each week what they could then devote to sacred purposes.
(6) the true rule of giving is, "as the Lord hath prospered us." If he has prospered us, we owe it to him as a debt of gratitude. And according to our prosperity and success, we should honestly devote our property to God.
(7) it is right and proper to lay by of our wealth for the purposes of benevolence on Sunday. It is right to do good then Matthew 12:12; and one of the appropriate exercises of religion is to look at the evidence of our prosperity with a view to know what we may be permitted to give to advance the kingdom of the Lord Jesus.
(8) if every Christian would honestly do this every week, it would do much to keep down the spirit of worldliness that now prevails everywhere in the Christian church; and if every Christian would conscientiously follow the direction of Paul here, there would be no lack of funds for any well-directed plan for the conversion of the world.
on 1-corinthians 16 :2
16:2 Let every one - Not the rich only: let him also that hath little, gladly give of that little. According as he hath been prospered - Increasing his alms as God increases his substance. According to this lowest rule of Christian prudence, if a man when he has or gains one pound give a tenth to God, when he has or gains an hundred he will give the tenth of this also. And yet I show unto you a more excellent way. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Stint yourself to no proportion at all. But lend to God all you can.