Many churches devote a portion of the worship service to announcements. Some place them at the beginning, while others wait until the end of the service. In a similar way, Paul closes this first letter with several announcements.
The first has to do with “the collection for the Lord’s people” (v. 1). This was not an internal collection of funds meant for distribution among the Corinthians but part of a larger effort by several churches to provide aid for the poor believers in Jerusalem (v. 3). Paul directed that the money be collected in advance each time the church met on “the first day of the week” (v. 2). The amount given by each participant was to be proportional to their income. The money would be carried to Jerusalem by chosen representatives from the Corinthian church, along with letters of introduction from the apostle Paul (v. 4).
Paul also closes this letter with tentative details about his future travel plans (vv. 5–8). He hoped to visit Corinth after passing through Macedonia both to spend time with the church and so that they could provide support for the next stage of his journey. Paul planned to send Timothy in advance of his visit but had some concerns about how his protégé would be received. Paul’s warning, “see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you” (v. 10), is evidence of a hostile disposition held by some that will resurface when we study 2 Corinthians.
Like many of Paul’s letters, this one concludes with personal greetings. Paul explains why an expected visit from Apollos, one of the Corinthians’ favorite preachers, will be delayed (v. 12). He also charges them to show respect to the household of Stephanas, an early Greek convert (v. 15).
>> It can be hard to rejoice when the church down the street seems to be more successful. Paul’s closing remarks are a reminder that we are not in competition with each other.
Majestic God, we pray for humility grounded in an accurate grasp of who we are before You. Teach us to honor Your children, recognizing their inherent value—without inflated regard for our own.