Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

The Church

After sharing the gospel in the most profound words in Chapter 15, Paul now sends final greetings to the Corinthians. Max reads this well. Be sure to follow along with your own reading and note all the names beginning in verse 10. Also the reference to churches in Galatia and Ephesus. As well as those in Asia and the home church.

1 Corinthians 16:19  The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

1Co 16:1  Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

1Co 16:2  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

1Co 16:3  And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

1Co 16:4  And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

1Co 16:5  Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.

1Co 16:6  And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.

1Co 16:7  For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.

1Co 16:8  But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.

1Co 16:9  For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

1Co 16:10  Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.

1Co 16:11  Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.

Final Instructions

1Co 16:12  As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.

1Co 16:13  Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

1Co 16:14  Let all your things be done with charity.

1Co 16:15  I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

1Co 16:16  That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.

1Co 16:17  I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.

1Co 16:18  For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.

Greetings

1Co 16:19  The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

1Co 16:20  All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.

1Co 16:21  The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.

1Co 16:22  If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

1Co 16:23  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

1Co 16:24  My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen. The first epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi by Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus and Timotheus.

A couple of John Gill comments to clarify 3 verses.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Watch ye,…. The apostle in the mean while, before he closes his epistle, thinks fit to give some proper and pertinent exhortations, which might be of general use to this church; and first exhorts them to watchfulness, not for the coming of Apollos, and a convenient season for that; but over themselves, over their hearts, thoughts, affections, words, actions, and their whole conversations; and over one another, that they go not into bad principles, and evil practices; and also against sin in general, every appearance, and the first motions of it, and particularly unbelief; and against Satan, and his temptations, who is an indefatigable enemy, and whose wiles, devices, and stratagems are many and cunning; and against the world, its charms and snares; and likewise against false teachers, who lie in wait to deceive, and therefore to be guarded against; many of which were among these Corinthians, and made this exhortation very necessary. It became them likewise to watch daily at wisdom’s gates, to wait constantly upon God in the word and ordinances, and especially to watch unto prayer, and in it, and after it; to all which it is necessary that they should be awake, and not asleep, to which the wise as well as foolish virgins are subject; that they should be sober, and not be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life; and that they be in their proper station, on their watchtower, keeping a good lookout, and being ready armed, to attack an enemy when descried. Many are the reasons why the saints should be upon their watch and guard; as because they have many eyes upon them; the eyes of the omniscient God are upon them, who sees and takes notice of all their actions; the eyes of angels are upon them, and even in their solemn assemblies; the eyes of saints are upon them, though watching for their good; and the eyes of evil men for their halting; and the eyes of devils are upon them, waiting an opportunity to do them hurt and mischief, if possible. Moreover, unwatchfulness exposes to many evils, temptations, and snares; to which may be added, as an inducement to watchfulness, the uncertainty of Christ’s coming either at death, or to judgment.

Stand fast in the faith: which is proper to those that are watchful; for men asleep cannot well stand. This exhortation may respect either standing in the grace of faith, in opposition to doubting and unbelief, and design a continuance in the exercise of it, notwithstanding all the corruptions of nature, and the various sins and infirmities of life, the frequent temptations of Satan, and the many afflictions and trials in the world, which may occasion diffidence and distrust; for standing in this grace, and in such a constant exercise of it, greatly glorifies God, is what is wellpleasing in his sight; and in this way saints have communion with God, peace and comfort in their souls, and much spiritual joy and pleasure: it is the grace by which they stand, and therefore should stand in it, and by which they overcome the world. Or else it may intend standing in the doctrine of faith, in opposition to a departure from it, or a giving up any part of it, or wavering about it; it becomes saints to be steadfast in it, and abide by it, whoever is against it; let them be ever so many, or ever so wise and learned, and whatever may be said against it, as that it is a novel one, a licentious one, and a set of irrational principles, and whatever is the opposition that is made against it, though bonds and afflictions, reproach and persecution in every shape attend it, yet none of these things should move them from it. Perhaps that particular doctrine of faith, the resurrection of the dead, may be greatly regarded. Moreover, standing in the profession of faith, both of the grace and doctrine of faith, may be intended; for as this is to be made, it is to be held fast, and stood fast in, without wavering, by all true believers, who have great encouragement so to do from the person and grace of Christ, and from the love and faithfulness of God, and the many gracious promises he has made. Wherefore,

quit yourselves like men, be strong; a like phrase is often used by the Septuagint interpreters, as in Deu 31:6, from whence the apostle seems to have taken it. It answers to the Hebrew word התאששו, in Isa 46:8.

Quit you like men; like men of wisdom and understanding; be not like children for non-proficiency, instability, and weakness; see 1Co 14:20; act the part of men; believe not every spirit; be not carried and tossed about with every wind of doctrine; search the Scriptures, and try every doctrine by them; and having found what is truth abide by it, and be proficients in it, instructing and establishing yourselves and others. In which sense the Jews use this phrase, saying (b),

“in a place where there are no men, השתדל להיות איש, “study to be a man”, or to show thyself a man;”

which one of their commentators (c) explains thus;

“use and accustom thyself to obtain excellent things, and afterwards when there are no wise men to teach, then do thou teach thyself.”

And another (d) after this manner;

“”in the place where there is no man” to sit at the head and teach doctrines,”

do thou. Or play the man, as in 2Sa 10:12; act like men of valour and courage, stand fast, keep your ground, and contend earnestly for the faith; be valiant for the truth on earth; fight the good fight of faith: it is a good cause believers are engaged in; they have a good Captain and Commander at the head of them; they are provided with good weapons, may be sure of victory, and of having the crown of righteousness, life, and glory: wherefore

be strong; that is, for the faith: so the Targumist on Jer 9:3 renders the phrase, “they are not valiant for the truth, תקיפו לא להימנותא, they are not strong for the faith: be strong”; not in themselves, but in the Lord, and in the power of his might; in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; believe in him, look to him for strength as well as righteousness; trust in his power, whose arm is not shortened; depend on his grace, which is always sufficient; take heart, be of good courage, and fear no enemy; see Jos 1:6, which seems to be particularly referred to here.

(b) Misn. Pirke Abot, c. sect. 5. Vid. T. Bab Beracot, fol. 63. 1. (c) Maimon. in Misn. ib. (d) Bartenora in Misn. Beracot, fol. 63. 1.

1 Corinthians 16:22

If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ,…. The Vulgate Latin, and the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, read “our Lord”. The apostle here does not so much mean profane and unregenerate sinners, who are destitute of love to Christ, from ignorance of him; nor such who, from the same principle, might persecute him in his members, for such are to be even prayed for, and wished well unto; and oftentimes such are called by grace, and become true and sincere lovers of Christ; and the apostle himself was an instance of it: some think the Jews are intended, who were the mortal enemies of Christ; hated his name and person, his Gospel and interest, and maliciously persecuted the same; they called Jesus accursed, and therefore deserved an anathema to be pronounced on them; it was prophesied of them, that their name should be left for a curse; and it was threatened to them, in case of non-repentance, upon the coming of John the Baptist, in the spirit of Elijah, that the Lord would come and smite their land with a curse; which had its accomplishment in the destruction of Jerusalem; see Isa 65:15; others think the Gnostics are intended, one of whose tenets was, that it was lawful not to confess Christ in a time of persecution, in order to save themselves; and such might be truly said not to love our Lord Jesus, and on whom such an anathema as after mentioned might rightly be denounced: though it should seem rather, that some persons in this church, or that infested it, are referred to as the false teachers, and those who sided with them, who made factions and divisions in the church of Christ; allowed themselves in the commission of fornication and incest, and such like impurities; had no regard to the peace of the consciences of weak brethren, but laid stumblingblocks in their way; behaved in a very irreverent manner at the Lord’s table, and gave in to very pernicious errors and heresies, particularly denying the resurrection of the dead; and by their many bad principles and practices plainly showed that they did not in deed and in truth love our Lord Jesus: wherefore of every such an one the apostle says,

let him be anathema. The word anathema, answers to the Hebrew חרם, and is rendered by it here in the Syriac version; and signifies anything separated and devoted to holy uses; and so it is used by the Septuagint, in Lev 27:28, and in the New Testament, Luk 21:5, and which, if alienated to any other purposes, entailed a curse on persons; hence it is often translated “accursed”, as Rom 9:3 1Co 12:3, and here it signifies, that such persons that love not the Lord Jesus, should be rejected by the saints, and separated from their communion; and so the Arabic version renders it, “let him be separated”; that is, from the church; let him be cast out of it, and cut off from it; as, so living and dying without love to Christ, he will be accursed by him at the last day, and will have that awful sentence denounced on him, “go ye cursed”.

The apostle adds another word, about which there is some difficulty,

maranatha; some make this to be the same with “anathema”; the one being the Syriac, the other the Greek word, as “Abba, Father”; and think that “maranatha” is put for מחרמתא, “maharamatha”; others think that it is the same with מחרונאתא, “maharonatha”, which signifies “from wrath to come”; and being joined with the other word, intends an anathematizing or devoting persons to wrath to come: others take it to be the last, and worse sort of excommunication among the Jews; and observe, that the first sort was called נדוי, “Niddui”, which was a separation from company and conversation, to which reference may be had in Luk 6:22; the second sort was called חרם Cherem, to which “anathema” answers, and was a separation, attended with curses and imprecations; and a third sort was called שמתא, “Shammatha”, and is thought to answer to “maranatha”, giving the etymology of it, as if it was, שם אתא, “the name”, i.e. “God cometh”, as “maranatha” read as two words, signify “our Lord cometh”: but this is not the etymology the Jews give of “Shammatha” (g); they ask,

“what is “Shammatha?” says Rab, שם מיתה, “there is death”; and Samuel says, שממה יהיה, “desolations shall be”;”

but of the other etymology there is no mention made among them; nor is ever the word “maranatha” used by them for excommunication; the sense of which certainly is, “our Lord cometh”; and the Ethiopic version, joining it with the former word, renders the whole thus, “let him be anathema in the coming of our Lord”, which seems to be pretty much the sense of the apostle: it is best to consider this word, or rather these two words, “maran atha”, “our Lord cometh”, as added by the apostle, to put persons in mind of the coming of Christ; either at the destruction of Jerusalem, to take vengeance on the Jews, who did not love, but hated him, and maliciously persecuted him, and his; or of the second coming of Christ to judgment, when all the wicked of the earth shall be accursed by him, and all such that love him not will be bid to depart from him.

(g) T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 17. 1.

1 Corinthians 16:24

My love be with you all,…. Meaning either that he desired that he might be loved by them, as they were by him, and might always have a place in their hearts and affections, as they had in his; or that his love, which extended to all of them without exception, to rich and poor, greater or lesser believers, might be always acceptable to them; and which he now commended to them, and saluted them with, from his very heart: and that it might not be thought to be a carnal affection, or on account of any outward things, he adds,

in Christ Jesus; he loved them for Christ’s sake, because they were his, had his grace bestowed on them, his image stamped upon them, and his Spirit put within them; and concludes as usual, with an

Amen; both by way of request, and for the sake of confirmation; desiring that so it might be, and believing that so it would be. The following subscription is added, not by the apostle, but by some other hand since. “The first” epistle “to the Corinthians was written from Philippi, by Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus, and Timotheus”; but, as has been already observed, this epistle was not written from Philippi, but from Ephesus, where the apostle now was, as appears from 1Co 16:8; nor was it sent by Timotheus, for he was sent out before the writing of this epistle, see 1Co 4:17, and the apostle puts an if upon his coming to them, in 1Co 16:10, which he would scarcely have done, if he had sent this letter by him; though very probably it was sent by the other three, who came from Corinth, at their return thither.

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