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.
 

16:2 first day of the week. At first the early Jewish Christians continued to meet with the other Jews in the synagogues on the seventh day of the week. They later supplemented this by a separate meeting by themselves on the first day of the week. It probably took place after sundown on Saturday, when the sabbath was past but before the day’s work was scheduled to begin on Sunday. This was also the day of the Lord’s resurrection, which they wished to commemorate regularly, while still commemorating the completion of God’s creation by working just six days. Eventually, as they were put out of the synagogues, they continued just with their own meetings on the first day of the week. Note also Acts 20:7.

16:2 lay by him in store. Although this particular collection was for what we today would call a “designated offering,” it seems likely that this principle of regular and systematic giving for the over-all work of the Lord was carried out in similar fashion. The words “in store” (Greek thesaurizo, meaning “storehouse” or “treasury”) would indicate that the church maintained a depository where its members could deposit their offerings each Lord’s Day. The phrase “by him” might indicate that a record was kept of each contribution, so that each believer would have his or her own mini-treasure from which to draw and offer for various needs as they arose. This particular method, while not binding on all Christians or their churches, seems quite realistic and was apparently that recommended by Paul. Perhaps, alternatively, each such depository could be maintained at home by each member, individually, depending on local circumstances.

16:2 prospered him. Although tithing is not set (or anywhere else in the New Testament) as the standard for Christian giving, the principle of proportionate giving is clearly commanded by Paul. Those who have been most “prospered” by the Lord should contribute the most. A better guide than ten percent given might well be the amount retained for personal and family use. Recall that Jesus gave a special commendation to the poor widow who gave “all her living” (Mark 12:44), and that Paul said, “Having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (I Timothy 6:8). Also note that, if a person receives wages only once a month, say, then the Lord has “prospered” him, in effect, only in one week out of the month. It would probably be better for him to lay his offering by in store only in that week, while he still has the money, rather than try to give it out in weekly installments throughout the month.

16:2 when I come. In this particular case, at least, since Paul did not want to take up a collection himself when he arrived at Corinth, it would have been preferable for the weekly offerings to have been laid up in the church depository than in the various homes.


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