Paul was encouraging Christians to give money, in order to help the poor Christians in Judea. He permitted even poor Christians to give if they had the right attitudes (verses 4-5). However, Paul realised that there could be problems with such gifts. He did not want to take money from poor people simply so that other people could be more comfortable.
So, Paul’s plan was not merely to collect money in order to support Judea’s Christians. Rather, Paul was arranging for the Christians in different nations to share with each other. God had given good things to the Christians in each region. For example, many of Corinth’s Christians had comfortable lives, and more money than they really needed. Judea’s Christians were poor, but they had a close relationship with God in prayer *. It was clear, therefore, that each group of Christians had something to give to the other group. Paul expected Judea’s Christians to pray for Corinth’s Christians, and to accept that as a serious responsibility.
In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, Paul told Corinth’s Christians that they all depended on each other. God had made a relationship between them, which was like the relationship between the parts of the human body. That was true for their church; but now Paul taught them that all Christians everywhere depend on each other, too.
Paul referred to Exodus 16:18. God provided a special food, called manna, for Israel’s people in the desert. He did not want anyone to be greedy, or anyone to starve. So, he provided the right amount for everyone. That is how God wants Christians to deal with their money and possessions too. When they have plenty, they should consider it an opportunity to help other people.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.