13 Keys to Growth – 1 Cor 161 Corinthians: Called to Be Saints
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It may seem easy to skim or skip over the closing remarks in Paul’s letters, but we would do so to our own loss. His final instructions and greetings convey powerful nuggets of truth that will motivate all who are “called to be saints.” Let’s identify ten “Keys to Growth” found in 1 Corinthians 16.
1. Contribution – 16:1-4
The Christian’s commitment to giving is both a mark of growth and a means of growth. Our giving to the work of the Lord is to be …
Relational. “Now concerning the collection for the saints …”
Obedient. “as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also do.”
Consistent. “On the first day of each week …” Cf. Ac 20:7.
Individual. “… each of you …”
Deliberate. “… is to put something aside and store it up …”
Proportional. “… as each one has prospered …”
Confident. “… And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.”
2. Interaction – 16:5-7
Our investment of ourselves in each other’s lives brings tremendous dividends.
1 Co 16:5 I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, 6 and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.
3. Production – 16:8-9
Even when facing opposition, Christians grow by finding the open door and working effectively.
1 Co 16:8 But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
4. Edification – 16:10-12
Just like Timothy, Apollos, and Paul, we need to build each other up in our obedience to Christ.
1 Co 16:10 When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am. 11 So let no one despise him. Help him on his way in peace, that he may return to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers. 12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but it was not at all his will to come now. He will come when he has opportunity.
5. Conviction – 16:13-14
Nothing takes the place of sober awareness, stable faith, mature strength, and a loving manner.
1 Co 16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.
6. Submission – 16:15-16
Just as leaders are to be devoted (“addicted,” KJV) to ministry, followers are to be subject to them.
1 Co 16:15 Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints), 16 that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.
7. Affection – 16:17-21
Note the words “supplied,” “refreshed,” and “greet,” which convey the idea of warm affection among disciples of Christ.
1 Co 16:17 I rejoice over the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have supplied what was lacking on your part. 18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore, acknowledge such men. 19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 20 All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. 21 The greeting is in my own hand—Paul.
8. Caution – 16:22a
Since everything in Christianity begins with loving the Lord, the lack of such love brings his condemnation.
1 Co 16:22a If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.*
*Anathema – lit. “something placed or set up.”
 “devoted to destruction.” Num 21:3; Deut 7:26; Jud 1:17; 6:17; 7:12 (LXX )
 “object of a curse.” Rom 9:3; 1 Cor 12:3; Gal 1:8f. Note Ac 23:14 Gk. “We have anathematized ourselves with an anathema.” (= Eng. “bound ourselves with an oath.”)
9. Anticipation – 16:22b
One who prays this prayer sincerely cannot help but grow as a child of God.
1 Co 16:22b Our Lord, come!
Maran atha in Aramaic.
Mar = “Lord.” an or ana = “our.” atha = “come.”
Re 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
Only when we are sure He’s coming tomorrow, can we really start living today!
10. Intercession – 16:23-24
Praying for grace to reach others, and expressing our love to them, bring both them and us immeasurable blessings.
1 Co 16:23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
What a combo: his grace for us and our love for each other in him!
The Lord’s grace changes every vessel that carries it.
When His grace passes through us to others, neither we nor they will ever be the same again.
Tell someone today, “I love you in the Lord!”