A good example

The conclusion to Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians included a few good examples of appropriate Christian behavior. Paul started by encouraging the Corinthians to support the believers in Jerusalem that were suffering financially because of their faith. He said:

I want to tell you what to do about the money you are gathering for the Christians. Do the same as I told the churches in the country of Galatia to do. On the first day of every week each of you should put aside some of your money. Give a certain part of what you have earned. Keep it there because I do not want money gathered when I come. When I get there, I will give letters to the men you want to send. They will take your gift to Jerusalem. If I can go, they can go with me. (1 Corinthians 16:1-4, NLV)

The second thing Paul told the Corinthians to do was to show Timothy respect because of his work in Paul’s ministry. Paul said, “When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am. 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” (1 Corinthians 16:10-11, ESV). Basically, what Paul was saying was don’t give Timothy the cold shoulder; treat him like you would me if I were coming to visit you.

Paul’s final admonition to the Corinthians was for them to behave like mature Christians. Paul told the Corinthians to “be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14). The words Paul used: watch, stand, and be strong all had to do with guarding a city. Most likely Paul was referring to the kingdom of heaven and wanted the Corinthians to be alert to the threat of spiritual warfare. Paul’s last statement, “Let all that you do be done in love” was probably meant as a general rule to guide their behavior. Whenever the Corinthians were unsure how to handle a situation, the easiest way to determine God’s will was for them to ask the question, how can I show this person love? Ultimately, Paul’s goal for them was to act like Christ.

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