Q&A: “As God Hath Prospered Him?”

Question: Does God Bless The Believer With Material Things, If Not, What About What Is Mentioned In 1st Corinthians 16:2?

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

[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.

The doctrine contained in 1st Corinthians chapter 16 consists of providing aid to the poor Saints which were in need of the necessities of life. Paul knew that the Corinthians could give unto the poor, but they had not yet understood the doctrine of godly charity. The Apostle Paul said in 1st Corinthians 4:8: “now ye are rich,” this is not to say that they all were rich, but they could have; and should have provided relief to the poor Saints. The Corinthians were not Partaking of the “Bread of the Lord” properly, they did not have “care for one another,” and if they did not show charity unto them who were among them in the church, how would they give unto the poor Saints that were in other places.

Rom.15:25] But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.

[26] For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.

[27] It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.

So this begs the question; if God was blessing the Saints like the Corinthians with “carnal things,” why did Paul have to take up a collection for the “poor Saints?” Why would the Corinthians of all people, be “rich,” but the Saints at Jerusalem be poor? Could not God ‘prosper’ them as well? And if God was ‘prospering’ the Saints in Paul’s day, it would have been the faithful in Christ, and especially the Jewish Church to whom He promised that He would provide all their need. So, going back to the original question; if 1st Corinthians 16:2 does not refer to God prospering the Saints with material things, what exactly is Paul saying to the Corinthians here in chapter 16?

Gal.2:9] And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

[10] Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

In Romans chapter 15:25-27, Paul says that he will go and minister unto the “poor saints which are at Jerusalem,” and notice what Paul says about the “gift” that he will bring unto them. Paul calls the collection of necessities “carnal things,” and he makes the distinction between carnal things and Spiritual things that we are now partakers of. And just as we, who were “sometimes afar off,” and Gentiles in the flesh, and at one time, having “ no hope,” we are now partakers of justification unto eternal life, salvation from the debt and penalty of sin against us, we can now produce fruit unto holiness, and we have everlasting life in Him. Israel were sole partakers of these “Spiritual things,” this is what Paul also is referring to in 1st Corinthians chapter 16 when he says, “as God hath prospered him.” Paul is saying, ‘just as God hath prospered you with the Spiritual things in Christ, so you should give unto the poor Saints your carnal things.’

1stCor.4:8] Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.

[9] For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

[10] We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.

[11] Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;

Paul had promised the Jewish Church that he would “remember the poor,” in Galatians chapter 2:10, and he did, there were some who operated upon godly charity unto the Saints, but the Corinthian Saints valued their carnal things, they were babes in understanding. And if God were prospering Saints, wouldn’t the Apostle Paul be at the top of His list? But notice what Paul says in 1st Corinthians 4:8-11, Paul, like the Saints which were at Jerusalem, was also ‘poor,’ he too needed the necessities of life. But Paul operated upon selflessness, and possessed a Spiritual mind, and he looked not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. The Apostle Paul was ‘Spiritually rich,’ and “God hath prospered him,” and all who are justified unto eternal life in Christ Jesus, and we too are prospered by all those Spiritual blessings in Heavenly places, not by the carnal things of this world that will ‘pass away,’ and will always be wanting. God “hath prospered” all who are in Christ, and have the gift of eternal life, and the gift of sanctification unto holiness unto our Father, and the gift of sufferings, these are the “Spiritual” things which God hath prospered His saints.

Rod Jones

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