Summary: First person narrative; Be an encouragement to each other.

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I Corinthians 16:5-24

S: Encouragement

C: Paul’s final words to the Corinthians


Type: First person

Context: Paul is writing out is final words to the Corinthians. Doing this method adds interest to a somewhat choppy ending.

Setting: Desk, chair, scroll, stylus

PA: How is the change to be observed?

Version: ESV

RMBC 29 May 05 AM

Sosthenes! Sosthenes! Where are you?

Let’s see…we have to finish this letter up.

I think I have covered everything they asked abut.

We just finished the resurrection.

We did marriage, food sacrificed to idols, the lawsuit, the Lord’s Supper, spiritual gifts, the Jerusalem relief fund.

I think we got it all.

Good thing too, since we are at the end of this scroll.

It is now time for the final words.

Where did Sosthenes go?

My name is Paul.

I have been described as a man with a large nose that is short, bow-legged, and bald.

So I am not much to look at – what can I say?

Anyway, Sosthenes is my writer of sorts.

I dictate, and he writes.

I have been writing a letter to the church in Corinth.

You could say I am their spiritual father.

When I came to Corinth to share the good news about Jesus, it would hardly be considered a fruitful place to start a church.

Prosperity, luxury, idolatry, sexual laxity – this was truly a cosmopolitan place.

And it is in this crazy place that the church explodes.

I have never seen such growth.

After I left, this church became a proud, self-sufficient and strong-willed people – with a lot of personal and spiritual problems.

They are believers, even though sometimes they don’t act like it.

Deep down, most of them love God and want to serve Him.

I guess Sosthenes is not coming today.

Well, I want to get this letter off, so I guess I will have to do it, even though Sosthenes’ handwriting is much better than my own.

Eleúsomai dé prós humás hótan Makedonían diélthoo Makedonían gár diérchomai prós humás dé tuchón paramenoó eé kaí paracheimásoo hína humeís me propémpseete hoú eán poreúoomai. Ou théloo gár humás árti en paródoo ideín elpízoo gár chrónon tiná epimeínai prós humás eán ho Kúrios epitrépsee

Oh, is that all Greek to you?

Don’t worry!

It’s all Greek to me as well!

I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.

I want to get back to Corinth.

But I know a quick visit won’t do.

I have to spend significant time with them.

So we will see how the Lord unfolds it.

I think it is important to keep looking and planning ahead.

But plans are not perfect.

They are always subject to the Lord’s revision.

So you have to remain flexible.

You have to keep in step with what the Lord desires.

Epimenoó dé en Efésoo héoos teés Penteekosteés thúra gár moi anéoogen megálee kaí energeés kaí antikeímenoi polloí

But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

There is good opportunity that is happening here in Ephesus.

It is really quite unexpected.

It is not unlike Corinth.

It hardly seemed like a place where the church would grow.

There is organized idolatry and occult practitioners.

It is a city laden with superstition, sexual vice, racism, and demonism.

Yet I knew something good was going on because of the opposition.

You know you are making a difference when the work is being hindered.

This has become a battlefield for the eternity of souls.

It is a fight against Satan and his demons.

He is fighting a losing battle against our Lord.

Eán dé élthee Timótheos blépete hína afóboos géneetai prós humás tó gár érgon Kuríou ergázetai hoos kagoó. Meé-tis oún autón exoutheneésee. Propémpsate dé autón en eireénee hína élthee prós me ekdéchomai gár autón metá toón adelfoón

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.

I have already sent Timothy to the churches I have started.

He is a remarkable young man.

He loves the Lord.

He loves the good news.

I see a lot of me in him, and yet, we are nothing alike.

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