The Key of David

"the physical, visible reveals the spiritual, invisible things of God"

Short Answers: Why Take Up a Collection?


1 Corinthians 16:1-2


Paul wrote, “Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.”



The reason for taking up a collection for the saints at Jerusalem was the famine occurring in Judea. This famine was not affecting the saints in Asia or in Achaia; so it wasn’t a shortage of money that was preventing the saints in Judea from having enough. It was a shortage of grain, of foodstuffs. Therefore the collection that was to be taken up wasn’t of money, for money could buy no food when no food was to be had. The collection was of food stores, basic grain and other goods, all of which required work to assemble. The collection wasn’t passing an offering plate, but the bringing of sacks of grain and amphora of oil and wine to a central collection point. This collection was real work, and work to be done at the beginning of the week when whatever was left from the previous week could be offered to the saints at Jerusalem.

Taking up a Collection Every Week is Contrary to Scripture:

Many who argue for Sunday observance point to the Seventh Day Adventists’ practice of taking up a collection every Sabbath, but this practice is contrary to Scripture as is the doubly false practice of passing an offering plate on Sunday mornings. The practice of the Sabbatarian Churches of God has been more in line with Scripture: these fellowships apply literally the admonishment, ‘“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God [YHWH your Elohim] at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he had given you”’ (Deut 16:16-17).

Therefore, an offering is traditionally taken only on the seven high Sabbaths: the first and last day of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, first day of Tabernacles, and Last Great Day, with some fellowships only taking up an offering three times a year: First Day of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and First Day of Tabernacles.

Spiritually, the command for all males to appear three seasons a year would have the inner new man presenting the tent of flesh in which he dwells as his offering to God on these three seasons. But the important point here is that it is unscriptural to take up an offering on weekly Sabbath services; it is unscriptural to mix the mundane with the spiritual. Paul’s command was for the offering to be taken up on the first day of the week, not at Sabbath services. Plus, Paul was addressing a special situation, and was NOT commanding that Jerusalem fellowships take up a collection on the first day of the week. He limited his instructions to Galatia, Corinth, and those regions that were NOT in a famine situation.

No command to cease observing the Sabbath:

Again, in Paul’s command to take up a collection on the first day of the week, there is nothing about ceasing to observe the Sabbath.

* * * * *


"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."