In my devotions yesterday morning there were several more passages about missionary giving. They were so good, I could not resist doing one more devotional on the subject.
In chapter 9 of 1 Corinthians, Paul explains his single hearted devotion for making Christ known. In this particular case, he did not take money deserved him, so that the gospel message would not be hindered. In the following verses Paul explains his right to receive wages and why he did not accept them in this situation.
1 Corinthians 9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
The Apostle Paul is insisting that the Christians at Corinth should listen to him.
1 Corinthians 9:3 My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Do we not have a right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?
There were some in the Corinthian church who were doubting Paul’s right to be paid for his work as an apostle.
Common Sense Proves Missionaries Should be Paid
1 Corinthians 9:6 Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 7 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?
The Bible Commands that Missionaries be Paid
1 Corinthians 9:8 I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.
Logic Concludes Missionaries Should be Paid
1 Corinthians 9:11 If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share the right over you, do we not more?
Somethings are more Important than Money
1 Corinthians 9:12b Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ.
Paul is like me, he had some reasons why he did not want use the money from the church.
God’s servants are to live by their ministry
1 Corinthians 9:13 Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? 14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.
When to Refuse Wages for Ministry
1 Corinthians 9:15 But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one.
We must Preach the Gospel
1 Corinthians 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. 17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. 18 What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
Our Ultimate Motivation
1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.
If Paul did not accept money from the Corinthians, How did he live?
1 Corinthians 11:8 I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you; 9 and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia.