1 Corinthians chapter 9

Christian believers are to financially support those who sow the faith. It is urgently important that we go evangelize the world. [UPDATED]

 


 

FINANCIALLY SUPPORT THOSE WHO SOW THE FAITH

SUMMARY: Those who sow the faith have a God-given right to receive financial support from those who benefit from their ministry.

 

VERSE 1. Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus Christ, our Lord? Aren’t you my work in the Lord?

1 Corinthians 9:1. Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus Christ, our Lord? Aren’t you my work in the Lord?

1 Corinthians 15:8. and last of all, as to the child born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.

1 Corinthians 22:14. He said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth.

 

VERSE 2. If to others I am not an apostle, yet at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

 

VERSE 3. My defense to those who examine me is this:

defense. The Greek word is ἀπολογία (“apologia”). It means verbal defense. It is the root word for the Ministry of Apologetics.

 

VERSE 4. Have we no right to eat and to drink?

Have we no right. During their apostolic work in Corinth, Paul and Barnabas had supported themselves by doing secular work. They made tents.

However, they actually had a God-given right to ask for financial support.

 

VERSE 5. Have we no right to take along a wife who is a believer, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?

right to take along a wife. Another right that Paul and Barnabas did not exercise was to be married.

 

VERSE 6. Or have only Barnabas and I no right to not work?

no right to not work. This is a rhetorical question. Of course, Paul and Barnabas had the right to ask for financial support.

 

VERSE 7. What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and doesn’t eat of its fruit? Or who feeds a flock, and doesn’t drink from the flock’s milk?

serves at his own expense. Everybody receives a decent livelihood from what they do. People do not spend their whole lives as volunteers.

Luke 10:7. Remain in that same house, eating and drinking the things they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Don’t go from house to house.

 

VERSE 8. Do I speak these things according to the ways of men? Or doesn’t the law also say the same thing?

These insights are not just from Paul. They are also found in the Old Testament.

 

VERSE 9. For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it for the oxen that God cares,

You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain. Even an animal is “compensated” for its labor. It is provided what it needs. It does not do its labor on a “volunteer” basis.

Deuteronomy 25:4. You shall not muzzle the ox when he treads out the grain.

Is it for the oxen that God cares. God does indeed care for the animals. He cares for humans as well.

 

VERSE 10. or does he say it assuredly for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because he who plows ought to plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should partake of his hope.

it was written for our sake. The instruction about not muzzling the oxen is an object-lesson. It teaches us that we should take care of those who sow spiritually.

he who plows ought to plow in hope. The laborer is worth his keep.

 

VERSE 11. If we sowed to you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we reap your fleshly things?

If we sowed to you spiritual things. Paul and Barnabas had labored greatly for them, sowing spiritual things among the believers in Corinth.

is it a great thing if we reap your fleshly things. The believers in Corinth really should financially support Paul and Barnabas. For them to do that is not unreasonable.

 

VERSE 12. If others partake of this right over you, don’t we yet more? Nevertheless we didn’t use this right, but we bear all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the Good News of Christ.

others partake of this right over you. The believers in Corinth were already supporting other Christian leaders. It is only right that they should also support Paul and Barnabas.

don’t we yet more. Paul and Barnabas have more of a right to their financial support than others do.

Nevertheless we did not use this right. Paul and Barnabas had the right to ask them for support. However, they did not want to burden the believers with it. So they did not exercise their right of financial support.

 

VERSE 13. Don’t you know that those who serve around sacred things eat from the things of the temple, and those who wait on the altar have their portion with the altar?

have their portion. In the doing of their ministry, the Old Testament priests received a livelihood. They did not minister as “volunteers.”

 

VERSE 14. Even so the Lord ordained that those who proclaim the Good News should live from the Good News.

NIV translation: In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from First Corinthians.

should live from the Good News. This is the essence of full-time Christian ministry. The minister works full-time and does not have to earn a living. The community is to compensate their minister. Paul says this is a commandment from the Lord.

Some congregations pay their ministers quite highly. Other congregations pay their ministers miserably.

 

VERSE 15. But I have used none of these things, and I don’t write these things that it may be done so in my case; for I would rather die, than that anyone should make my boasting void.

 

VERSE 16. For if I preach the Good News, I have nothing to boast about; for necessity is laid on me; but woe is to me if I don’t preach the Good News.

woe is to me if I don’t preach. This ought to be written everywhere we look. We Christians are called to the Ministry of Evangelism.

Evangelism is how we share the infinite treasure of Jesus Christ with those who do not know him.

Yet most of us Christians keep our mouths shut. We rationalize the fact that we are withholding the infinite treasure of Jesus Christ from those who need him.

 

VERSE 17. For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.

 

VERSE 18. What then is my reward? That when I preach the Good News, I may present the Good News of Christ without charge, so as not to abuse my authority in the Good News.

 

THE URGENCY OF EVANGELISM

 

VERSE 19. For though I was free from all, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more.

NLT translation: Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ.

 

VERSE 20. To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those who are under the law;

that I might gain those. That is, “to win over.”

 

VERSE 21. to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law.

 

VERSE 22. To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.

NIV translation: To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

 

VERSE 23. Now I do this for the sake of the Good News, that I may be a joint partaker of it.

 

VERSE 24. Don’t you know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run like that, that you may win.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from First Corinthians.

NIV translation: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Run … that you may win. Paul was very single-minded!

 

VERSE 25. Every man who strives in the games exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible.

 

VERSE 26. I therefore run like that, not aimlessly. I fight like that, not beating the air,

not beating the air. That is, not shadow-boxing.

 

VERSE 27. but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.

I beat my body. That is, “I drive my body.” Think of an athlete in training. They push and push. Through that, they break through barriers and achieve new accomplishments.

However, not everybody pushes to accomplish great things:

1 Corinthians 10:5. However with most of them, God was not well pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

 


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1 CORINTHIANS

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


 

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