1 Corinthians 9:11-14

In 1 Corinthians 9:11-14 Paul continues to make the case for why those who minister in spiritual things should also reap some benefits from those they serve. In other words, we have to take care of those who serve on behalf of the Gospel. “If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?” It wasn’t that the Corinthian Christians refused to support anyone in ministry. No, others were being cared for. The problem with the Corinthian Christians was they refused to support Paul, and thought less of him because he did not receive it. It’s complicated and confused.

Just as strongly as Paul makes it clear there is a right for support, he also wants to be sure the church knows he has the right not to use that right if he desires, especially if it gets in the way of the work of the ministry in sharing the gospel of Jesus. Paul’s first and really only priority was to do the work of the gospel. Whether or not he got any support was really based on how that would impact the ministry. If it helped, then he wanted support. If it hindered things, he did not. “If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.”

Paul’s real heart on the matter was that he needed to keep the main thing the main thing. It wasn’t about the money, it was about the mission. His main concern was not to hinder the gospel ministry in any way. Paul was willing to deny himself an important right for the good of the gospel, so then the Corinthian Christians should also not deny the “right” to eat meat sacrificed to idols for the same good. “Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings?” Basically Paul says ‘you can’t have it both ways’.

Paul makes a summary statement on this topic of supporting those who minister the gospel: “In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.” This command from the Lord means that anyone who preaches the gospel has the right to be supported by those he preaches to. Should modern ministers assert or release their right to be supported? They should do whatever will serve the gospel and the church better. But if a minister does take money for support, he should work hard to earn that money. There is an obligation for the church to support the minister, and the minister to fully support the church.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: