August 14, 2023 at 12:52 pm
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. 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? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:12-18
Beware of the Preachers that want to charge for the presentation of the Gospel.
endure. False teachers sought money. Paul wanted to be certain he was not classed with them, so he endured not accepting support in order not to offend. Acts 20:34; 2 Thessalonians 3:8.
~ MacArthur Bible Commentary
To have used it would have been an abuse since it would have given rise to reproach and character assassination from false apostles. It could have hindered the Gospel and become a stumbling block for some weak minds.
You know, we do not have the right to give up our freedom for that was purchased by Christ but we do have the freedom to give up our rights for the sake of winning the lost. Paul gave up his right to receive financial support and he begged the Corinthians to give up their rights for the sake of the saved. Christian ministry is like fighting a war, caring for a vine, a vineyard, tending a flock and cultivating a field. Meditate on these images and see what they teach you about serving the Lord.
Ministry is stewardship, and the servant must be faithful. Ministers of Christ are also like runners who must keep the rules or be disqualified. And in a few of these verses, we’ll see that they call for courtesy and wisdom in witness, not for compromise. I have become all things to all men. Does not mean Paul had no personal convictions. No, not at all, it means he used his convictions to build bridges, not walls. If he seemed inconsistent, it was only because people did not look deep enough. His one overriding and great desire was to win the lost. And that governed his every decision. It was Howard W. Newton who wrote tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.
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