Support Your Gospel Preacher - 1 Corinthians 9

Support Your Gospel Preacher

1 Corinthians 9:1-27

It was only a small country church.  A young pastor was called to the church, and told that the church could not afford to pay him a full salary.  They offered him a part-time salary.  Then they said that he could also serve as the church custodian to increase his income to a livable wage.  He declined, saying, "Pay me the livable wage, and get some church members to voluntarily clean the church."  The young man moved on.

"Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel."  1 Corinthians 9:14.  This is not a command to the preacher, but rather a command to those who benefit from his preaching. 

Paul asked, "Who ever goes to war at his own expense?  Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit?  Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?"  Soldiers, farmers, and shepherds are compensated for their labors.  According to the law of Moses, even the ox that pulled the plow was not to be muzzled.  The Old Testament priests who served in the temple got to partake of the offerings of the altar.  Paul's point was this: "If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?"  Like everyone else, the preacher of the gospel should be properly compensated.

The apostle Paul was determined to preach the gospel of Christ whether or not financial support was forthcoming.  God had entrusted him with the proclamation of the message of the gospel.  "For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!"  1 Corinthians 9:16, 17.   

When Paul preached the gospel, he did so "without charge."  His ministry was not a money machine.  In his second letter to the Corinthians he wrote, "For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ."  2 Corinthians 2:17.

A young man graduated from Bible college and was accepted as a missionary candidate by a mission board.  He belonged to a large, affluent church.  The elders debated about whether or not the church should contribute to his support.  One elder spoke up and said, "If we do not support this man, we should stop encouraging our people to enter a full-time Christian ministry."  The church decided to support him.

Support your gospel preacher.  Make sure that his material needs are met.  It's the right thing to do.

 

Lord, thank You for raising up preachers of Your Word.  Help us to be generous in supporting them, as we remember that soldiers do not serve at their own expense.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 

Learn and Live - 1 Corinthians 10

 
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