The Book of 1 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 9 Part 2

We go on to 1 Cor 9:11-18
 
v11: Paul has given us examples of material/physical things. Those who labour in material things receive material things back. But Paul speaks here of something far superior to material things – spiritual things! If those who sow to the physical reap physical things how much more should those who sow to the spiritual reap? Paul sowed to the spiritual (he gave something of eternal value). What he was asking for (finance, food, support) was a poor reward (far inferior) in comparison to what he had given. 
 
v12: Are we not even more: Paul had done more for this congregation than those whom they were supporting. 
·      We have not used this right: Although he was entitled to it, Paul had not acted on this right. He did not receive financial assistance from the Corinthians, but he provided for himself.
·      Endure all things, lest we hinder the gospel of Messiah: Even though Paul was entitled to financial assistance from the Corinthians he was concerned that if there was financial interaction between him and them that it had the potential to be misconstrued and cause more harm than good. He decided to rather work for himself so that this could never be held against him. 
·      Messiah: Christ. Anointed One. 
 
v13: Paul goes back to the law in order to back up his point Biblically. Lev 7:6-10 etc Those who worked in the temple took their sustenance from the temple sacrifices and offerings. 
 
v14: The L-rd (referring to Yeshua) has commanded: This is a NT commandment. 
·      Those who preach the gospel: This is not talking about preaching it every now and then. This is referring to someone who is committed to the preaching and teaching of the Word in a full-time way. 
 
v15: I have used none of these things: Paul’s motivation for preaching the gospel was not a financial one. He obeyed and served G-d, endured prison and beatings etc not for financial benefit but because he understood Kingdom reality. Paul sowed seeds for a Kingdom harvest. As an apostle, he had the right to receive compensation from the places where he served but he didn’t make use of that right – Paul was not only concerned about doing the work, but he was also concerned about his testimony – what people would think and say about him. By not accepting compensation, Paul did not give his critics an opportunity to attack him and accuse him of preaching the gospel for financial gain.
·      It would be better for me to die: Paul would rather die than utilize the financial donations of others for himself. Paul worked for the reward he would receive from G-d and not the compensation he could have received from man.
·      My boasting: Paul found great pleasure (gloried) in the fact that he could have a testimony that he was working for G-d and not for man – that he was working for eternal reward and not temporary wages. 
 
v16: I have nothing to boast of: Paul did not use the preaching of the gospel as a means to exalt himself. 
·      Necessity is laid upon me: This is similar to what happened to Jeremiah (Jer 20:7-9). Because of the strong call of G-d in Jeremiah’s life and the Word that was placed within him he could not physically keep it inside of himself but had to get it out (speak it) in order to find physical relief. 
·      Woe: This is a strong word that is linked to judgment. Because of the call of G-d in his life, if Paul did not preach the Word he would have been considered in rebellion toward G-d. One of the most disastrous things that a person can experience is the consequences of rebelling against G-d. G-d, through the Holy Spirit, gave Paul truth. Paul heard the truth and responded to it. 
 
v17: I do this (this = call to apostleship) willingly: Not only did G-d equip Paul for this work, but He also placed within him a desire to do it. This is something we as believers should identify with. G-d has given every one of us at least one spiritual gift. That gift equips us for a call to service. When we serve G-d by utilising this gift, in the way He intended for us to (in submission to Him), we find peace, joy and satisfaction in our lives. 
·      A reward: Rebellion leads to something awful (“woe”), but submission leads to reward (a ‘wage’ from G-d).
·      Against my will: He does it, but in an uncommitted way. He does it simply as a job or a profession.  
·      Entrusted with a stewardship: A steward managed household affairs. At the end of the day, he took home his wage but that was all he received from his labours – although he watched over the business, he had no share in it. He received his dues from it but reaped none of its benefits. Paul (as has already been seen) didn’t want the earthly pay check – he wanted the eternal reward. 
 
v18: Paul’s reward, his delight, was in the fact that G-d has entrusted him (a sinner!) with the task of getting the good news of Messiah out into the world. Paul took delight in the fact that he was able to do it without charge – for free! (On Paul’s watch: people did not have to receive the good news and then be given a price tag attached to it) Paul was utilizing his own resources, spending additional time earning money, so that he took nothing from those he gave the good news to. Paul delighted in the fact that G-d blessed his own endeavours so that he had the ability to give of himself to others with no price tag attached. Paul delighted in the fact that he was not an employee in the Kingdom (it was not a business for him). He was a part of the Kingdom reality (like a son, he was a co-heir in it). 
·      Abuse my authority: As an apostle Paul had privileges or rights. He demanded none of these however, and instead did the exact opposite – he took nothing. 

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