1 Corinthians – Paul’s Rights

Posted on Posted in 1 Corinthians

“This is my answer to those who question my authority. Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? Don’t we have the right to bring a believing wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter does? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves? 1 Corinthians 9:3-6

It seems that even here at the church that Paul had started, some had begun to question Paul’s authority. Paul is explaining to them that the apostle’s living should come from the people he ministers to. They ministered to the people with no strings attached, but the people must support those who minister to them.

 Paul was a tentmaker and supported himself. “Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as he was.” (Acts 18:3) Paul was letting the Corinthians know that he and Barnabas had as much right as others to receive full financial support from their work. Except for help from a few churches, they paid their own expenses not because of obligation or necessity, but voluntarily.

The privilege that Paul might have claimed was support from the Church. Not only could he have claimed such support for himself but also for a wife. In fact, the other apostles did receive such support. The Greeks despised manual labor; no free Greek would willingly work with his hands. They felt that those that worked with their hands were not well educated. This is some of the problems within the church at Corinth. Even the Jewish Rabbis was to teach for nothing, but they found ways that they were supported in their work. I do believe that those that minister should receive support from those in the church, but I also believe that if you have a call from God, He will provide no matter what.

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