Paul's Money Problems
1 Corinthians 9:1-27

   If Paul were alive and speaking here in America, and delivering the same sermon, what would he say? For the average listener, would Paul's lecture be almost impossible to understand? Or did Paul speak in easy to understand plain language?
  • This is not a paraphrase . 
  • This is not a translation. 
  • This is the author's understanding of what Paul had in mind.
  • And if Paul were here in America giving a talk. 

   In 1 Corinthians chapter 9 Paul uses the word 'law' ten times.

King James Bible

Author's Understanding

Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.

3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,

(1) Look, I'm a pastor of a church, and you are my congregation.

(2) Perhaps I am not a pastor in the eyes of the world. But I am to you. The fact that you come here and sit here week after week is proof enough.

(3) My answer to those who accuse me is this.

 

4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?





5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and [as] the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

(4) Don't I have the right to ask this church to support my family. I don't see any of you complaining about Pastor Fallwel down the street. His church not only pays his salary but it puts him up in a mansion of a Parsonage. Yes, and gives him a new car every year.

(5) Don't you think that the church should pay the pastor's way to camps and other speaking engagements? I bet Billy Graham doesn't have to pay for his own plane ticket.

6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?


7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?

8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?

(6) Do I have to get a job? It's hard enough getting things done as is without spending eight hours a day in a factory.

(7) You men in the military. Who paid your way to Korea or Viet-Nam? Did you reach into your own pocket to buy that M-16, or did the Taxpayer buy it? You people working in the bakery. Do you get a pay check?

(8) Is this just my opinion, or does God's Law say something about it?

9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?


10 Or saith he [it] altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, [this] is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.


11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, [is it] a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?



12 If others be partakers of [this] power over you, [are] not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.

(9) Deuteronomy 25:4 says, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. Don't tell me the law is done away in Jesus, If it were I wouldn't be quoting this verse.

(10) Does God say this because he believes in animal rights? Or did he say it for our sakes? No doubt, {this} is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.

(11) If you have received something from me, a Newsletter, or cassette tapes, don't you think that I should get something in exchange? If I were to call you freeloaders you'd be offended.

(12) When you go to the store do you pay the clerk, or do you give him a 'free will offering' of a dollar? How about the tax collector. I bet you don't say no to him. I've rarely seen a person so poor that he could not afford a six-pack or a pack of cigarettes. But to look at the collection plate you would think so. Nevertheless I haven't said anything about this authority and power to collect tithes before lest you should be offended and the gospel be hindered.

13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live [of the things] of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

(13) Don't you know that the Levites who ministered in the temple obtained their living from the things of the temple. Look at Numbers 18:8 and 31. And the Lord spake unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given thee the charge of mine heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever. In verse 31, And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.

Look at Leviticus 18. In verse, 1, The priests the Levites, {and} all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and his inheritance. (2) Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the Lord {is} their inheritance, as he hath said unto them. (3) And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether {it be} ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.

The Levitical priests had no inheritance in the land. They couldn't farm or have a cattle ranch to make a living. They were to be full time ministers. They were to eat of the offerings. Yes, I am likewise to live off the money in the collection plate. I'm to be a full-time minister. Preaching the Gospel is not to be a part time activity. Look at verse three, this shall be the priest's due from the people.

Look at what the priests were also entitled to as their 'due'.

Verse 4, The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.

5) For the Lord thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons for ever.

(6) And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which the Lord shall choose;

(7) Then he shall minister in the name of the Lord his God, as all his brethren the Levites {do}, which stand there before the Lord.

(8) They shall have like portions to eat, beside that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony.

   What does it mean by, the sale of his patrimony? Simply this, Do you want someone to perform a wedding? You'd pay a justice of the peace, wouldn't you?

   You tip the waiter at the restaurant, don't you? Well do you expect me to do these things for nothing?

   Sure, I'll do it for free. But don't you think I should find a little something extra in the offering plate?

   Some of you have taken your problems to psychologists and psychiatrists. You paid them didn't you?

    If he is worth $90.00 an hour, when I counsel you, am I not worth something also? (You shouldn't go to him anyway just like you should not go to the Justice of The Peace for marriage or to the courts in disputes with fellow Christians.)

14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for [it were] better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.

16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if  I preach not the gospel!

(14) That's what Jesus meant when he said in Luke 10:7, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Look, they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. They should not have to hold down full or part time jobs to make ends meet.

(15) I haven't said anything about this before, neither have I written on this subject. I'd rather die than have someone undo the work that I have done.
(16) Yes, I preach the gospel, but I have nothing to brag about. It's just something I have to do. I'd feel terrible if I didn't do what I must do.

.17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation [of the gospel] is committed unto me.

18 What is my reward then? [Verily] that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all [men], yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;


21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

(17) Some of you say that I preach for money. Well, if I had a stately home and a limousine at your expense, perhaps that complaint would be justified.

   But not when I have to pay the cost of running this church out of my own pocket. I do this willingly. I have a reward in heaven. But, if it's just a job, or if it's just for money, or if I am just a hired hand, my wages are my reward.

   When you go to work, come pay day, you get your reward. Your employer doesn't owe you anything more. That is what you were paid to do and you did it. I can hire someone to distribute flyers or you could do it for me. The first has a reward now, while the other has his reward in heaven.

(18) At least, if I preach without pay, I can lay a foundation for the Gospel, and no one can fire me.

(19) So, while I can not be fired as a hired servant, I have made myself a servant of all of you so that as many as possible could benefit from the message.

(20) When I was in Judea I followed the customs and regulations of that land. That I could gain their favorable attention. So that they would hear what I had to say. In Rome I did as the Romans did.

(21) When with the lawless, such as the Hells Angles Motorcycle gang, I acted like the lawless, however I still obeyed the law of God and Christ's commands. To get this group's favorable attention you wear a leather jacket and Levies, not a two piece business suit

22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all [men], that I might by all means save some.


23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with [you].

24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

27 But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

(22) When I talk to 'Johnny Lunchbucket' I speak in working man's terms, not as a businessman. I adapted myself to the situation so that I could save as many as possible.

(23) And I do this for the Gospel's sake, so, in that day, we will all be there.

(24) Certainly there are enough sports fans here to know that, while all the runners start, only one wins.

(25) And the contestants must be temperate in all things. And they work very hard at this. All this for a temporary reward. Not so with us. We strive for an eternal reward.

(26) So let's quit shadow boxing. Let's quit talking big.

(27) This we must do, let's practice self control and discipline. I certainly don't want to be one, who after setting an example for others, failed to gain the victory myself, and instead ending up on the scrap heap of history.

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Corinthians 6
Corinthians 9
 Galatians
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