Summary: What a heart this man, Paul, had for the cause of Christ. He would give up whatever he could so that others could know Jesus and be saved!
1 Cor. 9:23 And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
Did you hear about the UT guys that went hunting?
One of the tackles and the quarterback from UT went hunting and as they are walking in the woods suddenly the quarterback falls to the ground and stops breathing and his eyes glaze over. The tackle grabs his cell phone and calls coach Philburn and says, “Coach, we are out here hunting and the quarterback just died! What do I do?” Coach Fulmer says, “Take it easy, I can help, first lets just make sure that he’s dead.” “Ok,” there’s silence on the phone and then there’s a loud sound of a gun firing. The voice returns to the phone, “Ok, Coach, now what?”
It’s important to get our directions straight, isn’t it?
Sometimes well meaning Christians follow God’s instructions in a way that makes them do things that cause more harm than good for the cause of Christ. I read a recent publication where two men were seriously debating about whether or not it is scriptural for a church to send money to another church to help in mission work. One said it was and the other said it was not. Because every verse in the New Testament that spoke about money being sent from one church to another was for benevolent purposes and therefore, we have no authority from God’s Word to send money to another church to help support a missionary; furthermore, to do so is a sin. His argument was, “Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.” Now when you think about it, that kind of thinking is about as funny as the UT joke.
May God deliver us from thinking that entraps and destroys the work for the very cause for which Christ died!
But wait a minute now. Have you considered the scriptures here and how they apply to us?
Let’s just read chapter 9 and notice what this chapter leads up to that is so powerful for the cause of Christ.
9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?
2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 My defense to those who examine me is this:
4 Do we not have a right to eat and drink?
5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
6 Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working?
7 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?
8 I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things?
9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, "YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING." God is not concerned about oxen, is He?
10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.
11 If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?
12 If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ.
13 Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share with the altar?
14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things that it may be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one.
16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.
18 What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.