1 Corinthians 9:15-18 “Gospel’s reward”

Sep 11 2018

1 Corinthians 9:15-18 “Gospel’s reward

In 1 Corinthians 9:15 Paul writes, “But I have used none of these things”, it is his way of transitioning from his rights as a pastor to be compensated for his service to that of for going his right for a greater reward. The context is that of answering the question of Just how far should the conscious of others go in limiting my personal freedom? His point is that Rights must be balanced by reward. What could be a greater reward then monetary compensation? Paul tells us in verse 15, “for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.” We will unravel the meaning of his words in a moment but first it is obvious that Paul is speaking of a “personal reward”, something that he would rather die then forfeit. Accepting financial compensation would render this personal reward void, and verses 16-17 tells us what the personal reward was not. It was not preaching the gospel”, though there will be an eternal reward for doing so Paul is speaking of a personal reward one here on earth. He explains this to his readers, “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!” The word “boast” here deals the idea of rejoicing or causing great joy, not bragging. Paul gloried “in” the gospel not “for” the gospel. He simply proclaimed that which he received and though he did so willingly there was also “necessity” or no choice as he would suffer personally if he didn’t. In verse 17 he continues to explain this by saying, “For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.” Paul speaks of the reality that the servant of the Lord has received from God a “stewardship” or calling and it differs from a job in that a job is what I do to earn an income, a stewardship is what I am 24-7. So if his personal reward was not preaching the gospel what was it? Verse 18 tells us “That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.” Paul says that his personal reward was being able to proclaim the gospel of Christ without having to be compensated for it. Paul’s reward was not preaching the gospel it was not getting paid.

There can be no greater personal satisfaction in all of Christian experience then to give ourselves away for the Lord’s service. Jesus said in Matt. 10:8 “Freely you have received, freely give.” David said as he purchased the ground where the temple would be built in 2 Sam 24:24 “I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” Long after the joy of receiving a gift is gone the joy of having given a gift remains! It is my prayer that you all will discover the same joy of giving yourselves away in terms of your time, talent and treasure, you will always be the richer for it.
This has been Pastor Dale, Blessings!