Vs. 3, “This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me….” Paul spends this chapter defending himself and using himself as an example. Though Paul had every right to live how he wanted to regarding those certain grey areas…he chose not to. One of the admiral things Paul would do was not burden the Corinthian church financially. Though he had every right as an Apostle and full-time worker, he chose not too for their sake. He did accept support from other churches, but he chose to not burden the weaker Christians in Corinth. To all of those people who scorn & look down on Pastors, missionaries & other workers for the Lord, this better be a convicting argument we read from Paul. No soldier supports himself, but receives supplies and wages from his government. The farmer who toils in the vineyard is privileged to eat the fruit. The shepherd expects to get milk and meat from the flock. Is it unreasonable to expect a local church, then, to support the pastor? (vs. 7)
Regarding application…Living for Others. Vs. 19, “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” Dearest Brothers & Sisters in Christ…What an example we have here!!! Paul would strip himself of all desires & live his life for the benefit of others. Don’t misunderstand Paul’s choice to accomodate as you read on pass vs. 19. There is saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” But that was not what Paul meant. He was not lowering his standards…he was laying aside his personal privileges. It was not hypocrisy…but sympathy. He tried to understand those who needed Christ and enter into their experiences. He did this for others so they would be saved, but the amazing thing about this is that…there was a reward in the end =) There is also another saying, “What comes around, goes around.” When we choose to live for others, Jesus will reward us in such a way that I cannot rightly explain! We must live a life desiring to please our Father in Heaven! Just as a young child desire to do good to hear the praises of their parent…we must desire to do good to hear the praises of our Lord!