Rights and Responsibilities
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Rights and Responsibilities

1 Corinthians 9:1–14  (ID: 1666)

God uses men as instruments to reveal Himself through the preaching of His Word. Paul explained that those who preached the Gospel had the right to receive their living from the Gospel, and it was the church’s responsibility to provide that support. Alistair Begg affirms that God has commissioned the church to meet the needs of their pastor, and in turn, the pastor, through his preaching, will meet the spiritual needs of the congregation.

Series Containing This Sermon

A Study in 1 Corinthians, Volume 4

Christian Freedom 1 Corinthians 8:1–11:1 Series ID: 14604

Sermon Transcript: Print

Well, I invite you to take your Bible and to turn to the passage that was just read for us in 1 Corinthians 9, and we will give our attention as best we’re able this evening to the first fourteen verses.

It’s some time, actually, since we were in 1 Corinthians and in chapter 8, and so let me briefly remind us what we’re dealing with here. Just a cursory glance over the eighth chapter will point out that Paul has been dealing with the particular issue of Christian freedom. He’s been illustrating it from specific issues of their day, especially in relationship to food that attaches to idols, but the principles which he has been laying down we discovered to be of timeless import. The principle that he has underscored is in 8:9, where he says, “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom”—which is a real freedom, unfettered by man’s interference—“[make sure] that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”

Now, when you come into chapter 9, it may appear that on first glance, he’s actually changing the subject. After all, he begins to address the issue of apostleship almost straight away. But I think the opening phrase is the key to allowing us to understand that chapter 9 follows directly from chapter 8 and that the principle is being worked out in his life and his ministry. He declares in chapter 9, as we would note from the reading, that he is free to restrict his freedom for the sake of the gospel. That’s the principle. He has a freedom to restrict his freedom. He has told the readers that love will restrict liberty for the sake of others. And he’s driven that home fairly forcibly, and it’s almost as if he anticipates the question arising, “Well, would you please tell us how that principle works out in your ministry, Paul? What does that mean for you in practical terms?” And then, in a whole series of rhetorical questions (I counted sixteen of them; there may be more, there might be less, but I counted sixteen rhetorical questions), he provides the answer to that unspoken question: “How does the principle of freedom work itself out in your life and ministry, Paul?” And in addressing that, he speaks, in verses 1–3, to his relationships; in verses 4–6 as concerning his rights; and in verses 7–14, he provides his rationale. He gives an explanation as to why he has been able to say what he’s said in the first six verses.

Paul’s Relationships

Now, that then gives us the framework by which we will go at this opening half of the chapter, noticing first of all the relationships which he affirms.

In verse 3, it becomes very clear that there were those who were calling into question his authority and his authenticity—expressly, his claim to be an apostle. You remember back at the beginning of our studies in 1 Corinthians, he was addressing something of that as he affirmed his background and the way that God had blessed and used him. And it seems to be a recurring thought in his mind, and probably because he was constantly confronted by the fact that people sat in judgment on him and began to challenge whether he had the rights of apostleship at all. His detractors were many, and they were glad to cross-examine him.

The word that is used at the end of verse 3 “those who sit in judgment on me,” anakrinousin, is the word that would come from the law courts of his day. It would be exactly the process of cross-examination. And so, using the word also from the law courts of his day, he says that “I will produce my defense, my apología, to those who are involved in the cross-examination.” Commentators disagree as to whether his defense follows in verse 4 and on—“This is my defense,” and then he goes on to it—or whether verse 3 is a summary statement and what he’s referring to is verses 1 and 2. You understand what I’m saying? Okay?

I believe the latter. I believe that when he says, “This is my defense,” he is referring to what he has just said. And he has been affirming his authenticity and his authority, first of all, in relationship to his relationship with Jesus Christ, which allows him to affirm his freedom. He says, “Am I not free? … Have I not seen Jesus [the] Lord?”

Now, when he said that, first of all, it would bring to his own mind the fact of the life-transforming experience which he had encountered when he met Christ on the Damascus Road. He knew that he had been set free, as he writes to the Roman Christians, from sin and he had become a slave to righteousness.[1] Paul understood Christian freedom, and his very freedom in Christ was illustrative of his relationship with Christ. And this he has in common with all the believers to whom he writes and all down through the ages.

But his relationship with Christ was different, insofar as the function that Christ had given him was something that he shared only with a few. And so he refers not only, in the first two verses, to his relationship with Christ but also to his relationship with Jesus defining his function. “Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?” You see, his authority and his authenticity as an apostle was not the result of human ingenuity but was the result of divine initiative. He recognized that he was one of a unique, unrepeatable group who shared three things in common.

I want you to understand that. Sometime as you move around, you’ll hear people say, “And this person is an apostle from such and such a church.” No, he’s not. No, he’s not! There are no apostles today. The apostles were a unique, unrepeatable group, the foundation of the church after Christ. They had three things in common: they had had a sight of the risen Christ, they had had a divine commission from that Christ, and they were inspired by the Spirit of God. And it was those three things that marked them out for apostleship. They had seen Christ, they had received commission from Christ, and they were filled, inspired, in a unique way with the Spirit of Christ. That is why the words that they wrote are inscripturated for us, and that is why we must obey Paul’s words just as much as we obey Jesus’ words. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like red-letter Bibles, because it gives the impression that there’s a kind of Bible within the Bible, as if the words of Jesus were the sort of important ones, and then all the rest were somehow to be bothered with just whenever you got round to it. Not for a moment! Jesus would never have affirmed that. Indeed, he didn’t. When he preached, he preached the Old Testament. And so the apostles recognized that to be the case.

Now, if you turn for a moment to Acts chapter 22, you have one of the references that Luke provides for us of Paul’s declaration of what had happened on the Damascus Road. We could turn to Acts 9, where we have the first record of it historically. But in Acts 22, he is answering charges against him once again and giving his testimony. And in verse 14, describing what happened when Ananias showed up on the scene—you remember he was blinded, he was led into Damascus, and “a man named Ananias came to see me,” somebody who he says “was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me”—this is verse 13—“and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.”[2]

“Then he said”—“This is what he said to me”—“‘The God of our fathers has chosen you for three things: number one, to know his will; number two, to see the Righteous One, Christ; number three, to hear words from his mouth. And as a result of this, you will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.’”[3]

Effective ministry for Christ is not carried out by man in his own resources but is carried out as a result of what God is pleased to do through men and women.

And so, while the jealous and the hostile were challenging his authenticity, Paul, here in chapter 9, appeals to two things essentially. He appeals, number one, to his sight of Christ: “Have I not seen the Lord?” He had received a divine commission. And then he appeals, interestingly, to the seal of his apostleship expressed in the lives of those to whom he writes. He says in verse 2, “Even though I may not be an apostle to others”—in other words, “People may not regard me as an apostle”—he says, “surely I am [an apostle] to you!” “Surely of all people, you understand. Because I came into Corinth, and I preached the gospel in Corinth, and you folks, through my life and my ministry, came to faith in Jesus Christ. You knew that I was sent here.” And then he says, “You are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.” No one else had had a relationship with the Corinthian church in the way in which Paul had done. They were the living proof of the effectiveness of his work in the Lord.

Incidentally and in passing, human ministry—the part that individual men and women play in the links of God’s providence in bringing people to faith in Christ—are not irrelevant, and they’re not incidental. Human instrumentation is part of God’s plan for reaching the world. But God is always the efficient cause, and man is the instrument in salvation. And the issue here and in all ministry is that effective ministry for Christ is not carried out by man in his own resources but is carried out as a result of what God is pleased to do through men and women. And so he says, “You’re a seal of my apostleship.” Just in the same way as a large package would be stamped with a seal and that would declare where it had come from, “so,” he says, “in a real sense, the church in Corinth is marked with my seal. And though other people may call in question my relationship with you,” he says, “you know that I am authentically the servant of Christ.”

Paul’s Rights

Now, what he does, then, is from addressing his relationships as a form of defense, he then turns to speak to his rights in verse 4. And he essentially affirms three rights. See if you can see them with me. See if you agree with what I’m saying.

Right number one that he has is the right of maintenance. The right of maintenance: “Don’t we have the right to food and drink?” Now, clearly, what he’s not saying is “Can we not drink juice and have food?” What’s the point in saying that? The answer to that is “Everybody’s got the right to that.” What he’s referring to here, I think, as the context unfolds is the right of being maintained by the church. He says, “We’ve got to eat just like everybody else. Don’t we have the right to receive food and drink, the maintenance that is required for living?” That’s right number one.

Right number two is that that maintenance might attach to his wife. He says, “Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?” In other words, he says, “If it is right to support me as an apostle, then presumably, it would be right for you to support my wife as well, if I choose to take her along with me on my travels.”

Now, he’s not affirming here the fact that he has a right to have a wife. That’s not the assertion. The apostles were in no doubt. The world of that time would never have queried the question as to whether apostles had the right to have a wife. Indeed, illustrating it, he says that the other apostles have wives. He says Cephas, the head of the whole operation in many ways, he takes his wife. And the Lord’s brothers, they take their wives.

Incidentally, this verse is a clear rebuttal of Roman Catholic dogma—clear rebuttal of the notion that somehow, celibacy is a prerequisite for effective, useful ministry. It’s a denial of the Bible! Syricius in the fourth century—he lived AD 384 to 399—he was a pope. Actually, he lived longer than that, but he was the pope for that period of time. This is what he called marriage in the fourth century: “an uncleanness of the flesh, in which no-one can please God.”[4] And Peter was the first pope? So presumably, it only became an uncleanness of the flesh once we decided it was an uncleanness of the flesh, but prior to that, it was okay. It’s foolishness!

Now, interestingly enough, as well—at least interestingly enough to me—he says, “Don’t we have the right to take along a believing wife?” Actually, this is the NIV paraphrasing it. If you have the King James Version, it says, “Don’t we have the right to take along a wife, a sister?”[5] The word here is adelphē. And it’s interesting that he would refer to a wife as a sister—reminding us, says John Calvin, of “how strong and lovely … the union between a believing husband and wife ought to be, for it is maintained by a double bond.”[6] Not only is a husband and wife, in belief in Christ, united as a result of their love for one another, but they are united as brother and sister in Christ—an amazing double commitment! And so he says, “Is it not right that that should be the case? Is it not legitimate for me to claim proper care and maintenance for my wife as well as for myself?”

Now, I think this has great implications, incidentally, for traveling ministers and evangelists. And it is something that people at conferences and different places probably need to give a little more thought to than they’ve done in the past. If a person is in a position to have their wife travel with them and their children are of a stage that that can be done, the people who invite ought to cover the cost of the guy’s wife. That’s my conviction. And some of the tragic circumstances that have emerged from traveling folks would probably have been countered very effectively if the people who were inviting the individual had been prepared to get to grips with this right to the maintenance of the wife as well as the husband. I think it has some application there.

Third right is the right to get one’s livelihood from the ministry without having to work on the side. That’s in verse 6. There’s a touch of gentle sarcasm here in verse 6. Incidentally, the word “right,” exousía, comes in all three verses, 4, 5, and 6. It’s translated “power,” I think, in the King James Version. “Is it only [Barnabas and I] who must work for a living?”

Now, we’ll come back to this in a moment or two, but those are the rights. Okay? The right of maintenance, the right that that maintenance should attach to his wife, and the right to earn his living from the gospel without having to do another job on the side.

Paul’s Rationale

Now, what, then, is his rationale for this? Upon what does he base these rights? He provides essentially five reasons as to why he believes he had the right to be supported by the churches to whom he ministered. And in affirming these five foundational things, he is confronting churches with their responsibilities. That’s why I entitled this study “Rights and Responsibilities.” For if Paul is right about his rights and the principle that he affirms is not only apostolic in its dimensions but passes on into those who serve Christ as his servants in missionary endeavor and in pastoral work and so on, then you cannot affirm the rights of the servant without at the same time acknowledging the responsibilities of the churches. So it’s a kind of two-edged sword. Let’s go through them one at a time and fairly briefly.

First of all, he says, it is in keeping with the common practice in other areas of life. “The reason,” he says, “that I should be able to be supported in this way is because that’s what happens everywhere else.” And he provides three metaphors which, interestingly enough, are commonly employed in describing Christian ministry and, indeed, which we used tonight in our prayer time at five thirty as Larry and Dave guided us through from 2 Timothy 2:1–7. He speaks of the soldier, the vinedresser, and the one tending the flock—soldier, farmer, shepherd. And he says, “Think it out. The soldier doesn’t supply his own uniform, and he doesn’t fight for free.” He’s got in mind a mercenary soldier, obviously. “The fruit farmer doesn’t go to market and buy his own apples. It is obvious to anybody that he would eat the stuff that he grows. The shepherd will probably have the bulk of his breakfast from the good things he’s produced.” Nobody would quibble with that. “So,” he says, “my basis for establishing this right is because it is in keeping with the common practice in other areas of life. Therefore, since it is so natural and so just that it happens that way in those areas, who would be so unjust as to deny it to the minister of the gospel?”

Second basis for his rationale is that he says it is in keeping with biblical precept. Verse 8: “Do I say this … from a [merely] human point of view?”[7] He says, “Am I just giving you sort of human wisdom as the basis for my argument? No,” he says, “I’m not. Let me quote,” he says, “from the Law of Moses,” quoting from Deuteronomy chapter 25: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”[8] And then he does his own little exposition of the passage. Making it clear that he understands it not in allegorical terms but in clear terms, he asks the question: “Surely this concern is not about oxen but about us?” And the King James Version, I think, suggests that God doesn’t like oxen, the way it reads—you know, “God is not concerned for oxen,”[9] I think it says. The NIV helps us by putting it in a rhetorical way: “Is it about oxen that God is concerned?” He says, “No. Surely this he says for us, doesn’t he?” He says, “Because [after all,] when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.” They’re not just doing this for the good of their health. They’re not just doing this for fun. They’re doing it, and as they do it and sweat bursts from their forehead, they’ve at least got something to look forward to at the end of the week. There will be a paycheck. There will be some reward for their activity.

Incidentally, I think there is a word here, in passing, to those who are so concerned about the whole issue of animal rights. The oxen are not beyond the care of God. God is concerned about oxen. He is the God who doesn’t neglect the tiniest sparrow.[10] But though the Lord commands consideration for the oxen, he does so not ultimately for the sake of the oxen but rather out of regard for men, for whose benefit the oxen were created.

Let me quote to you Calvin again: “We must not make the mistake of thinking that Paul mean[t] to explain that commandment,” which we’re dealing with here, “allegorically; for some empty-headed creatures make this an excuse for turning everything into allegory, so that they change dogs into men, trees into angels, and convert the whole Scripture into an amusing game.”[11] Be warned about allegorizing the Bible. In your flock group, think twice when you hear these words coming out of your mouth: “I like to think of this verse in this way.” Who cares? The real question is “What does this verse say? What is its context? What does it mean?” Not “How do you think about it?” I don’t mean that your opinions are irrelevant, nor mine. But they must be subservient to what it’s actually saying. Because if we go at the Scriptures the wrong way, we can make them say anything we want at all. Okay?

So, his rationale, number one, it’s in keeping with the framework of common practice in other areas of life. It is also in keeping with biblical precept. Thirdly, it’s in keeping with a sense of intrinsic justice. It’s just right, he says. “If we have sown spiritual seed among you,” verse 11, “is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?” They have been the beneficiaries of his spiritual blessings, and now they have the opportunity to become the bestowers of material benefits.

Now, this is where it gets really tough for us, isn’t it? Because as soon as we read this in the context of our day, all kinds of bells go off, and they probably should. Because we have heard these kinds of things used to manipulate people into giving funds to all kinds of places at all kinds of times, and they constantly play on this string, you know: “Haven’t we done amazing things in your life? I mean, don’t you remember when you listened to me on the television and this happened to you? Therefore, for just $150, if you will send it to me, I will give you this book, which is worth 27 cents when I mass-produce them, and I will build something with the other $149 plus.” And so, in reaction, many of us are soured to this notion, and we would rather that everybody who is involved in pastoral ministry could do what Paul says he does at the end of chapter 9.

And I, for one, would be very happy to do so—namely, to earn my income from another source and never receive a dime from the Lord’s people. It’s just that I don’t have the ability to do that, nor have I been asked to do it. But I would be glad to do it. And I would do it, for the very same reason that Paul affirms: so that nobody could say, “You used that as a manipulative means of lining your own nest.” ’Cause it is always the potential charge. But we cannot gainsay the principle.

Let me quote to you another commentator: “The Lord’s servants [are] to be supported well. There should not be a double standard, applying to preachers, missionaries, and other Christian ministers a standard that is considerably lower than that set for those laboring in the system of man. We should pay them as generously as is feasible and leave the stewardship of that money to them, just as we expect the stewardship of our own money to be left to us.”[12] Verse 12 addresses the fact that others who doubtless had a far less claim to support were the beneficiaries of it. Verse 12: “If others have this right of support from you,” as they clearly did… In other words, people were poaching off the Corinthians, and they were picking up cash. He says, “If other people receive money from you, don’t you think we should receive money from you?”

Now, I want to save myself a major tangential run here, but I think that I could, without doing despite to the Scriptures, articulate a fairly clear case here in relationship to parachurch organizations. I’ve lost track of how many times people phone me up and ask about this organization, that organization, and where they should send their money and everything else. And some guy comes on the television or hits them up with some new scheme or dream, and suddenly, vast resources, manifest resources are released from the church, many times for endeavors which come today and are gone tomorrow. And yet the work of the faithful, hard-working pastor in ministry, often in situations that are not as blessed as ours, in places far more daunting, with resources of a far smaller nature—many times those men are impoverished while others receive the hard-earned income of men, because it is far more attractive to give to that big, exciting thing than it is to give to ol’ Pastor Joe.

But the work of the kingdom is the work of the church. And the principle remains: “If others have a right to receive, don’t I?” says Paul. If you’re going to send your money halfway around America, doesn’t the local church have a place? You say, “Well, we understand this. We couldn’t have done what we’ve done.” I understand that. I’m not trying to be an unkind person. I’m just trying to preach the Bible, just apply it as it comes. Okay?

The work of the kingdom is the work of the church.

Now, we’re going to come back to verse 12 in finishing, but go to the fourth one. We said there are five reasons he gives for his rationale: number one, because it’s in keeping with common practice; number two, because of biblical precept; number three, because there is a sense of intrinsic justice in it; and number four, because it’s in keeping with the Old Testament pattern of ministry.

Go now to verse 13: “Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?” Now, the answer to that on the part of the people would be “Yeah, we know that. People bring things into the temple, and they get to eat some of it. Sometimes there’s leftover stuff; they take it home, and they have it for their food.” In the African context, this is clear. You go in an African church, and it’s not unlikely that the whole place will be consumed with people bringing in chickens and eggs and pieces of farm produce, and they will give them as their offering. And some pastors are sustained directly by that physical contribution. Not a bad deal, really, when you come to think of it! And so, the Corinthians needed to look no further than the Jewish temple to discover the selfsame principle in daily operation.

The fifth one: it is in keeping with the Lord’s directives. Verse 14: “In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.” Now, what Paul has in mind here we cannot be certain of, for there is certainly no categorical statement made by Jesus in this way. But the principle is made perfectly plain.

If you turn to Matthew chapter 10 for just a moment, this is the kind of thing that Paul probably has in mind—unless, of course, he had a direct word from the risen Christ concerning this, which would seem unlikely but not impossible. Matthew chapter 10, Jesus is sending out the Twelve. And in verse 8 he says, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.” In other words, “You’ll get the money. You sow spiritually, you’ll reap materially. People will look after you. The Lord won’t let you go stuck.” The life of faith.

I’ve told you many times of the great challenge of C. T. Studd, who came from a family that was worth many millions. And when he felt the call of God to the mission field, he felt, in the context of his day and in the framework of his life, that it would be right for him to give up all his money. And so the biographer records how he gave away everything except £150,000—today about $300,000. He kept $300,000 for his wife. When his wife found out that he’d stashed $300,000 for [her], she said, “But I thought that you were trusting God?” He said, “Well, yeah, I am. But if anything happens to me, it would be nice just to have something.” She said, “Give it away.” And so they sat down and wrote a check to William Booth of the Salvation Army, and they went to Africa penniless. Now, we can dialogue on that one and strategize on the basis of it all we want, but C. T. Studd understood the principle that Jesus laid down. He wasn’t going on a money-making enterprise. He wasn’t hedging his bets with investments. He was going, and he was going to trust Christ.

Now, having laid down this rationale, I want you to notice what he says concerning it all—and this we conclude with, and this is the bridge which leads into our study next time, God willing. Because verse 12b and verse 15 are absolutely key.

In the second half of verse 12, having established the basis of his rights, he says, “But we did[n’t] use this right.” “We didn’t use it.” Verse 15: “I have[n’t] used any of these rights.” This is a tremendously powerful position to be in. It’s a devil if you’re going to speak like this because you’re trying to get your salary increased, you see? But if you don’t have any ulterior motive, you can speak with great impunity about it. You can just lay it all out there, as he does, because he knows that he’s not looking for anything from them. But he wants them to understand that they can’t weasel out of it. They’ve got a responsibility on the basis of the five things that he’s laid down. He says, “But we,” including Barnabas, “we had the freedom to restrict our freedom. And we did so,” he says, “for three reasons.”

Number one, so as not to dig up the entrance road of the gospel. So as not to dig up the entrance road of the gospel. That comes from the Greek here: “We put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.” The word that it used there for “hinder” is the word that would be used for digging up your road so as to prevent the advance of an enemy and to restrict mobility. He says, “We felt that if we had been the recipients of what we have a right to, we would have dug up the road for the entrance of the gospel.” And in the minds of many people, they would have been able to say, “Aha! We understand it. You’re in it for the cash.” He said, “So although we had the right, we refused to exercise the right.”

Because of that reason. Also, “We refused the right so that you wouldn’t think we were coming by the backdoor for making material gain.” That’s verse 15, the second sentence: “And I am not,” he says, “writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me.” “Let’s be clear,” he says.

And thirdly, they had chosen not to exercise their right so that they would not fall into the trap of anybody thinking that they paid them to preach. You do not pay your pastor to preach. You can’t pay me enough to preach. And you can’t pay me too little to stop me from preaching. I don’t preach for money. The remuneration that I receive and we receive is out of the benefit and kindness of your heart to make it possible for me to study my Bible while others work in another context, so that I will stand up here properly prepared and not like some gibbering nincompoop. But it’s not a piecemeal, per-sermon operation.

These things are so important, because so many ministries have been destroyed in areas of finance, and our ministry could be destroyed by that. Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he falls.[13]

Let’s pray together:

Father, we thank you that at the end of this Lord’s Day, you prompted our hearts to come along here, and we have been able to sing your praise, and we’ve been instructed by the truth of your Word—timeless, practical, and challenging. Make us, as a congregation, students of your book. Give us, Lord, a congregation that will examine the Scriptures every day to see if these things are so.[14] And then give us a preparedness to obey the Book, irrespective of cost materially, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

Thank you for all that you are to us, for the way that you provide for us, for all the blessings which attend your ministry in this place. We commend one another lovingly into your care.

And may grace, mercy, and peace from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit rest upon and remain with each one, tonight and forevermore. Amen.

[1] See Romans 6:18.

[2] Acts 22:12–13 (NIV 1984).

[3] Acts 22:14–15 (paraphrased).

[4] Pope Syricius, quoted in John Calvin, The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, trans. John W. Fraser, ed. David W. Torrance and Thomas F. Torrance, Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1960), 186.

[5] 1 Corinthians 9:5 (paraphrased).

[6] Calvin, First Epistle, 185.

[7] 1 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV 1984).

[8] Deuteronomy 25:4 (NIV 1984).

[9] 1 Corinthians 9:9 (paraphrased).

[10] See Matthew 6:26; Matthew 10:29; Luke 12:6.

[11] Calvin, First Epistle, 187.

[12] John MacArthur, 1 Corinthians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody, 1984), 203.

[13] See 1 Corinthians 10:12.

[14] See Acts 17:11.

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.