Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 9

Wages for the person who declares Godís good news

1 Corinthians 9:13-14

At the temple (Godís house) in Jerusalem, God told the priests to eat some of the food that people offered to him. Paul previously discussed similar arrangements at the temples of false gods (1 Corinthians chapter 8), but here he refers to the real Godís temple. You can read Godís rules for his priests in Leviticus 6:14 to 7:36.

For Godís priests, there was both a right and a duty to eat that food, as Leviticus 10:16-20 shows.

That was because the food was evidence of the relationship between God, his priests and his people. The priests ate the food as evidence that God had accepted his peopleís gifts.

God wanted his priests to receive that food because he wanted to provide for them. There was food not just for the priests, but also for their families (Leviticus 22:10-13).

So God rewarded the priests for the work that they did for him. Now, of course, there is no temple and all Christians serve God as priests (1 Peter 2:9). But still God rewards people for their work for him. As he did before, God uses the gifts of his people to do that. He has made it possible for people who declare his good news to receive their wages from it.

That brings joy both to the giver and to the person who receives the gift. The giver sees that God has accepted his gift. And he knows that God is using it to declare his good news. The person who receives it can be glad with him. For that person, the gift shows that God is providing for him. And therefore, they both can give thanks to God, together.

Next part: Why Paul refused gifts (1 Corinthians 9:15-18)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.