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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians

 

8Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? 9For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? 10Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.”
 
Paul now demonstrates from the Bible his right to receive financial support.
9:8
Do I say these things as a mere man?
Previously Paul argued from a human logic viewpoint. Now he moves to a biblical argument to show that he does not rationalize for his own ends.
Or does not the law say the same also?
The Mosaic Law made special provision for pay for work. Here is chapter, book, and verse.
9:9
For it is written in the law of Moses,
The Greek indicates that the Law of Moses stands written (perfect tense) on the principle of financial reward for labor. The Word of God is eternally the absolute norm to establish the principle of financial support. It does not change with culture or with changing times, so the Bible is eternally relevant.
“You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.”
The Mosaic Law made provision for remunerating the oxen that threshed grain (Deuteronomy25:4).  Paul quotes this same verse in 1 Timothy 5:17-18 to make the point that a church should pay its pastors. If you remunerate an ox, it is right to remunerate the dumb beast in the pulpit, as it were!
Is it oxen God is concerned about?
If this is true for the oxen, then it is surely true for the Christian leader. God is more concerned about humans than animals.
9:10
Or does He say it altogether for our sakes?
God put the principle of feeding the oxen in the Old Testament to show a current principle to those who need to support Christian leaders for their labor in ministry.
For our sakes, no doubt, this is written,
The quotation about oxen from Deuteronomy 25 was written in principle for financial support of individuals in ministry today. The principle extends to the time of the New Testament and to our time.
that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.
Both the person who plows and the person who threshes do so with the hope of financial reward in the end. Financial reward is not the goal of a Christian leader but the means to serve the Lord.
PRINCIPLE:
Those who benefit from a ministry should financially support it.
APPLICATION:
Those who benefit from a ministry should financially support it. Hard work deserves a reward. That is why churches take offerings. Sadly, most pastors in the United States and Canada are at the poverty level in their salaries. This is an indictment on ministries today.
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