11 “If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? 12Ifothers are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.”
If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?
Paul and his companions ministered spiritual things to the Corinthian church that are far more important than material things, so was it a “great thing” if the Corinthians provided for their financial needs? This is an argument from the greater to the lesser. Spiritual things are inherently more valuable than material things.
Galatians 6:6, Let him who is taught the word share in all good things [financially] with him who teaches.
If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?
Since Paul’s team planted the Corinthian church, they had a greater right to receive financial support from them than anyone else.
Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.
Paul’s team did not insist on their right to receive financial support from the Corinthian church. He worked as a tentmaker (Acts 18:3; 20:34; 2 Th 3:8). They chose to support themselves, not to receive undue criticism. They were in it for the money.
1 Corinthians 4:11, To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12Andwe labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;
2 Corinthians 11:7, DidI commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge?
2 Corinthians 12:13, For what is it in which you were inferior to other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome [financially] to you? Forgive me this wrong!
The principle of waiving our rights for the sake of the gospel is a testimony to those without Christ.
Refusal to exercise our rights at times will advance the gospel and encourage the saints. This shows something of the value we place on the gospel. The same is true for the recipients of the gospel in their sacrificial giving. Gratitude is an indication of appreciation for what we have.