7 Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. 9 And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself.
Did I commit sin in humbling [lowering] myself that you might be exalted,
The charge that Paul was in ministry for himself was absurd. He did not accept money from the church at Corinth at his previous visit but depended on the Macedonian churches’ support and his manual labor by tentmaking. It was not a “sin” to accept money from churches for ministry. He “exalted” or elevated the Corinthians by preaching the gospel there. They were able to focus on the gospel and not on money issues.
because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge?
The Corinthian church did not value the idea that Paul ministered to them freely. They received the gospel without paying remuneration. Some argued that Paul’s refusal to accept financial support cast doubt on his apostleship. They deemed it demeaning not to obtain financial support from a church; his critics claimed that it was evidence that he was not a true apostle.
I robbed other [same kind] churches, taking wages from them to minister to you.
Paul took money from the poor Macedonians at their initiative to minister to Corinth. “Robbed” here is a metaphor; it does not mean that he took money from churches without consent.
And when I was present with you, and in need [want], I was a burden to no one,
When Paul first ministered to Corinth, he did not accept financial support from anyone although he was in monetary need. He took the brunt of financial need to share the gospel.
for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied.
Paul worked at manual labor as a tentmaker while in Corinth (Ac 18:3). What needs he could not supply for himself the Macedonian churches made up for.
And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you,
While in Corinth, Paul did not insist that the church financially support him. He was afraid that they would think his motive was for mercenary reasons.
and so I will keep myself.
Paul continued to refuse support from the Corinthian church during his second missionary enterprise, even on his subsequent visits.
God uses the weak to manifest His power.
Many churches today miss the point that God’s power works in weakness. Churches that operate by faith trust in God to work among them.