ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 149

1 C o ri n thia n s
What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard and doesn’t have the right to eat some of its fruit? What shepherd
cares for a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk? Am
I expressing merely a human opinion, or does the law say the same thing?
For the law of Moses says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from
eating as it treads out the grain.” Was God thinking only about oxen when
he said this? Wasn’t he actually speaking to us? Yes, it was written for us,
so that the one who plows and the one who threshes the grain might both
expect a share of the harvest.
Since we have planted spiritual seed among you, aren’t we entitled to a
harvest of physical food and drink? If you support others who preach to
you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have
never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an
obstacle to the Good News about Christ.
Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from
the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get
a share of the sacrificial offerings. In the same way, the Lord ordered that
those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing
this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose
my right to boast about preaching without charge. Yet preaching the Good
News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it.
How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!
If I were doing this on my own initiative, I would deserve payment. But
I have no choice, for God has given me this sacred trust. What then is my
pay? It is the opportunity to preach the Good News without charging
anyone. That’s why I never demand my rights when I preach the Good
Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to
all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like
a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the
Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the
law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When
I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart
from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of
God; I obey the law of Christ.
When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to
bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone,
doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good
News and share in its blessings.
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets
the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They

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