Faithlife Sermons

My pay is to give the gospel.

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 4 views
Notes
Transcript
Patty and I believe we can be more affective at outreach mobilization at TBC if we are free to live and work in the community together as missionaries to the unreached of New England. One of the verses that has shaped many of my ministry decisions, “And thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (Ro 15:20–21).
For several years we have been preparing and praying to one day take a step of faith and follow “completely” the Pauline model for gospel ministry when it comes to income. Paul boasted, “So what is my pay? My pay is to tell the good news and not be paid for it! That is why I do not use my right to take pay for telling the good news” (1 Cor. 9:18 WE)
We believe that this is the moment to take this step of faith for the gospel. Our conviction and commitment to this pathway is very strong. So as soon as March 1, my conscience will no longer allow me to accept payment for preaching the gospel at TBC. I will explain more of the biblical reasoning behind this decision in a minute.
If you still want me as staff or non-staff “pastor”, I am willing maintain all my current pastoral responsibilities without charge in service and dedication to Christ and the church. I believe that being in the office once or twice a week I can complete all of my task and be present for pastoral meetings, deacons meetings, Sunday meetings, ect. I will also be free to do work remotely serving our missionaries on the field at hours outside of the normal office times. And I will be living the gospel missionally in our community 24/7. I will also need freedom for international travel to visit my previous missionary church plants and continue the good work God has done in those lands. As God brings more pastoral staff to TBC my position could be even more focused to outreach and other areas on the future pastoral team that need my gifting such as church planting. I do see that TBC has so many gifted men, much more gifted in teaching and preaching. I do also recognize that at present TBC is in great need of an Administrative Pastor since the current pastor is being pulled away from the ministry of the Word and prayer to oversee a school business and many other important and needful corporate trellis duties. In one way the senior pastor of TBC is called to a bi-vocational ministry.
Paul’s thoughts of the church in Rome are mine of TBC,
“I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another” (Ro 15:14).
So why do this? I have 5 reasons...
We don’t want to obstruct the advance of the gospel at TBC
Me being a full time salaried pastor and having a side business could cause division and confusion in the church. There is no need to present this scenario. I know that at first JT was on board with this thought but there has been a change of mind and I understand the conflict of interest.
To resolve this question, the best pathway is not to receive a salary from TBC.
1 Corinthians 9:12 ESV
12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:12 ESV
12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”
2 Corinthians 2:17 ESV
17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:5 ESV
5 Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.
Pauls defence
1 Corinthians 9:
“This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me” (v. 3).
Workers, such as soldiers, farmers, and shepherds, have a right to be compensated (vv. 7-10).
It was well within our rights to be compensated by you (Corinthians) for sowing spiritual seed among you (vv. 11-12).
Those who serve in the temple (priests) are compensated in the temple (v. 13).
“In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.” (v. 14)
So, not only to avoid obstruction but to create new pathways for the gospel...
2. We want to continue the Pauline Missionary model God has equipped us to do
Patty’s work, coffee work, new blood in the church requires radical incarnation into the lives of those people. Means also leaving the 99 healthy sheep to go after the 1 lost sheep.
Our ministry vision comes from Romans 15
“And thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (Ro 15:20–21).
Continue to invest in the men and women God has given us to disciple in foreign lands from afar. Plant new churches in the USA. Revisit those works. Continue the work in Latin America and Asia.
https://citygospelmovements.org/resource/are-businesses-doing-more-ministry-than-ever-before/
3. We want to flourish through the pleasure/reward of preaching free of charge.
What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel. (1 Cor. 9:18)
What is Paul’s reward from God because he preached without pay. But after checking several translations, it makes better sense to conclude that preaching for free was Paul’s reward.
So what is my pay? My pay is to tell the good news and not be paid for it! That is why I do not use my right to take pay for telling the good news. (1 Cor. 9:18 WE)
1 Corinthians 9:11–18 ESV
11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. 15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
4. We don’t want to be a financial burden to my immediate audience.
1 Thessalonians 2:9 ESV
9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
2 Thessalonians 3:8 ESV
8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.
There are so many churches without Pastors because they can’t afford it. Maybe God is leading us to an itinerate ministry in NE churches in the future? We want to be free to preach the gospel.
5. We want to serve as an example to diligence.
2 Thessalonians 3:7–9 ESV
7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.
Theology of Work has been a constant interest of mine for many years. I want to help others learn how to evangelize through their work.
6. We want to provide for others in need
Acts 20:34–35 ESV
34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
2 Thessalonians 3:6–15 ESV
6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
1 Thessalonians 4:9–12 ESV
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
Accepting Compensation
1 Corinthians 9:4 ESV
4 Do we not have the right to eat and drink?
Luke 10:5–7 ESV
5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.
Galatians 6:6 ESV
6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.
Philippians 4:15–18 ESV
15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
Refusing Compensation
2 Corinthians 11:7–9 ESV
7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.
I did not burden anyone
Paul preached the Gospel free of charge

Paul’s Job

1 Corinthians 4:12 ESV
12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;
1 Corinthians 9:6 ESV
6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?
Acts 18:1–3 ESV
1 After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, 3 and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.
2 Thessalonians 3:7–12 ESV
7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
Why did Paul work a day job?
Reason 1: He did not want to obstruct the advance of the gospel.
1 Corinthians 9:12 ESV
12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
Division and jealousy
2 Corinthians 2:17 ESV
17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:5 ESV
5 Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.
Pauls defence
1 Corinthians 9:
“This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me” (v. 3).
Workers, such as soldiers, farmers, and shepherds, have a right to be compensated (vv. 7-10).
It was well within our rights to be compensated by you (Corinthians) for sowing spiritual seed among you (vv. 11-12).
Those who serve in the temple (priests) are compensated in the temple (v. 13).
“In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.” (v. 14)
1 Corinthians 9:15 ESV
15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting.
“Additionally, by working daily Paul was not only removing obstacles, he was creating new pathways for the gospel. He was giving himself the opportunity to befriend fellow artisans, share the gospel with them, and create a professional network. And this professional network probably provided him with the necessary introductions to begin working in new cities” (Campbell, Kindle 9198).
Reason 2: He wanted to enjoy the pleasure of preaching free of charge
1 Corinthians 9:18 ESV
18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
“So what is my pay? My pay is to tell the good news and not be paid for it! That is why I do not use my right to take pay for telling the good news” I Cor 9:18 WE
Reason 3: He did not want to be a financial burden to his immediate audience
Acts 17:4 ESV
4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.
1 Thessalonians 2:9 ESV
9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
2 Thessalonians 3:8 ESV
8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.
Paul didn’t enter new cities with a plan to rely on his ministry for material support. He entered new cities with a plan to work with his own hands. And those hands, which probably became calloused over time, enabled him to stand in line and buy food with his own hard-earned money.
But, he did get aid from Phil
Philippians 4:16 ESV
16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.
Reason 4: He wanted to serve a an example of diligence
2 Thessalonians 3:7–9 ESV
7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.
Idleness was a pervasive problem in their city.
2 Thessalonians 3:10–12 ESV
10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
Reason 5: He wanted to provide those in need.
Acts 19:8–10 ESV
8 And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
How?
Acts 20:34–35 ESV
34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Corinth, Thessalonica, and Ephesus - Paul’s mode of operation was to travel, enter new cities, preach, work..
helped to advance the gospel, allowed him to enjoy the pleasure of preaching for free, prevented him from being a financial burden, allowed him to serve as an example of diligence, and empowered him to personally provide for those in need.
Paul was not following a rule or giving a rule.
Paul was not alone - Barnabas, Aquila and Preiscilla, Silas, Timothy.
1 Timothy 5:18 ESV
18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”
The enduring significance of Paul’s Example:
We should prioritize the advance of the gospel
We should not be lazy.
We should not have a self-sufficient mentality.
We should not have an entitlement mentality
We should not despise ordinary jobs or manual labor.
We should not think there is a one-size-fits-all model for ministry.
Related Media
Related Sermons