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1 Corinthians 9:18

    1 Corinthians 9:18 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    What is my reward then? Truly that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel without charge, so as not to use to the full my right in the gospel.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    What then is my reward? This, that when I am giving the good news, I may give it without payment, not making use of my rights as a preacher of the good news.

    Webster's Revision

    What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel without charge, so as not to use to the full my right in the gospel.

    World English Bible

    What then is my reward? That, when I preach the Good News, I may present the Good News of Christ without charge, so as not to abuse my authority in the Good News.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel without charge, so as not to use to the full my right in the gospel.

    Definitions for 1 Corinthians 9:18

    Gospel - Good news.
    Verily - Truly; surely.
    Without - Outside.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 9:18

    That I abuse not my power - I am inclined to think that καταχρησασθαι is to be understood here, not in the sense of abusing, but of using to the uttermost - exacting every thing that a man can claim by law. How many proofs have we of this in preachers of different denominations, who insist so strongly and so frequently on their privileges, as they term them, that the people are tempted to believe they seek not their souls' interests, but their secular goods. Such preachers can do the people no good. But the people who are most liable to think thus of their ministers, are those who are unwilling to grant the common necessaries of life to those who watch over them in the Lord. For there are such people even in the Christian Church! If the preachers of the Gospel were as parsimonious of the bread of life as some congregations and Christian societies are of the bread that perisheth, and if the preacher gave them a spiritual nourishment as base, as mean, and as scanty as the temporal support which they afford him, their souls must without doubt have nearly a famine of the bread of life.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 9:18

    What is my reward then? - What is the source of my reward? or what is there in my conduct that will show that I am entitled to reward What is there that will demonstrate that my heart is in the work of the ministry; that I am free and voluntary, and that I am not urged by mere necessity? Though I have been called by miracle, and though necessity is laid upon me, so that I cannot but preach the gospel, yet how shall I so do it as to make it proper for God to reward me as a voluntary agent? Paul immediately states the circumstance that showed that he was entitled to the reward, and that was, that he denied himself, and was willing to forego his lawful enjoyments, and even his rights, that he might make the gospel without charge.

    I may make the gospel of Christ without charge - Without expense to those who hear it. I will support myself by my own labor, and will thus show that I am not urged to preaching by mere "necessity," but that I love it. Observe here:

    (1) That Paul did not give up a support because he was not entitled to it.

    (2) he does not say that it would be well or advisable for others to do it.

    (3) it is right, and well for a man if he chooses and can do it, to make the gospel without charge, and to support himself.

    (4) all that This case proves is, that it would be proper only where a "necessity" was laid on a man, as it was on Paul; when he could not otherwise show that his heart was in the work, and that he was voluntary and loved it.

    (5) this passage cannot be urged "by a people" to prove that ministers ought not to have a support. Paul says they have a right to it. A man may forego a right if he pleases. He may choose not to urge it; but no one can demand of him that he should not urge it; much less have they a right to demand that he should give up his rights.

    (6) it is best in general that those who hear the gospel should contribute to its support. It is not only equal and right, but it is best for them, We generally set very little value on that which costs us nothing; and the very way to make the gospel contemptible is, to have it preached by those who are supported by the state, or by their own labor in some other department; or by people who neither by their talents, their learning, nor their industry have any claim to a support. All ministers are not like Paul. They have neither been called as he was; nor have they his talent, his zeal, or his eloquence. Paul's example then should not be urged as an authority for a people to withhold from their pastor what is his due; nor, because Paul chose to forego his rights, should people now demand that a minister should devote his time, and health, and life to their welfare for nothing.

    That I abuse not my power in the gospel - Paul had a right to a support. This power he might urge. But to urge it in his circumstances would be a hinderance of the gospel. And to do that would be to abuse his power, or to pervert it to purposes for which it was never designed.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 9:18

    9:18 What then is my reward - That circumstance in my conduct for which I expect a peculiar reward from my great Master? That I abuse not - Make not an unseasonable use of my power which I have in preaching the gospel.