Thursday, November 24, 2022


The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 9 verse 3, wrote these words;

This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me.

The verse begs two questions. Who was judging Paul and on what basis were they judging him?

At the beginning of chapter 3, we learn that Paul was writing to the people of the church at Corinth many of whom came to the Lord through his ministry and it is to those among them who were judging him  that he was giving a defence of himself.

There appears to have been a consensus forming among them that he was not a legitimate apostle likely because he was not a member of the original twelve apostles. As well,  he was also being judged because he did not carry out his ministry like the other apostles did.

To counter the challenge to his apostleship, Paul began by listing the things that accredited him as a bonafide apostle. Firstly,  he was a free man, secondly, he had personally seen the Lord Jesus, and finally, he had a legacy of those who came to Christ through his work whom he was,  in fact,  addressing in his letter.

To counter the claims against him based on how different his ministry was from the other apostles, Paul described the way the other apostles carried out their ministries as completely legitimate. He asserted that they had a valid scriptural right to make a living from the gospel and to take along a believing wife on mission trips.

As such, Paul argued that being an apostle himself gave him those same rights but he declined to use them in order not to hinder the spread of the gospel in any way.

The apostle Paul forfeited his right to earn wages as a minister as well as the right to be married while serving in the ministry but instead, worked a regular job to pay his own way as he carried out his work in the ministry to believers and as he travelled to expand the reach of the Kingdom of God. 

Thus the apostle Paul demonstrated that the judgements against him were misplaced because they were founded on incorrect conceptions of what apostles were such as the notions that only those who walked with Jesus in Galilee and that only those in full-time ministry could be apostles.

Let us wholeheartedly uphold our Lord's legitimate servants placed in our midst and not sit in judgement of them.


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