Archive for February, 2012
I Corinthians 9:1-6: Paul’s apostleship
Paul takes a few verses here in chapter 9 to defend his apostleship and his freedom to exercise or not to exercise his rights as a apostle in Christ.
v.1-2, Unfortunately there were some people in Corinth that doubted they should listen to Paul so he presents his credentials as an “apostle.”
In order to be an apostle you had to show 3 evidences:
- “Have I not seen Jesus with my own eyes?” Personally seen Jesus after his resurrection. [Paul saw Jesus in Acts 9:3-18]
- Signs, wonders and mighty acts. [Paul did so in Acts 13:9-12]
- “Isn’t because of my work that you belong to the Lord?…you yourselves are proof that I am the Lord’s apostle.” Successful ministry. [Paul had described his work among the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 & Acts 18:1-17]
These credentials make the advice Paul gives in this letter authority. Paul goes into even greater detail of his apostleship in 2 Corinthians 10-13.
v.3-5, “This is my answer to those who question my authority.” Those who were questioning Paul’s authority brought up the issue that Paul wasn’t taking advantage of everything he could do as an apostle and thus were questioning whether he was an apostle at all. As an apostle in the Greco-Roman world, it was quite an issue how missionaries, traveling teachers and philosophers were supported. They could charge, beg, work or accept gifts. Paul accepted support from Lydia in Acts 16, but since then had stopped that practice. However because other leaders continued to accept support, the issue arose: maybe Paul was not getting support anymore because he wasn’t really an apostle. But the truth was Paul chose to not take the support so as not to bring the gospel under suspicion. Then Paul names some rights that accompany being an apostle: “Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals?” which is the right be financially supported by the church–a place to stay and meals. “Don’t we have the right to bring a Christian wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter does?” which is the right to marry, and if Paul had a wife like many others he mentions, to take her with him and also to be supported by the church.
v.6, “Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves?” Barnabas and Paul worked together on Paul’s first missionary journey but just before Paul started his second the two parted ways and Barnabas started his own missionary journey. Paul mentions Barnabas here because they were the only apostles who made it a habit to work and earn their living as they travelled and spread the Gospel.
Paul chose to work as a tentmaker (Acts 18:3) and not receive support from the Corinthian believers because it could hinder his work for the Gospel.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? Paul used himself as an example of giving up personal rights. He had the right to be married and to receive financial support for his work, but he willingly gave up these rights to win people to Christ. When I focus on living for Christ my right should become unimportant.
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? I was thinking about the rights I have as a believer and even as a citizen of Canada. The question I have been thinking about is…would I be willing to give them up for the furtherance of the Gospel?
Before bed the kids would brush their teeth, or least they would try. Most of the time they just sucked the toothpaste off the brush. Yuck!
Well, the past few months I have been trying to teach both Faith and Shawn how to really brush their teeth. So sometime during the session I would take their brush and show them in the mirror how to brush their teeth. I would say things like “do you hear that sound? That’s why they call it brushing.” Or “open your mouth wide” so I could brush the tops of the teeth, then “put your teeth together” so I could do the fronts. I even taught them how to brush their tongues. Both kids laugh when I do it.
Tonight I was brushing Faith’s teeth and Faith said “I want to do it!” So I gave over her toothbrush and she proceeded to do to me what I had been doing to her these past few months. She said “Daddy, open your mouth” so I did and she said “wider Daddy” I couldn’t help but laugh. Then she started to brush my teeth. Then she said “put your teeth together like this” as she showed me. It was so cute. Then she said “all done, you look so pretty!”
De-Ann was there to witness the whole thing and we both looked at each other and said “too bad we didn’t have our phones on us.”
Shawn was helping me with the laundry this afternoon. He helped take the clothes from the washer to the dryer. Then out of the dryer into a laundry basket so we could fold them up.
While taking the clothes out of the dryer Shawn would name the person the item belonged to. Like he would say “Faith” as he pulled one of her shirts, then “Mommy” when he took out her jeans. He could even tell the difference between my socks and De-Ann’s and they were both black. Impressive.
The best part was when he took out one of his shirts, socks or pants he would say his name and then hold onto each item until he had a pile of clothes in his arms.
I can see him taking over the laundry duties from me soon. At least I’m hoping.
You know it’s ultra soft when Sherwin sleeps on it.