From Pr. Flamme (27 verses, 2:10 to read)
What I am about to READ
- “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”
- Freedom in the gospel and the duty of the church to pay her pastors (1-14).
- Paul doesn’t make use of his rights so that the gospel can be preached (15-18).
- Freedom and servitude (19-23).
- Running the race (16-23).
- Paul continues his discussion on how a Christian will not abuse his freedom when others, who have a weak conscience, might be made to stumble. In the previous chapter Paul spoke to those who had strong enough faith to eat food sacrificed to idols. But now he makes it clear that the entire congregation had a weak conscience. Why? Because they would not pay their pastor. Paul says that for their sake he did not make use of his right to request wages for preaching the good news. Yes, the gospel is free. But still, those who preach need to eat.
- Notice the important point that consciences may be weak, but they can also be instructed.
- Paul has been freed by the gospel to serve his neighbors in their weakness. This follows Christ’s own example who for our sake placed himself under the constraints of the law. He did this to save us from our weakness unto death on account of our sin.
- The Christian’s life is not directed towards self-gratification, but rather serving the neighbor in love. This takes self control. We must become like runners in a race who keep the desires of the body under control. I suppose a good example would be a mother who makes cookies for her kids. Though she is free to not make anything, out of love she gives her time and energy to care for her children.
- Prayer: Grant us a conscience shaped by your Word, O Lord, that we may receive the gospel freely and be attentive to the needs of our neighbor. Amen
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-Pastor A. Brian Flamme