Daily Thoughts : November 13th
1 Cor 9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?
Most of the time we are told not to be defensive, but the apostle Paul demonstrates to us that there are times when it is right and proper to be defensive. It seems that the apostle defends himself for two specific reasons.
The first reason is to bring understanding to people. In other words this is a simple teaching exercise. In this particular case he wants the Corinthians to know that it is right and proper for those who serve the Lord to be rewarded for their service; that is where the present verse leads. So he starts out by saying here, see I am one of God's accredited workers and these are the signs of that. Then he goes onto point out that such workers deserve earnings just the same as any other worker.
The second reason that Paul was sometimes defensive, and we see this more in his second letter, is that he wants his readers to come to a place of understanding or belief. It is similar to the first, but the result of this latter exercise is to bring the people to a place of peace about him, and more specifically over what he is saying. His second letter is much more of a personal plea and he needs to get the people to accept him if they are to accept what he is saying about them. His pleas in that letter are to bring the people into a new understanding and experience of the Lord, and they can only do that when they accept him.
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