Paul is an amazing servant. The model Paul saw in Jesus Christ is outlined in Philippians; “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (2:5–7).
As I mentioned yesterday, there were “apostolic rights” which others demanded of the church, but Paul refused to insist on them for himself. Jesus did not hold onto certain privileges of glory as “a thing to be grasped,” but laid those aside to serve as a humble servant among mankind.
A second time, Paul tells Corinth; “I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:15–16).
Notice the depth of passion Paul had for preaching the gospel of grace without cost so it might be received with no requirement on the part of the recipient. This is why Paul worked with his own hands to provide for his needs (Acts 20:34). This principle is contrary to modern practice, but it is more effective.
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