Sin For Preachers To Be Paid?

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It is written:

Acts 18:1-5-After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. 3 So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. 5 When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.

Some believe that it is a sin to pay a preacher. While it is certainly true that some preachers in our day and age turn the Gospel into a lucrative business opportunity and rob households in many ways, it does not follow that all preachers do this. Indeed, Luke here shows us clearly that there was a time when the Apostle Paul would at times preach full time by being financially supported by loving brothers and sisters. Luke makes this clear by pointing out that while Paul would at times support himself by tent-making, other times he was financially supported. Notice especially verse 5 in this passage.

Acts 18:5 (ISV)-But when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself entirely to the word as he emphatically assured the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah.

Acts 18:5 (Remedy)-Once Timothy and Silas arrived from Macedonia, Paul used all his time to preach and teach, trying to persuade the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.

Acts 18:5 (Amplified)-By the time Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was completely engrossed with preaching, earnestly arguing and testifying to the Jews that Jesus [is] the Christ.

These translations bring out an important distinction between verses between 1-4 and verse 5. The arrival of Silas and Timothy allowed Paul to give himself to full-time preaching of the Word of God.

How would the arrivistes of these two men free up Paul to preach the Word of God full-time?

We learn from other passages in the New Testament that Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia with financial support from other Christians, to enable Paul to preach fully.

“The second incident of the Corinth episode begins with the arrival of Silas and Timothy, who had stayed in Berea in Macedonia (17: 14–16). 15 Paul’s comments in 2 Cor 11: 8–9 and Phil 4: 15 explain why the arrival of his two associates allowed him to be “wholly absorbed” (συνείχετο) with proclaiming the gospel. Since they brought financial support for his work from the Macedonian churches, he was able to devote more of his time and energy to preaching and teaching. 16 The term “word” (λόγος) stands for the proclamation of the good news of Jesus. 17 Paul was “bearing witness” (διαμαρτυρόμενος), i.e., declaring and explaining before Jewish audiences that Jesus was the promised Messiah.” (Eckhard J. Schnabel, Acts (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament Book 5), 1335 (Kindle Edition): Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan)

Paul was clear that there is no sin in Gospel preachers receiving financial support as they work in preaching and teaching the Word of God (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:1-14).

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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