They Which Preach the Gospel
by Ronald W Robey

1 Corinthians 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

When attempting to expound on 1 Corinthians 9:14, many believe that the Apostle Paul was acknowledging the right for Pastor’s to be salaried.

But, is that really what Paul was saying?

A careful examination of 1 Corinthians 9:14 in its context reveals that Paul was speaking specifically of Apostles, not Pastors.

There is a reason for this. Apostles are not stationary, as Pastors are. Apostles travel around in the world, taking the Gospel to the lost.

The message of 1 Corinthians 9 is, because of their mission trips, they have a right to being fed and housed by those they are ministering to. The Apostle’s post-crucifixion journeys were no different than those of the Disciple’s pre-crucifixion journeys.

Jesus sent out Disciples in Luke 10:1-12, telling them not to take money for their journey. (which is in contrast to the missionary deputation drives we see in our churches today) He told them to accept food and lodging from those they ministered to.

Paul’s defense in 1 Corinthians 9 was for the Apostle’s right to food and lodging to those they ministered to. Apostle’s were separated from the local Church and sent out into the world to preach the Gospel to the lost. (see Acts 13:2)

Elders (Pastors) of the Church were not supposed to accept payment for their preaching. Acts 20:33-35 tells us that the Elders were encouraged to follow Paul’s example; working a job in order to support themselves and the weak.

Elsewhere, Paul stated that, “If any will not work, he should not eat.”

The preaching of the Gospel should be done by those who have been called out of the local assembly to go out into the world to the lost. Those in the local church should have already heard the Gospel and responded to the Gospel call. Once saved, they have no need to be told they have to be saved. They’re already past that.

They need to be fed the milk of the word that they might grow.

The Pastor’s responsibility is to feed the flock/church of God. (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2) The Missionary’s responsibility is to preach the Gospel to the lost, (Acts 20:28) that they might hear, respond, and subsequently become members of a local church