1COR 9:18 “What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.”
Here is an example in the life of a true believer which is most overlooked by many. Many who are claiming to have ministry are unaware that they are already putting charge on what they say as for gospel’s sake. My opinion is that it is wrong to sell the word of God or make money out of it. If it will only cost the production and mailing I can consider. But many have been established such as Bible schools, music ministries , or held seminars, and specially on educational concern (those printing literature which only uses the word of God for gain.
There is no historical record in the word of God that true believers, even those who were in Judaism, that they sold the Scriptures, or that those concerning the word of God was shared with a price. A basic reminder for everyone of us is this 1COR 4:7 “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (Rom.8:32, 1 C0.2:12)
When it came from God it was given to us for free ( God’s word, our life, knowledge, skills, etc.) but when it came to human hands, many made money out of it. No wonder there are many ministers so called who only make money out of what they called as ministry. More so, those who are making a study Bible tools not only copyrighted their supposedly work but named it in their names. Even a facsimile of a scroll was sold for thousand dollars. What if they have the original in hand? Like the Catholics who boasts for having in their possession the cross where Christ the Lord was crucified, or the clothes, robes, nails and many other things but was empty of a reality of what they are claiming concerning the many symbols. There are many said preserved Dead Sea scrolls and there are counterfeits as usual. These scrolls were placed in a museums and can only be photocopied with a cost.
I do not imply that buying them is similar to compromising according to what we are discussing here, but at least if we are in the position of those who has the ability to reproduce it we should not do as the world is doing. Maybe others will use the logic that even Paul is selling tents when in fact the material comes from God’s given resources. But that is different. But I also believed that if Paul sold it , it was not for much gain. For even the reason that he is laboring is not because of himself but because of the grace of God that is in him. ( 1 Co.15:10). “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
Yes, David doesn’t wanted to offer something to God which costs him nothing(2 Sam.24:20-240). When it concerns about God it is questionable to think of gain. How many today has the attitude of Araunah(2 Sam.24:20-240) or Solomon who offered an inestimable costs( 1 Kngs. 8:63)? How many are like Barnabas(Acts 4:36)? Like Mary (Jn.12:1-3)? Or those “Men who have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. (Acts 15:26), whose gain is in PHIL 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Or perhaps many likes the examples of Ananias and Sapphira(Acts 5:1-10 ) and Judas Iscariot (Jn.12:1-8).
The Lord during His earthly ministry said in MT 10:8 “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”. Many are unaware that their selling reflects the manner on how they received it. But if they freely received they should freely give.
Buy the truth and sell it not PROV 23:23 “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” And in this grace period we are told
ROM 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”
2Co 11:7 Have I committed an offense in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
Rom 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Do we always have to put charge to what we share to others? And concerning the things that God shared to us, do we have to charge others all the more? You decide.
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