1 Corinthians 9: Preaching without Cost
“Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?” (1 Corinthians 9:1) Paul tells the Corinthians that he is a Special Witness of Christ, why? Because he has seen Jesus Christ. Those who believe in Jesus Christ are His disciples, because they are disciplined to follow His commandments. However, those who are Apostles are called of God and given Authority to act in His name. They are also known as the Twelve Apostles (see Matthew 10) Paul also explains that Apostles are FREE, meaning they don’t make money from their work.
Paul explains that as an Apostle he needs to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ; “…the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel, should live the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:14) For this reason, those who are called to the Apostleship in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are called to that position for life. Usually these men are retired and financially stable on their own accord as to not charge for their work as Apostles. The Church also, DOES NOT support the Apostles financially, nor does the church support any of the leaders financially throughout the church. Why? Because the Gospel of Jesus Christ should be taught free of charge. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all those who work as leaders, teachers and ministers are called voluntarily. Most have full time jobs and families while they serve in these holy callings.
The main teachers throughout the church are the Full-time Missionaries who are called throughout the world. These men and women serve 1 ½ to 2 years and support their missions personally, or through friends and family. They serve these full-time positions to focus solely on their mission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are free from the day-to-day distractions of the modern world, so that they may be more effective teachers and servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul humbly explains his mission as an Apostle; “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 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. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain more.” (1 Corinthians 9:16-19) Paul tells the Corinthians that he is a servant of the Lord and servant unto all men without reward. He preaches the gospel willingly and because he does this, the only reward he receives is a warm feeling of joy and happiness for following the commandments of the Lord and bringing more souls unto Him.
Paul makes the Corinthians think when he says; “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” (1Corinthians 9:24) What is the prize? It is Eternal Life, it is Salvation, it is joy and happiness that only the Lord can give us. It is important to note that it is not bad to want something so great. It is only bad when we do it against our will, we should have a desire to obtain it for the right reasons.