"Not because we do not have authority..."
Text: 2 Thessalonians 3:9
SUPPORT FOR THOSE SERVING GOD
The apostle Paul had to address the question of support for those serving God in the full-time ministry on a number of occasions. The short answer is here given in the following text.
“Not because we do not have authority, but to make
ourselves an example of how you should follow us.”
2 Thessalonians 3:9
1. Did Paul receive support for his ministry?
a) The answer is simply “Yes!”
b) He wrote to the Philippians to thank them for their support (Philippians 4:15-19).
i) There were churches that did not support (Philippians 4:15).
ii) However the Philippians supported him very well (Philippians 4:15-18).
2. The issue of “authority”
a) This was addressed in greater length in 1 Corinthians 9.
b) Paul’s argument for support included the following:-
i) God made provision for His servants to be taken care of (1 Corinthians 9:8-9).
ii) The Lord’s specific word for full support was stated (1 Corinthians 9:14).
iii) Appeal through sheer logic (1 Corinthians 9:6-7).
3. Paul did not abuse this authority
a) He was prepared to give up this right for the sake of winning people to Christ.
b) He would never abuse this privilege (1 Corinthians 9:18).
c) He was prepared to make any sacrifice for the sake of the gospel.
4. Some reasons why Paul worked with his hands
a) He and Silas wanted to set an example.
b) They were aware of people who abused their rights and they wanted to be sure that nobody would misunderstand them.
c) Some of the people who behaved poorly:-
i) They loafed around.
ii) They took advantage of people’s kindness.
iii) They were behaving in a disorderly manner.