SOAP Study - October 16, 2020
1 Corinthians 9:13-18
9 Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? 2 Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves are proof that I am the Lord’s apostle.
3 This is my answer to those who question my authority.[a] 4 Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? 5 Don’t we have the right to bring a believing wife[b] with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter[c] does? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves?
7 What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard and doesn’t have the right to eat some of its fruit? What shepherd cares for a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk? 8 Am I expressing merely a human opinion, or does the law say the same thing? 9 For the law of Moses says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.”[d] Was God thinking only about oxen when he said this? 10 Wasn’t he actually speaking to us? Yes, it was written for us, so that the one who plows and the one who threshes the grain might both expect a share of the harvest.
11 Since we have planted spiritual seed among you, aren’t we entitled to a harvest of physical food and drink? 12 If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ.
PERSONAL SOAP STUDY
- What verse stood out to you while you were reading?
- What did you discover about God, yourself, and others?
- How should this information impact your life?
- What needs to be different about the way you are currently living?
- Take some time to talk to God about the things you just learned and how you want your life to look different. Give God thanks for revealing these things to you, ask Him for wisdom and courage to move forward so that you can apply these things to your life.
STAFF SOAP STUDY
In verses 13-18, Paul continues explaining his commitment to giving up his rights to be supported by Corinth's people. The Apostle Paul even goes to the extent of saying that he would rather die than lose his right to boast about preaching without charge. I think the most potent and dynamic part of this passage occurs in verse 16, where Paul states, "Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!". For me, this is the most provocative part of this passage, that Paul's faith in Jesus is so overwhelming that he views it as his only option to share it. He even continues in the next few verses stating that he has no choice of the matter, and this is why he never demands his rights.
Does the Good News of Jesus Christ genuinely compel me? This question is the question that we must all ask ourselves. We may not be in a position where others may be looking to support our ministry in the same way as Paul, but is our faith so uncontainable that we feel like sharing it is our only option? My challenge for myself and you is to continually remind us of this Good News and how wonderful it is. After we remind ourselves of the magnificent redemptive work of Jesus, we must also understand that he has charged us with Paul's same responsibility. Now, we may not be called to travel the world, but we are called to engage with our own world and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Father God, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your story. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to trust and love you while we love and serve others. We know that it is your Spirit that compels us to follow in the steps of the Apostles and share about the wondrous works of Jesus. We pray that we operate consistently out of a spirit of power and love so that we honor You.