Saturday, May 27 2017
Contributor: Leye Olayiwola
We considered the first verses of 1 Corinthians chapter 10 last week. Apostle Paul drew our attention on the need to avoid the attitudes displayed by the children of Israel who rather than serving God gave heed to their own desires and emotions. We saw how, though having been saved and delivered from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites mind sets were still otherwise. We concluded on how to deal with temptations. Though temptations are very certain to happen, we were enjoined never to allow them linger on in our thoughts and never to allow them persuade us to do wrong things. The last verses of this chapter spell out Paul’s bottom line in the matter of idol-meats. In these closing words of instruction and counsel, Paul practically applies what he has been teaching in principle by addressing three situations which the Corinthians would face: (1) The question of whether a Corinthian Christian should eat idol-meat at a meal that is a part of a heathen worship ritual. (2) The question of whether a Corinthian should eat meat purchased at the meat market, the origins of which are not known. (3) The question of whether a Corinthian Christian should accept a dinner invitation from an unbeliever. Interspersed in these verses are the general guiding principles which should govern every decision pertaining to idol-meats, and any other question regarding our conduct in a pagan world. Let us learn from our “fathers,” as we are instructed from the inspired Word of God.
1. Dining With the Devils - Eating Meat in a Pagan Worship Ritual (verses 14-22)
The issue of meats offered to idols was first introduced in chapter 8. There, Paul did not debate the question of whether or not a Christian was at liberty to eat idol-meats, but allowed the assumption of some to stand that idol-meats were a matter of Christian liberty. In chapter 8, Paul sought to establish the principle that while one’s knowledge may cause him to conclude that he is free to eat idol-meats, love for the weaker brother should prompt him to forego his rights in deference to the one who may be caused to stumble. For some, the logic of 1 Corinthians 8:4-5 gave them license to eat idol-meats, and under virtually any set of circumstances. Paul takes a very different approach to this matter in the verses above. Now just exactly what does this mean, to “flee from idolatry”?
i. To partake of the cup at the Lord’s table is to symbolically partake of what the cup represents. To partake of the cup is to symbolically commemorate (give respect to) the fact that we have become partakers in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins which it accomplished, through faith in His atoning death on the cross of Calvary. This is what Jesus taught before His death (John 6:47-58).
ii. To partake of the bread at communion is to symbolically proclaim that we have identified with our Lord’s body. We have identified with Christ, not only in His incarnation, and in His bodily death, burial, and resurrection, but we have identified ourselves with His “body,” the church.
iii. Communion commemorates our union with the person and work of Jesus Christ by faith at the time of our salvation and for all eternity. It signifies our union with the church, His body.
iv. The pagan ritual of eating a meal, of which a portion is that which was sacrificed in heathen worship, was a “communion service” as well. The heathen worshipper is celebrating a communion service when he eats of what was sacrificed to an idol. In eating the things sacrificed to the idol, he is identifying himself with the pagan sacrifice and all that it means.
v. When the pagans worship idols by sacrificing to them, they are worshipping demons. Here is an amazing fact, which the Corinthians had overlooked. There are no other gods. Idols are nothing, because they represent gods which don’t exist. But false worship is not thereby rendered harmless and insignificant. This is where the Corinthians went wrong. Paul says that the worship of idols is the worship of demons. (See Leviticus 17:7; Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:37).
vi. Christians cannot become partakers of two tables, for one is the table of the Lord and the other is the table of demons. Just as no man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), neither can a Christian participate at two religious tables or partake of two sacrificial meals.
vii. When the Corinthians eat idol-meats while participating in pagan idol worship, they provoke the Lord to jealousy. Paul has instructed the Corinthians to “flee idolatry” in verse 14. Now we know exactly what he means. To sit at the table of demons and to participate in this pagan worship by eating idol-meats is to practice idolatry. This is exactly the way the ancient Israelites fell into idolatry, by joining themselves with the pagans at their “table”. Idolatry is a most serious offense to God. The Israelites were “laid low in the wilderness” (10:5) because God poured out His wrath by various plagues. To practice idolatry is to provoke the Lord to jealousy, and this is a most serious situation.
2. Is Market Meat Idol-Meat? (verses 23-26)
• Paul’s words in verses 23 and 24 should sound familiar to us because they are not new – 1 Cor.6:12-13. When Paul repeats the words of chapter 6 in chapter 10, we should not be surprised. The principle of profitability (or edification) underlies the teaching of the entire book. We find it in chapter 6, again in chapter 8, now in chapter 10, and again in chapters 12-14. The law of love obliges us to act in a way that benefits or edifies our brother, and, if possible, the lost (by leading to their salvation).
• Can the Christian eat meat purchased in the market place, knowing that it could possibly have been sacrificed to an idol? The issue at hand seems to be as follows. The Christians purchased their food supplies at the market place. In addition to fruits and vegetables, this included meat. It was possible that some of the meat sold in the market place had been offered to an idol. It appears that the question pertains to meats whose origins are not known and are not immediately apparent. Should the Christian buy no market meats because of the possibility of obtaining idol-meats? Or, should the Christian seek to satisfy his sensitive conscience by inquiring about the origin of the meat?
• Paul’s answer is really quite simple. In today’s jargon, Paul would have said, “Chill out; relax!” The fact is, it didn’t really matter. Biblical separation required that the Corinthian Christians have no part in the idol worship of their pagan peers. It was not necessary that the meat they ate have no such association. Whether or not a Christian should knowingly purchase idol-meats is not asked or answered. But when the origin of the meat is not known, the Christian is not to make an issue of it.
• Are the Corinthians concerned about the immediate origins and associations of the meat they purchase? They need not be. And the reason is to be found in the ultimate origin of such food: God created it. If God created it, we know it is good. All that is required is to partake of it gratefully and with thanksgiving.
3. Should I Dine With My Pagan Neighbor? (10:27-30)
• Now, Paul provides us with another specific application to his instruction to “flee from idolatry.” Does “fleeing from idolatry” mean that I should never go to dinner with an unsaved neighbor, for fear that I might be served idol-meats? The assumption here seems to be that the invitation is to the home of an unbeliever and not to a heathen temple, where the meal would be a part of a heathen religious ritual involving idols.
• Biblical separation does not require the Christian to avoid all contact with unbelievers. It does not even prohibit the Christian from enjoying the hospitality of an unbeliever by accepting a dinner invitation. Biblical separation is not meant to keep the Christian isolated from the world (which we are to evangelize), but to keep us separate from those who profess to know Christ and who live like pagans.
• Paul’s answer is similar to his response to the previous question: “Don’t ask!” The Corinthians should not make an issue of the origin of the meat or food they are eating. They should eat all of it. Eating a piece of meat that was offered to an idol will not defile the Christian. What defiles the Christian is participating in heathen worship. If eating a piece of idol-meat does not defile the Christian, there is no need to make an issue of it.
• The law of love does require an exception to this instruction, however. If one’s host volunteers that the meat has been offered to an idol, then the Christian should refrain from eating it. When the host makes an issue of the origin, it is because it is important to him, or because he thinks it may be important to his guest.
Conclusion – (verse 31-33)
Having expressed his commitment not to eat idol-meats at the table of an unbeliever under certain circumstances, Paul now concludes by explaining his response in terms of two guiding principles, principles which should guide every Christian concerning the exercise of their Christian liberties. The first principle governs our actions in terms of our relationship to God. The next governs our actions in terms of our relationship to men. The goal of history, and of God’s eternal plan, is to bring glory to Himself. The guiding principle by which the exercise of every liberty must be determined is that whatever we do, it must bring glory to God. Eating everything set before us at the home of a heathen can bring glory to God because our presence is to be a manifestation of His excellency to lost men (1 Peter 2:9).
It may be by our witness at the dinner table that we are able to share our faith and be instrumental in leading lost souls to faith in Christ.124
The second guiding principle is that our every action should be done for the edification and upbuilding of others. For the lost, we should act in a way that most facilitates the gospel and the salvation of the lost. For those who are saved, our actions should be those which build up our brothers and sisters in their faith, and which enhance their daily walk with Him.
Saturday, May 27 2017
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
The highlight of last week’s study, in conclusion of chapter 9, is the need for discipline or being temperate in all things. Self-indulgence lay at the root of every other Corinthian problem mentioned up to this point. The solution to self-indulgence is self-control. Paul uses the analogy of athletes; if athletes who compete for trophies that fade put in so much effort in preparation; how much more should we prepare for our trophies that are incorruptible? We should not be shabby or shoddy when it comes to the work of God! (Colossians 3:23-25).
Today, we are looking at the first thirteen verses of chapter ten. In this chapter, Paul draws several lessons for the readers of his Epistle from the failure of the Israelites in the wilderness.
1) A lesson from the past: 1 Corin.10:1-2
"Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness."
Paul begins a lesson about the people whom Moses led. Those people had been slaves in Egypt, but God made them free. They experienced the presence of God in forms of the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night (Exo.13:21). They saw the miracle of the opening of the red sea (Exo.14:21). They were fed with manna from heaven (Exo.16). They drank from the spiritual rock that was Jesus Christ; the living water (Exo.17&20).
However, as free people, they did not serve God. They served their own wrong desires and wrong emotions. In other words, they did whatever they wanted to do. The result was that God was not pleased with them. Almost all of them died in the desert. They never entered the country that God had promised to their nation. 600,000 men (not counting women and children) left Egypt but only two among those older than 20 years entered the Promised Land! (Num.2:32)
Paul could see that many Christians were starting to have the same wrong attitudes. God had made them free (Col.1:13), but they cared only to please themselves. They did not really want to serve God or to show his love to other people. They believed that they had the right to please themselves. They even claimed the right to eat food that someone had offered to a false god (1 Cor.8:10).
Paul had to warn them that God would not be pleased with their selfish behaviour. It was a hard lesson for those Christians. They thought that their lives did please God. He had saved them when they began their relationship with him. He was present in their lives by his Holy Spirit. They had gone through the ceremony called baptism to show that they had a new life with Christ.
It is a sad fact that, in every age, most people have not obeyed God. The history of our churches shows that most church members care more about themselves than about God. Jesus compared a right relationship with God to a narrow path that few people find (Matthew 7:13-14).
2) Lessons from the Israelites in the wilderness: 1 Corin.10:6-10
"Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer."
1 Corinthians 10:6-10 contains a list of four separate events during the life of Moses. The purpose of this list is to warn Christians not to use the freedom that God has given them wrongly. The people whom Moses led had done that. And some Christians in Corinth were starting to behave in a similar manner.
a) They gave honour to a false god; Ex.32 Moses remained on the mountain called Sinai for 40 days while he received God’s law. During this time, the people became impatient. They told Aaron to make them an image out of gold. They wanted to give honour to that image as their god. So Aaron made an image of a young cow. Some members of the church at Corinth were eating meat that other people had offered to false gods. Those Christians should be especially careful. They must not give honour to false gods, and they must not cause other people to do that (Ch.8)
b) Sexual immorality; Num.25 Women from Moab and Midian tried to tempt the men from Israel. Many of the men accepted the women’s offer. Again, they were following their emotions when they ought to obey God. God wanted them to be free people; they chose to let their emotions rule their lives. Paul told the church leaders in Corinth to deal strictly with a man who was guilty of sexual immorality and will not repent of this evil behaviour (5:1-2). God’s people should never behave in such an evil manner (1 Corinthians: 6:9-10)
c) They tested God; Num.21:4-9 In other words, they tried to force God to do what they wanted. They accused God of wrong behaviour. They said that God had taken them out of Egypt in order to kill them in the desert. They suffered a terrible punishment by being bitten by snakes. God still cared about his people. He saved them from that punishment. The method that he used to save them teaches us about Christ (John 3:14-15)
Paul’s lesson for Christians here is that they must not test God (Deuteronomy 6:16). 1 Corinthians 8:10. He should not enter a place where the desire to do wrong things is so strong. If God has not sent him, he should not go into any such place.
d) They Complained against God. Exo.14 There were several instances that they murmured, grumbled or complained against Moses and Aaron but God said it was against Him. Ex.14:27. When people allow their feelings to control their lives, they do such things constantly. They were destroyed by the destroyer. The Bible sometimes uses words like that when people die quickly from a sudden, serious illness (1 Chronicles 21:14-15). That happened in Numbers 11:33-34 and Num. 16:41-49. When we allow our feelings to control our lives, it will give opportunity to the devil (1 Peter 5:8).
3) The church must learn from the past; 1 Cor.10:11-12
"Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."
The Bible is not just history. Its purpose is not to provide a record of ancient events or of people whom the world has forgotten. It tells us about those events and those people because God wants to use them to teach us, today. God’s relationship with ancient Israel was real, and it still continues today (Romans 11:1-2). But God did not establish that relationship so that people from just one nation would know him. From its beginning, God wanted people from every nation to know his kindness (Genesis 12:3).
Only a fool has confidence in something that is weak (Flesh). It will certainly disappoint him. When he needs something to support him, it will fail. When he needs to stand, he will fall (Proverbs 16:18).
Conclusion: Dealing with temptations, 1 Cor.10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Temptations are the thoughts, ideas and circumstances that test our trust in God. They do not always seem like troubles; in fact, many temptations seem attractive. But they are always dangerous; falling to temptations can ruin a person’s relationship with God.
We should pray that God will help us to deal with temptation (Matthew 6:13). We will certainly have temptations, but we must not let them persuade us to do wrong things. Evil thoughts will enter our minds, but we must not allow them to remain constantly in our thoughts. People will urge us not to obey God, but we must not accept that wicked advice. Whenever a Christian refuses to give in to temptation, that Christian becomes stronger in his relationship with God (1 Peter 1:6-7). God never tempts men to sin Jam.1:13-15.
Monday, May 15 2017
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Last week’s study saw us looking at the proper use of liberty and how Paul waived his rights for the sake of the Gospel. Verses 1-14 was his response to those who challenged his apostleship because he chose not to exercise his rights as an apostle. We concluded with Paul’s inference that although he and Baranabas waived their rights of reaping material things from the church in Corinth for the sake of the Gospel, it shouldn’t be misunderstood or taken for granted. In today’s study, we shall be looking at the concluding part of the use of liberty - Self Discipline.
Verses 15-18 (AMP) - GUARANTEED REWARD
“But I have used none of these privileges, nor am I writing this [to suggest] that any such provision be made for me now. For it would be better for me to die than to have anyone deprive me of my boast [in this matter of financial support]. 16 For if I [merely] preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast about, for I am compelled [that is, absolutely obligated to do it]. Woe to me if I do not preach the good news [of salvation]! 17 For if I do this work of my own free will, then I have a reward; but if it is not of my will [but by God’s choosing], I have been entrusted with a [sacred] stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? [Just this:] that, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge [to everyone], so as not to take advantage of my rights [as a preacher and apostle] in [preaching] the gospel."
Paul continues his defence by saying that although he had the right to a maintenance allowance, as an apostle, based on both the law of God and the gospel; he hasn’t used any of these benefits; then he becomes very assertive; it was not on his own account that he gave these strong reasons, and undeniably proved the point, that ministers should be maintained by the people; and to prevent people from thinking that he has the plan to start receiving maintenance from the church he categorically stated that he would rather die than to give anyone ammunition to discredit him or challenge his motives! As a matter of fact, he didn’t choose to serve God himself! He was out persecuting the church when he was called by God’s choosing and mandated to serve! So it was clearly not for any personal benefits he was in the business of the Gospel
He then asked a rhetorical question: “What then is my reward?” And answers it himself! “Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.” For it is better to give than receive (Acts 20:35)
Verses 19-23 (AMP) - PAUL’S USE OF HIS FREEDOM
“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to everyone, so that I may win more [for Christ]. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews [for Christ]; to men under the Law, [I became] as one [c]under the Law, though not being under the Law myself, so that I might win those who are under the Law. 21 To those who are without (outside) the Law, [I became] as one without the Law, though [I am] not without the law of God, but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became [as the] weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means [in any and every way] save some [by leading them to faith in Jesus Christ]. 23 And I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings along with you.”
In these verses Paul teaches us how to best use our freedom; not for our personal gains but for the benefit of and the service of others. He volunteered himself to become a servant to all and sundry. He went into the world of the religious and nonreligious, the meticulous moralists, and those living in immorality, the defeated, the demoralized—all of them! To experience things from their point of view; so he can appropriately empathise with them (Heb. 4:15); but didn’t take on their way of life. He did this to lead many to Christ! He did not just want to talk about it; he wanted to be in on it! And so, must we! Enough of just talking about reaching out – time to step out and do!
Verses 24-27 (AMP) - THE NEED FOR SELF-DISCIPLINE
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run [their very best to win], but only one receives the prize? Run [your race] in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours! 25 Now every athlete who [goes into training and] competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things. They do it to win a [f]crown that withers, but we [do it to receive] an imperishable [crown that cannot wither]. 26 Therefore I do not run without a definite goal; I do not flail around like one beating the air [just shadow boxing]. 27 But [like a boxer] I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached [the gospel] to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified [as unfit for service]."
Like a bolt out of the blue, Paul switches to a topic somewhat unconnected to his defence; but it is to drive home his point! "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize?" Here, he was referring to athletes who win races; not for the sake of us winning the race but for the preparation they put into winning a race. “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.” So, let us prepare to serve God like athletes who win; not sloppy, not nonchalant; for that is the only way we can achieve what God wants us to. The key words here are “strict” – (demanding that rules concerning behaviour are obeyed and observed; following rules or beliefs exactly) and “training” – (Organized activity aimed at imparting information and/or instructions to improve the recipient's performance or to help him or her attain a required level of knowledge or skill.)
Paul uses the analogy of athletes to summarise and conclude this chapter of his letter. If athletes who compete for trophies that fade put in so much effort in preparation; how much more should we prepare for our trophies that are incorruptible? We should not be shabby or shoddy when it comes to the work of God! (Colossians 3:23-25).
And when he said in verses 26-27 (MSG)
“I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself."
He was referring to being focused; that he will not be swayed by those challenging his apostleship or those who want to toil with his liberty or any other distractions that may come; because such distraction can cause a faithful servant miss his/her place in eternity.
Thursday, May 04 2017
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
In last week’s study, we started off on the journey of our liberty in Christ and how exercising our liberty interlocks with other believers around us. We learnt that we owed other believers; especially the weaker ones a duty of care. In today’s study, we will be looking at the topic: “Proper Use of Liberty part1 - Waiving rights for the Gospel” a study of exercising liberty as it pertains to the ministers of the Gospel and how the church should view it.
1) Paul’s Apostleship Declared and Defended: 1 Cor. 9:1-2
“Am I not free [unrestrained and exempt from any obligation]? Am I not an apostle? Have I not [a]seen Jesus our [risen] Lord [in person]? Are you not [the result and proof of] my work in the Lord? 2 If I am not [considered] an apostle to others, at least I am one to you; for you are the seal and the certificate and the living evidence of my apostleship in the Lord [confirming and authenticating it].”
There was obviously a challenge here about the Apostleship of Paul; especially because of what we see in 1Co 9:11, 13, 14. Paul's not exercising this right was made a plea by his opponents for insinuating that he was himself conscious he was no true apostle (2Co 12:13-16). This was what precipitated his response that leads to the revealing of the qualification of an Apostle. Paul knew that to be an apostle in the same sense as the original twelve apostles (with Matthias replacing Judas Iscariot, as we see in Acts 1:26), he had to be an eyewitness of the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:22). His encounter with Christ on his journey to Damascus met this requirement (Acts 9:2-8, 27; 22:6-21; 26:12-18).
2) Paul’s Rights as an Apostle; 1 Cor. 9:3-7
“This is my defense to those who would put me on trial and interrogate me [concerning my authority as an apostle]: 4 Have we not the right to our food and drink [at the expense of the churches]? 5 Have we not the right to take along with us a believing wife, as do the rest of the apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas (Peter)? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to stop doing manual labor [in order to support our ministry]? 7 [Consider this:] Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?"
In these verses, Paul continues his response from the first two verses directed at those interrogating him and challenging his authority as an apostle. He gets practical and direct! He compares himself with Apostle Peter and the other apostles, unafraid. From his comment, here, we learn that it is right for ministers, missionaries, etc. to marry, and to take their wives with them when on ministrations. But there are people, like Paul, who can do better without being married. There are circumstances, like his, where it is not advisable that they should marry, and there can be no doubt that Paul regarded the unmarried state for a missionary as preferable and advisable. Probably the same is to be said of most missionaries at the present day, that they could do better if unmarried, than they can if burdened with the cares of families. He lays it bare by asking them in verse 7 a question that would challenge their common sense and reveal their ignorance: “Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?"
He uses three illustrations from human life and business to show that the principle which has been adopted in the Christian Church is not exceptional. A soldier receives his pay; the planter of a vineyard eats the fruit of it; and the owner of a flock is supported by selling the milk.
3) Paul’s Apostolic Rights Supported; 1 Cor. 9:8-11
“Do I say these things only from a man’s perspective? Does the Law not endorse the same principles? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain [to keep it from eating the grain].” Is it [only] for oxen that God cares? 10 Or does He speak entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake: The plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the harvest. 11 If we have sown [the good seed of] spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?"
The preceding verses calls for the Corinthians to apply common sense from the human perspective; but just in case common sense did not work out for them, Paul balances it with drawing their attention to the Word of God – the ultimate guiding authority. He states that if God can care for some ordinary oxen asking that they MUST NOT muzzle it (tie up its mouth) while it’s treading out the grain how much more his Apostle while in service; preaching the Gospel!
Paul also refers to God’s divine principle of seed time and harvest in verse 11 – “If we have sown [the good seed of] spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?” (Gen 8:22)
4) A Christian leader’s right to receive wages; 1 Cor. 9:12-14
"If others share in this rightful claim over you, do not we even more? However, we did not exercise this right, but we put up with everything so that we will not hinder [the spread of] the good news of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who officiate in the sacred services of the temple eat from the temple [offerings of meat and bread] and those who regularly attend the altar have their share from the [offerings brought to the] altar? 14 So also [on the same principle] the Lord directed those who preach the gospel to get their living from the gospel."
Obviously, the other apostles and religious leaders and teachers were claiming maintenance, and were supported without personal labour; but Paul and Barnabas waived this right and worked with their hands (Acts 18:3 – “And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers” so that their lack of understanding would not get in the way of accepting the Gospel. And that working for their upkeep was a matter of choice and not because they were unqualified.
In verse 13 Paul references the priests that officiate in the temple of God stating that they eat from the offerings of meat and bread and other offerings brought to the altar so that the Corinthians will see that it is scriptural. (Lev.6:26, Deuteronomy 18:1)
In verse 14, Paul brings it home; that the same principle that applies to the oxen and those who officiate in the sacred services of the temple or who regularly attend the altar also applied to those who preach the Gospel. Inferring that although he and Baranabas waived their rights of reaping material things from the church in Corinth for the sake of the Gospel, it shouldn’t be misunderstood or taken for granted