1 Corinthians 9:3-6
Acts 18:1-3

“Have not we power to
forbear working?”



3. A right to refrain from physical labour (1 Cor 9:6). There were times when Paul worked with his hands in tentmaking to supply his own needs (Acts 18:1-3; 2 Thess 3:7-10). This was despite his apostolic right to claim a wage from the church since he was engaged in the work of Christ (cf. 1 Cor 9:8-11).

Some have used 1 Corinthians 9:6 in support of “biblical tentmaking.” This refers to an individual who decides to serve God with little or no income from the church, and he takes on a secular job to support himself, while using whatever remaining time he has to do God’s work.

However, “biblical tentmaking” was not the Apostle Paul’s mode of operation throughout his missionary journeys. The reasons for these short times of tentmaking was to avoid being a burden to the churches that were still in their infancy and thus unable to supply his wages. Thus, in order for the work of God to proceed, Paul was most willing to set aside his right to receive wages and worked with his hands. Such is the sacrificial spirit of the Apostle Paul.

The biblical model of missions involves a preacher sent out by the church to plant churches. The church will provide support for the missionary so that he may fully concentrate on the work of the gospel. More details will be provided by Paul in the later verses.

George Muller also practised this principle of whole-hearted dependence upon God for the daily provision of the orphanages under his care. All the orphanages were started and sustained without asking or approaching anyone for help. Muller simply brought the petitions to the Lord. The Lord provided for their every need.

THOUGHT: I must trust in the Lord for my daily provision.
PRAYER: O Lord, give me this day my daily bread.