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Apostles Receive Their Living


Apostles receive their living:

  • We should get two improper uses of Scripture out of the way.  In one, Paul, the apostle and traveling elder instructs Timothy the apostle and traveling deacon not to get entangeled in the affairs of this life.  Many have taken this to say that apostles cannot refuse their rightful pay and earn their living at a trade; however, Paul did exactly that, so Paul must have been getting at something else.  What is obvious here is that this applies to traveling ministries, not to local elders and deacons or fathers and mothers in the home.  At the same time, local elders and deacons and fathers and mothers in the home must also be careful that they don't become entangled in the affairs of this life.  In the parable of the sower, there was some seed that fell among thorns "but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful."  Every Christian must avoid this choking out of the word [logos, a word uttered by a living voice] of God. 
    • 2 Timothy 2:4-6 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.  And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.  The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
  • The other is a proverb that says that in all labor, there is profit, but all profit is not monetary except in the eyes of hirelings.  Proverbs 14:23 is actually making the point that there is a difference between working and talking.  Work leads to wealth and talk leads to poverty.  Someone has to do something or no one makes any money.
    • Proverbs 14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
  • Apostles receive their living.  They are paid enough to sustain them for their work.  In most cases, it would be impossible for an apostle to fulfill both the duty as an apostle, traveling around and serving, and also hold down a job.  The following verses apply only to apostles.  They do not apply to elders and deacons in the local churches.  They do not apply to fathers and mothers in the home.
    • Matthew 10:9-10 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
    • Luke 10:7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
    • 1 Corinthians 9:1, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?... Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?... For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?  Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.... Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.  But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done to me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
  • Regarding local elders: 1 Timothy 5:17-18 is the only verse in Scripture regarding what local elders ought to recieve as opposed to what apostles, traveling elders and deacons should recieve.  It is included here because it shows the stark difference between the local elders and deacons as opposed to the apostles, the traveling elders and deacons.  Traveling elders and deacons and their portion it explained in 1 Corinthians 9:1, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15 and in Luke 10:7 and Matthew 10:10.  The difference is obvious.  Also, fathers and mothers in the home receive no salary for their work, but they ought to have a double measure of honor.
    • 1 Timothy 5:17-18 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.  For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
    • Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
    • Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Last updated: Aug, 2011
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