The Apostle Paul, set up Congregations in both Philippi and Corinth. Years later, he writes to each of them in his letters:
To the Philippians:
For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jeshua, the Messiah, Philippians 1:8
To the Corinthians:
I call God as my witness that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth,
2 Corinthians 1:23
Hmm…what is the source of such a major difference in the approach to these two communities of believers? We can tell a lot about people from their attitude toward money. Show me what you do with your money, and I will tell you what kind of person you are!
Let’s compare the attitudes in Corinth and Phillipi . . . .
Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk?
Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn`t the Torah say the same thing?!
For it is written in the Torah of Moses: Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.
Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely He says this for us (servants), doesn`t He?
Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the tresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.
If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?
Don`t you know that those who work in the Temple get their food from the Temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?
In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the Gospel should receive their living from the Gospel!
But I have not used any of these rights,
1 Corinthians 9:7-15
Paul tells the Corinthians what the Torah teaches about giving and how ministers should be supported.
The Corinthians, in their spiritual development, remained at the baby stage for many years and were carnal. One of their sins or breaches of the Torah was their reluctance when it came to rewarding God’s servants.
Paul has, as he says, “not used any of these rights” to be rewarded in Corinth, because the Corinthians were not able to accept such rights due to their immaturity and carnality. So Paul decided to wait until they would mature into it.
To Philippians he writes: as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the Gospel, (…) not one assembly shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only.
For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account, the harvest of blessings that is accumulated to your account.
(…) I am amply supplied! Now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are fragrant offering, sacrifice pleasing to God!
And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Messiah Jeshua,
Phil. 4; 15-19.
How do you treat the people who teach you the Word? Do you think that as a people called by God they ought to work for an ideology? Take care of your welfare while you fail to take care of their welfare?
Remember, you will be treated in the same way by them! Love your neighbour as yourself and in everything do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Torah and the Prophets, Mat. 7:12.
You can be treated as an immature person, who cannot be taken seriously and with whom no serious works can be undertaken or as a friend and a mature person, who understands and is obedient to the Torah. A lot of things can be achieved working with mature people for the cause of the Kingdom of Israel!
Are you from Corinth or Philippi?
Today, the choice is yours.
28th April 2019