What does 1 Corinthians 9:14 mean?
ESV: In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.
NIV: In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
NASB: So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.
CSB: In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should earn their living by the gospel.
NLT: In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.
KJV: Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
NKJV: Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
Verse Commentary:
Earlier verses gave several arguments for why a minister of the gospel is entitled to financial support from the people he serves (1 Corinthians 9:1–13). Here, in his typical style, Paul reserves the strongest argument for last. Jesus Himself commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living from it. Paul is likely referring to Jesus' instructions when sending His followers out to proclaim God's kingdom during His ministry on earth. Jesus clearly said, in Luke 10:7, "And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages."

Paul's purpose here is to defend the idea that those involved in full-time ministry ought to be supported by the church. His greater point, however, is the idea that this compensation is a right: it's something ministers have every reasonable expectation to receive. That, in turn, is being established in order to contrast with Paul's behavior towards the people of Corinth. He will continue to refuse to take advantage of this command of Jesus. He does not want anyone to miss the gospel because of a misunderstanding about Paul's motives for preaching it (1 Corinthians 9:12–13).
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 9:1–18 describes Paul's case for why he, as an apostle, has the right to ask for financial support from the people he serves, including the Corinthian Christians. Though he could demand, Paul refuses to insist on his right. He doesn't want anything to get in the way of someone hearing the gospel. He must preach the gospel; he has no choice. But Paul wants to be able to boast about offering the gospel free of charge even though he has the right to ask for financial support. This passage establishes that believers have an obligation to support those who serve through ministry. This message is made more valid since Paul is not benefitting from his own argument.
Chapter Summary:
Paul encourages Christians to willingly give up their ''rights'' for the good of those who are weak in their faith. Paul shows that he, too, has given up his rights, including the right as an apostle to receive financial support from those he serves. Instead, he boasts that he serves the Corinthians without any compensation, even at great cost to himself. Paul describes himself as an athlete competing for the prize of a crown in eternity. His point is for believers to pursue godliness, and the good of others, with that kind of commitment.
Chapter Context:
First Corinthians 8 ended with Paul's declaration that he would give up his right to eat any meat rather than cause a brother in Christ to stumble. He shows in this chapter that he is already giving up his right as an apostle to be financially supported by those he serves. He doesn't want anything to get in the way of anyone believing the gospel. He limits his freedoms further by becoming all things to all people to win some for Christ. He disciplines himself like an athlete in training, to get a prize and to avoid being disqualified. The next passages will expand on this idea of distinguishing what is ''allowed'' from what is ''best.''
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
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