“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #98
“What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:18).
In short, the apostle’s reward is foregoing the reward. Not only is there a deeper right than being right, there is a deeper recompense than being recompensed. He doesn’t want to preach the gospel in a venue that requires him to sell tickets for it. If the message is free, then it is a great privilege to proclaim that free grace in a way that resembles the grace itself.
But it is important to note that Paul is assuming that if the gospel came “with a charge,” this would be a power he had in the gospel. This power is one that he is intent on not abusing, but it is a power nonetheless. The plowman plows with a hope of the harvest, and if Paul foregoes payment it is only because he is intent on plowing deeper. And that means a fuller harvest, when the time is right.