But didn’t Paul work
to provide for himself?
Are you suggesting a contradiction in the Bible? Did Paul contradict what he taught about ministerial support in I Cor 9:6-14; Gal 6:6; I Tim 5:17-18? Consider five factors. First, Paul was inspired and did not have to study like ordinary men (II Tim 2:15). Second, Paul was supported by churches (Phil 4:15-18). Third, Paul did not have expenses of a wife and family, true of most pastors (I Tim 3:1-5). Fourth, Paul had the complete authority and right to demand compensation and living expenses (I Cor 9:1-12). Fifth, the reason he did not was one reason only – to be an example to a lazy church (II Thess 3:6-14) and a stingy church (I Cor 9:15-18). Therefore, the ordinance of Jesus still stands – pastors are supported full time (I Cor 9:1-14).