11:7free of charge. When Paul was at Corinth he supported himself (Acts 18:3) and accepted help from other churches as well (v. 8). Some of the Corinthians seem to have been offended by Paul’s refusal to accept their gift, probably offered to him in response to his preaching of the gospel to them. In ancient times, gift giving and receiving were often used to establish and maintain friendships among social equals. In this system Paul’s refusal of a gift might be taken as an insult, a proud refusal to be involved with inferiors. But the apostle views his relationship with the Corinthians, not from the standpoint of worldly social convention (5:16), but from the standpoint of the new creation (5:17) in which he has been called to be an apostle and spiritual father. As a father, he may rightly give to his children without receiving anything in return (12:14, 15).
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