My will or a commission? (1 Cor. 9:17)

“If I do this of my own will,

I should have a reward.

But if not of my own will,

I am entrusted

With a commission.”

εἰ γὰρ ἑκὼν τοῦτο πράσσω, μισθὸν ἔχω· εἰ δὲ ἄκων, οἰκονομίαν πεπίστευμαι.

Paul said if he did this of his own will (εἰ γὰρ ἑκὼν τοῦτο πράσσω), he would have a reward (μισθὸν ἔχω), but if not of his own will (εἰ δὲ ἄκων), he was entrusted with a commission (οἰκονομίαν πεπίστευμαι). Only the Pauline letters used this word ἑκὼν, that means one’s own free will, voluntary, willingly, and the word ἄκων, that means unwilling or unwillingly.  Paul maintained that if he did this preaching of his own free will, he should be rewarded.  However, he was not freely doing this, since he was entrusted with a commission.  In other words, Paul was sent to be a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ by Jesus himself, after his vision on the way to Damascus.  He did not decide one day to do this on his own.  He was sent unwillingly by Jesus to preach his gospel message.  Have you ever done anything that you did not want to do?

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