(1 Co 9:16) “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel”!
The Apostle Paul is the human author of the text verse. His comments are addressed to the Church of Corinth. Paul is explaining in this particular verse why he preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Simply, Paul was saying to the Church in Corinth, even though I am a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I have nothing to glory of; for I did not call myself to this profession; neither do I possess any special power or any great ability to speak; nor do I preach for material gain or wealth, for I have preached the Gospel of Jesus free of charge; for I have provided my own needs through working with my own hands. Therefore, I preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ because, “necessity is laid upon me.” The word translated as “necessity” means “constraint (literally or figuratively); by implication distress – distress, must needs, (of) necessity (-sary), neededth, needful.”
What was the necessity? The answer is found in Acts 9:1-17; God chose, called, and commanded Saul, who later was called Paul, to be an Ambassador of the message of Reconciliation of Jesus Christ. Paul had no choice in the matter; for God had ordained Paul to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ.
This is what the Church of Jesus Christ needs today; that is, God-chosen, God-called, and God-commanded men to preach and teach the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. The churches are filled with men today (not all, but many) that have chosen the profession of the ministry themselves and have never been chosen, called, or commanded by Jesus Christ to proclaim His Name; for whatever reason, only those non-called men know. The Apostle Paul knew without a doubt of God’s calling of him to be an Apostle, or preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From the moment the scales fell from his eyes, until the day of his death, he had a drive; a burden; a desire; an inward moving compulsion to preach and write of the Good News of Jesus Christ; whether it be in peace or in prison; in sufferings or in health; in poverty or in abundance – the Apostle Paul had to preach the Gospel, no matter his present circumstances, “for necessity is laid upon me.”
Secondly, the Apostle Paul had a fear if he did not preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ: “yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel.” The Apostle knew if he did not preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or if he were not diligent in the preaching of the Gospel, then he would be displeasing to God that had called him to preach the Gospel; and this would bring on the judgment of God for his lack of obedience to the heavenly calling. The Apostle did not say this to the church in Corinth because he was contemplating not obeying the heavenly calling; but to reveal to them that his calling was from God, and for the Glory of God, and for their good. The Apostle was saying: I am not preaching the Gospel and under-going all this persecution and suffering for any gain from man, but to obey the heavenly calling. The Apostle was really defending himself and his actions to the Church in Corinth in order for them to see that he had lain, and shall continue to lay, his life down to them and to others, for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for their benefit.
The prayer of every church member of the House of God should be:
Lord, send to us a man to pastor and to teach us the Doctrine of Christ; one who has been chosen, called, and commanded by God according to His Sovereign Will.