Sinless Jesus: A Gospel Essential?

Sinless Jesus: A Gospel Essential? - LIVE Q&A for September 8, 2022

Is it essential to the gospel to believe that Jesus lived a sinless life?

From Adonis…

Is the sinless perfection of Jesus a part of the gospel? Can one believe in the gospel while believing that Jesus sinned? Please give reasons for your answer.

The truth of the sinless perfection of Jesus is often called “The Impeccability of Jesus Christ.” It’s an important part of understanding who Jesus is and it is clearly revealed in the Bible for us.

Hebrews 4:15-

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

1 John 3:5-

And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21-

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

John 8:46-

Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?

John 1:36-

And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”

Hebrews 13:8-

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

With all this, it is clear from the Bible that Jesus was without sin. But the question Adonis had was this: Is understanding the sinless perfection of Jesus an essential part of the gospel? No and yes.

No, it is not essential in the sense that someone does not have to understand the doctrine of the impeccability of Jesus Christ in order to trust in, rely on, and cling to the person and work of Jesus Christ, especially what He did at the cross and the resurrection. We aren’t saved by our doctrinal precision or our doctrinal depth – we’re saved by Jesus.

Yes, it is essential in the sense that if someone denies the truth of the sinless Jesus, they are denying something fundamental to the nature of Jesus.

  • A sinful Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible.
  • A sinful Jesus does not truly exist.
  • A sinful Jesus cannot save.

Sometimes I like to talk about bringing the “real you” to the “real Jesus.” We have to come to Jesus as we really are, with all our sin, brokenness, and mess. That is coming to Jesus humbly, in repentance. But we also must come to the real Jesus – the Jesus who actually exists, the Jesus described for us in the Bible.

So, someone can be ignorant or uneducated about the sinless nature of Jesus, and be in right relationship with God. But someone can’t deny the truth about Jesus – especially in one of the fundamental aspects of who He is – and be in right relationship with God.

Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit a biblical concept?

What is the biblical backing for the baptism of the Holy Spirit? In my study of spiritual gifts, I’m having a bit of a hang up on this particular issue. I’m a cessationist, attending a Calvary Chapel.

The biblical basis for the idea of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is simply that Jesus promised there would be a baptism of the Holy Spirit. He promised this to His disciples. He said, “Wait for the promise of the Father,” which in another place He seems to describe as a baptism of the Holy Spirit.

It helps us to understand the concept of baptism. Nobody is literally dunked in a literal substance called the Holy Spirit. The word baptism means to immerse something into a substance, to dip it down into that substance until it’s covered over. That concept can be used literally: “I immersed the fabric into the dye, and it was baptized.” We find that kind of usage in the ancient world. So, this term can be used in a literal sense, but it can also be used in a figurative sense: “I have been immersed in suffering. I’ve been baptized into suffering.” Jesus used it just in that way as well. Jesus specifically spoke of a baptism of the Holy Spirit that His people would receive.

But here’s the debate. Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit that Jesus specifically mentioned an experience that’s common to every believer when they are born again, or is it an experience subsequent to salvation? The Bible makes it very clear that every person who is born again by God’s Spirit – that is, everyone who puts their faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, especially what He did on the cross and in His resurrection – every one of those people has the Holy Spirit. It’s not as if some Christians have the Holy Spirit and some Christians don’t. If you are a true Christian (and I don’t mean in a cultural or ethnic sense), then you have the Holy Spirit.

But there is at least some reason this is a debated topic among Christians. There is at least some reason to believe that Jesus, in speaking about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, referred to an experience subsequent to that. In this case, a person could be a believer and have the Holy Spirit in some sense, yet perhaps not have the fullness of the Holy Spirit that God would grant to a person.

I think it’s possible sometimes to get too hung up on the terminology of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I don’t think the terminology is irrelevant; I think it is something worth talking about, and in some respect worth fighting for. But here’s what I often do with people who seem to be distressed or hung up with that terminology, “the baptism of the Holy Spirit,” because of the controversy that’s often associated with it. I emphasize the concept of the filling of the Holy Spirit.

In Ephesians 5, Paul the Apostle wrote to the Ephesian church and to all Christians by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He said, “Be constantly being filled with the Holy Spirit.” That’s the grammatical sense of what he wrote in common Greek, the original language of the New Testament. “Be continually being filled with the Holy Spirit.” I think that’s what our duty is: we need to have a continual filling of Holy Spirit in our life.

I recommend to people who are hung up on the idea of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that you ask yourself, “Am I continually being filled with the Holy Spirit?” Now, there are plenty of people who act as if the evidence of truly being filled with the Spirit is through spectacular miracles, works, signs, etc. Those definitely have their place and can be some indication of the work of the Spirit of God, absolutely so. But the real evidence of the presence and work of the Holy Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit, described for us in Paul’s letter to the Galatians: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, patience, and so forth.

It is the fruit of the Spirit which gives evidence that a person is filled with the Spirit of God, and that a person is flowing in the Spirit of God. That’s what needs to have great emphasis upon it. Now, I don’t want to take away from the fact that the Holy Spirit does wonderful and miraculous things in the world today. I believe that He does. But the real evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in an individual and in a congregation is the fruit of the Spirit in their midst.

I do believe that’s a cessationist position is wrong. I think it’s wrong for a lot of reasons; I’ve been thinking about maybe some videos I should do on the subject, because I think there are many fundamental premises that are wrong in the Cessationist camp. Yet, let me say, I am grateful for my cessationist brethren. I do respect them for the zeal they have for the integrity of God’s Word, and the low level of tolerance they have for so much of the foolishness that goes on in the name of the Holy Spirit. I think that our cessationist brethren are to be commended for those things.

Can a Christian be a freemason?

What is your take on masonry? Can a Christian be a Mason?

I have not done an in-depth study of the Masonic movement and institutions. But from what limited study I have done, I would say that a Christian should not be a Mason. Now you ask, “Can a Christian?” Listen, Christians can be messed up in all kinds of ways, and still be Christians and still go to heaven.

Is it possible for a Christian to get drunk? Yes, it’s possible, but it shouldn’t happen.

So, I don’t like answering the question, “Can a Christian be a Mason?” I think we should ask, “Should a Christian be a Mason?” My conclusion would be no. I understand that for many people, a Masonic Lodge or a Masonic gathering is just a community service club. They get together and they do good things for the community, and they have a sense of camaraderie in this. And I understand that for many people that is sort of their impression of the atmosphere of a Masonic Lodge and the Masonic institution.

But when you look at it in any kind of depth, it really is set up as a quasi-religion. It is not a biblical religion; it’s filled with a lot of superstition and a lot of paganism. So, if the question is, “Should a Christian be a Mason?”, I would say no. It’s better to have a separation from the Masonic movement. Find some social service or community group that does some of the good things that Masons may do, but without those weird spiritual connections.

Is “Jesus plus good works” a damning heresy?

Is the Catholic belief that salvation comes through Jesus plus needing to do good works a damning heresy?

A failure to trust in Jesus Christ is damning. If somebody would put their trust in something or someone else, that’s damning. If a person puts their trust in the church, or in the sacraments or ceremonies of the church, instead of in Jesus Christ, that soul is in trouble. According to official Catholic doctrine, people are not to put their trust in Mary or the saints or look to them as mediators; but we know that many people in the Roman Catholic Church effectively do that. If a soul does that, it’s in trouble. But let me add this: if a person essentially puts their trust in a celebrity pastor from the Protestant world or the evangelical world, and they think that pastor is their mediator before God, that soul is in trouble. Anything that takes away from an individual’s reliance on Jesus Christ – who He is, and what He has done to be our salvation – that soul is in trouble.

Here’s an easy way to figure this out. Ask a person, “Why are you saved?” Do they point to the cross and who Jesus is and what He’s done? Or do they point to themselves, what they have done, or anything else other than Jesus Christ and Him crucified? That’s the way I would state it.

I do not believe that salvation, or non-salvation, is a matter of belonging to the right group or not belonging to the right group. No one will be saved because they attended Roman Catholic services and considered themselves to be a good Roman Catholic. No, you’re saved because you put your faith in Christ; you trust in, rely on, and cling to the person and work of Jesus Christ, especially what He did at the cross and in His resurrection. That’s how a person is placed in right relationship with God effective now and for all eternity.

It doesn’t matter if you try to throw down a Roman Catholic membership card at the gates of heaven. It doesn’t matter if you try to throw down a Protestant membership card. Or, since Calvary Chapel is the church tradition I come from, it doesn’t matter if you try to throw down a Calvary Chapel church membership card, if such things exist; not many Calvary Chapels have official church membership. But I think you know what I mean. It’s not a matter of belonging to the right group, or not belonging to the wrong group. It’s a matter of individuals trusting in, relying on, and clinging to who Jesus is and what Jesus did, especially what He did at the cross and in His resurrection.

Because of that principle, I believe that there are many people in the Roman Catholic Church who truly have a faith in Jesus. Then again, I believe that there are more than a few people in Protestant churches who attend church faithfully but do not have a personal relationship to Jesus – trusting in, relying on, and clinging to Him. That soul is in jeopardy.

What are David Guzik’s thoughts on seminary?

I attend seminary but am conflicted about it. I love to learn from others, but it is a huge expense. What are your thoughts about seminary in general?

I do want to stress that these are general thoughts, because individual people in their individual circumstances might not fit this general framework of my opinion.

First of all, in the large part, I thank God that there are seminaries, institutions of higher learning and education, and deep dives in theology. I especially thank God that there are some Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, Jesus-glorifying, faithful seminaries, even though there are many that do not fit that description. Thank God for good seminaries.

My question to you is: What are you looking at seminary for? What are you seeking that seminary would accomplish? This is just my opinion, so you can take it or leave it as you please. I believe that seminary is largely oversold as preparation for pastoral ministry. I think seminary can do a lot of good for a lot of people. But I don’t think seminaries do a great job of training pastors. Now, I don’t think that that’s necessarily the fault of seminaries. And I’m sure some seminaries do a better job than others.

For the most part, I think that the best kind of pastoral training happens on an apprenticeship level, where churches take seriously their duty to pour into and to train up the younger people in their church who feel that they may have a call for ministry. They take it very seriously and they pour into them. Look, just because you have young people, and maybe young people serving, doesn’t mean you’re really pouring into them the way that you should. But I think that the best training for pastoral ministry happens on an apprenticeship level.

Now, there are essential things that someone may learn in seminary, and for some people that may be the best place for them to learn it. Things about theology, Bible background, or more technical aspects of ministry and such. All that’s great, but there are not many people who think that someone straight out of seminary is ready to be an effective pastor. Usually they come out of seminary, and then they have their apprenticeship. And their apprenticeship may take a good long time.

So, I guess that’s my general opinion. I’m not anti-seminary, even though for most of my ministry, I never really had a seminary education. I do have a Master of Divinity now, which I just finished within the last year or so at Calvary Chapel University. It’s an online school. They’ve recently been accredited, and I think it’s a fine school. But that’s really at the tail end of my ministry. I got it because I love academics, and I love to study.

But understand this, God is not glorified by an ignorant and untrained ministry. If someone is ignorant or untrained and wants to be in ministry, they need to become not ignorant; they need to learn and they need to get trained. Seminary can do some of that, but not all of it. That’s why I would say in some regard that seminary is a mixed bag.

Given that, you say you’re incurring a huge expense from this. You need to include that in the equation. Is it worth it? Are there other places where you could receive the education and the training that would equip you well for ministry, perhaps even better than what you would learn in seminary, without such a huge expense? I don’t think I can fully tell how it applies to your specific situation, but those are some of my general thoughts.

Is Hell eternal?

What are your thoughts on why the eternity of Hell? Couldn’t it be that after some time, people learn their lesson and then go up to Heaven?

Well, if it is the case – that after some period of time in Hell, the Lake of Fire, Gehenna, people do learn their lesson and they’re purified and then go to Heaven – the Bible says nothing about that. The Bible does not speak of that. So, I would almost say that, in the case that such were true, then God doesn’t want us to know it. He doesn’t want to want us to plan or to preach as if that were the case.

Everything God has revealed to us about Hell indicates for us that it is in fact eternal, that it is as eternal as Heaven itself, because the same terminology is used of both. So, we may not like that, and that may offend us, but we have to be honest with what the Scriptures say.

Now, what are my thoughts on that? I’m not saying this is the only way that one can make sense of the justice of the eternity of Hell, but this is one way. I see the justice in the eternal nature of Hell in this regard, that everyone in Hell has a debt of sin that they cannot pay. They have rejected the only perfect way of paying that debt: that is, to trust in Jesus, and to receive Jesus’s perfect payment on the cross. They’ve rejected that. Therefore, the only payment they can offer comes from themselves. And they themselves are imperfect beings. They themselves, as imperfect beings, are unable to offer a perfect payment. It can’t happen. In a sense, it’s as though God says to every soul that will end up in Hell, “You can be freed from Hell as soon as you pay the price that your sin demands.” But because it is impossible for them to pay that price, they can never be freed from their “debtors’ prison,” so to speak. I think that’s a way to consider this, and I hope that’s helpful for you.

How can an unmarried man deal with sexual thoughts?

How does a young man with no wife deal with being sexually aroused all the time?

The main way is to set your mind on things above, and to keep a very high wall of protection against your mind, in defense of your mind and your heart. For example, you find yourself prone to sexual temptation and arousal, then you need to be extra vigilant in number one, reminding yourself about how God sees the individuals by whom you may consider yourself aroused. They are women made in the image of God. They are somebody’s daughter, somebody’s wife, somebody’s mother, or whatever it may be. You need to consider that: these are real people. They’re not just images on a page or a screen. These are real people, and real people that are often very victimized in the position that they are to produce such alluring images.

Now, if you find yourself liable to that, it’s smart for you to avoid even what other people would consider to be non-sexual or barely sexual things, though for you they would be provocative. Now, please don’t make too much of this illustration. It’s purely just for illustrative purposes. How it applies to your life individually, you’ll have to figure out. But just for example, if you know (and of course, you should know) that it’s wrong for you to look at pornography, and you’re really struggling with it, then at the same time, you probably shouldn’t seek to look at women in their swimsuits, or scantily clad women. Again, you’re setting a wall of defense that doesn’t begin at what people would say is pornography but begins even earlier than that. I think that’s a way that you can help guard yourself.

Secondly, be very active in your pursuit of Jesus Christ. Don’t let your Christian life be a passive thing. Don’t let your Christian life be something where you have too much idle time. Be busy about the things of God.

But then here’s the third thing I would say. Recognize that God is sympathetic to you and near to you in your struggle. The temptations to sexual immorality may sometimes seem overwhelming in the mind and heart of a man or a woman. There’s this incredible drive towards things that are sinful and wrong. And it’s reasonable to ask, “God, is this unfair? Why is it that I seem to be wired by nature to do this?” Now, I would say that its nature inherited from Adam, not nature directly given by God. “Why does it seem that I am wired for immorality?”

To that, I would respond that the great cost which is involved in denying oneself and denying the flesh is a very precious sacrifice laid before God in a life of surrender to Him. It is a way to fulfill what Romans 12:1-2 says about not being conformed to the world, but as part of our reasonable service, making our bodies a living sacrifice to God. Because it is so difficult, it makes it all the more precious before God when we lay it down before Him.

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know where you’re from. But I can say that in the western world here in California, I believe that Christians and churches are, from time to time, under some kind of persecution or under some kind of offense, but it’s nothing like what is faced by our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. As far as I can tell right now, it’s unlikely that I’m ever going to face violence here in California, for being a believer. I may face persecution or attack on other fronts, but probably not violence. So, how can I truly lay down my life in significant ways? One of them is by making a radical commitment to purity. Recognize that God loves you and cherishes you, and He wants to nurture this glad sacrifice in your own life.

Did forgiveness of sins happen through Christ’s spiritual sufferings or His physical sufferings?

Does Christ’s spiritual suffering and his physical death on the cross provide forgiveness? Or was it only Christ’s physical death on the cross which provided the forgiveness of sins?

There is a sense in which you cannot truly separate any of these aspects. The sinless life of Jesus, His perfect obedience, all that He endured in His temptations, all that He endured in His beatings, in His scourging, in the mockery that He received: all of that is, in some way, of one piece with what He endured on the cross. So, the focus is at the cross. We believe, because the Scriptures tell us, that there was a transaction made at the cross. God took the sin of man and bore it in the person and work of Jesus Christ, and to man He exchanged for it the righteousness of God.

There is a focus on the cross, but there is redemptive power and validity in every aspect of the person and work of Jesus Christ. We should rightly emphasize the work that happened at the cross, because that was the pinnacle of what Jesus did. It was the ultimate demonstration of God’s love, and the resurrection was the ultimate demonstration of God’s power. But we don’t want to separate that from the rest of what Jesus did. In other words, it just wouldn’t seem to work at all if Jesus Christ came down as a 33-year-old man and went straight to the crucifixion. No, there was so much in the plan and the heart of God that had to happen before that.

When will believers in the Millennium see the judgment seat of Christ?

When does the judgment seat of Christ take place for the believer after the Millennium?

It’s not so easy to tell that with precision. It makes sense to me that the judgment seat of Christ takes place before the Millennium, because part of our reward is varying degrees of responsibility in the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ. If that is the case, it makes sense to me that the judgment seat of Christ, the Bema Seat of Christ as described in Corinthians, would be something that happens before the thousand-year Millennial reign of Jesus Christ on this earth. We don’t want to say for a moment that the reign of Jesus is limited to a thousand years; we would just say that there is a special thousand- year period which God describes and has a unique purpose for in His plan for the ages.

Does James 5:16 mean that some prayers are not answered by God?

In James 5:16, does this mean that some prayers are not answered by God?

James 5:16 – Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Yes, absolutely. The Bible tells us in many places that not all prayers are answered, and not all prayers are heard by God. In fact, I think it is an important and significant danger signal in someone’s life, spiritually speaking, if they seem to have chronically unanswered prayer. When I say unanswered prayer, I don’t necessarily mean prayer to which God says No, though it can include that. Sometimes No is a very adequate answer from God. What I’m talking about is when there is just no answer to prayer; not a Yes, not a No, not even a Wait indicated by God in some way. When there seems to be no answer to prayer, I think that’s a danger signal. To use a metaphor from driving a car, it’s sort of that light on the dashboard that’s blinking at you saying, “There’s something to look into here. There’s something that may be definitely wrong.” So yes, there are many reasons why a prayer may remain unanswered.

I recorded an audio message about the many reasons why the Scriptures say that a prayer could be unanswered: “A Danger Signal: Unanswered Prayer”

How does the Bible instruct us concerning worry and anxiety?

What does the Bible instruct regarding how to deal with worry or anxiety?

There’s a general exhortation or command given to us to cast our cares upon the Lord, knowing that He cares for us; to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. There are just simple biblical exhortations to bring your troubles to God. As Jesus said, don’t worry about tomorrow; understand, you have a heavenly Father that loves you and cares for you. The Bible gives us these general exhortations that, to the best of our ability, we should lay these things before God; that we should cast our cares upon Him; that we should commit things to the Lord in prayer, and to the best of our ability, let go of them.

Now, having said that, isn’t there an amazing diversity in how God has made us, personality wise? God has made us with almost infinite personalities, and it’s just an amazing thing to see. Now, there are some personalities that are much more prone to anxiety and worry. That proneness may have to do with biology, or how they think, or how they’ve been brought up, or what they’ve experienced in their life; or it could be a combination of all those things.

Regardless of reasons why, there are some people for whom it’s much easier to become anxious and worried about things. Those people deserve a special compassion from us who perhaps find it easier to cast our cares upon the Lord. I think that the answer is generally the same for everyone. But we need a ton of compassion and care for those in our midst who find it very difficult to let go of things, lay those things down before the Lord, and let Him be the worrier over those things.

In general, I think the answers are the same, but we need to recognize that there might be all sorts of factors going on in an individual’s life. Maybe it has something to do with their personality type. Maybe it has something to do with their biology, or things going on in their body. Maybe it has something to do with some pain or trauma that they’ve experienced. Maybe it has to do with how they’ve grown up. Maybe it has to do with something that nobody can really put their finger on. For some of us, it’s a lot more difficult than others. And we need to be very sensitive towards that.

How can I help and support my suffering loved ones?

Some of my friends and family are going through anguish, grief, some even turning away from Jesus. How do I help them? I seem paralyzed in this, a failure.

First of all, God bless you for caring. I think it is a sign of God’s wonderful work in one of His children, that they simply care about the difficulties that other people suffer through. Because God does care, and He wants His people to care. Whatever the source of the anguish, whatever the source of the grief, whatever is the source of them turning away from Jesus, God bless you that you have a heart that cares.

And let me tell you something, caring hearts carry a lot of burdens. I remember reading this one time regarding the Apostle Paul, and I think it’s true of many people since Paul. He had very few burdens regarding himself, but many burdens on behalf of others. It kind of seems that that’s what you’re talking about right now. You’re burdened on behalf of others. You are in the heart of God. You are sharing in the fellowship of His sufferings. This is something that I believe is honorable before God. And all you can do is continue to pray and ask God for open doors to minister unto them.

I think there are two basic pathways for ministry in times like this. One is to kind of push a door open. There’s a time for that. To make an analogy, imagine somebody has collapsed on the floor of their front room, and you can see through the window that they’ve collapsed on the floor, but you’re standing at the door politely knocking. You say, “Well, they won’t answer the door; I guess I shouldn’t be helping them.” Listen, that’s just foolish. You’re supposed to help. If you’ve got to push in the door, then you push in the door. There’s a place for that. But there’s also sometimes a time and a place to say, “Lord, You’re going to have to open the door. And when You open the door, I am ready and willing to walk through it.”

I would pray that the Lord would give you the discernment to know when there are doors you should push open, and when there are doors you should wait for the Lord to open. But you can always pray and be ready to minister with whatever open doors the Lord may grant you. God bless you in your heart to minister unto other people.

Is talking to God throughout the day as effective as kneeling and praying?

It’s a real struggle to be a true Christian in this world, talking to God throughout the day. Is that as effective as kneeling and praying?

There’s no requirement on us that we kneel and pray. There are enough Biblical examples of people kneeling in prayer to know that it’s a good thing. I mean, Jesus knelt in prayer, David knelt in prayer, Solomon knelt in prayer, Paul knelt in prayer, and I could give other examples. These are just some examples of people spoken about specifically in the Scriptures who knelt in prayer.

So, there are enough examples of people kneeling in prayer in the Bible to show us that it’s a good thing, but that doesn’t have to be a universal posture of prayer. In the ancient Jewish world, both with the Israel of the Old Testament, and the Church in the New Testament, the common posture of prayer was to pray standing up with your hands raised up in expectancy with sort of an upward gaze to heaven. That was the common posture of prayer. They certainly did from time to time kneel in prayer, but we can pray without ceasing, no matter what the particular posture of our body is. It is good to kneel in prayer from time to time, but we shouldn’t think that that’s required.

Is purgatory a second chance?

Well, I’ll just give it to you very straight. Purgatory doesn’t exist. It is an invention of Roman Catholic and Anglican theology. I see no evidence for it in the Bible. Either the price was fully paid by what Jesus did for us on the cross, or it wasn’t. If there’s a leftover price for me to pay, then I think that puts me and everybody else in a lot of trouble. I think purgatory is eliminated, not only because the Scriptures are silent about it, but because it goes against the principle of the completed work of Jesus Christ on behalf of His people. So, I would just simply say that purgatory is not a second chance, because there is no purgatory. In the lectures on Church History that we’re releasing right now on YouTube, we’re going to have a section on purgatory later on in the series.

Is it biblical to give an honorarium to visiting pastors?

Why is it that pastors are given an honorarium when they visit and minister in churches? Is it Scriptural?

Here’s my understanding and philosophy of paying an honorarium to a pastor or a preacher if he’s preaching or teaching somewhere.

First of all, it is Scriptural.

Galatians 6:6 – Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.

In other words, if you’re taught the Word, then it’s appropriate for you to share with the person who teaches you those things.

1 Corinthians 9:11 – If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?

Paul saw an appropriate relationship between serving somebody spiritually and receiving from them materially.

1 Timothy 5:17-18 – Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

That’s just another indication of the fact that those who serve the Lord well, especially in the word and doctrine, are qualified of being compensated for that materially. They’re worthy of being paid.

Now, that’s the one side of it. But let me say another side of it. I think there’s something wrong if there is a demand for an honorarium. If a pastor says, “I will only come and speak for your group or your church if you’ll pay me this certain amount of money.” I must say, that doesn’t really hit my heart as being right before God. I think it’s right and customary for those who are receiving the ministry to give something, but I don’t think it’s right on behalf of the pastor or preacher who’s visiting to demand it. That doesn’t really seem to be as Scriptural, in my mind, as an example.