But now I go to Jerusalem to minister to the saints.…
This comparison between spiritual and carnal things is still more distinctly made in 1 Corinthians 9:11 — where the apostle speaks of the right which he and Barnabas had earned to a maintenance from their hands. In this matter, too, there is great room for the condemnation of professing Christians — because of their gross practical insensibility to the rule of equity here laid down. It is in virtue of this that the instructors even of large and opulent congregations, have often so parsimonious an allowance doled out to them; and if so wretched a proportion of their own carnal be given in return for spiritual things to themselves, we are not to wonder at the still more paltry and inadequate contributions which are made by them for the spiritual things of others. The expense of all missionary schemes and enterprises put together, a mere scantling of the wealth of all Christendom, argues it to be still a day of exceeding small things — a lesson still more forcibly held out to us by the thousands and tens of thousands at our own doors who are perishing for lack of knowledge. There is a carnal as well as a spiritual benevolence. That the carnal benevolence makes some respectable head against the carnal selfishness of our nature, is evinced by the fact that so very few are ever known to die of actual starvation. That the spiritual benevolence falls miserably behind the other, is evinced by the fact of those millions more in our empire, who, purely from want of the churches which ought to be built, and of ministers who ought to be maintained for them, are left to wander all their days beyond the pale of gospel ordinances — and so to live in guilt and die in utter darkness. Verily in such a contemplation it might well be said even of this professing age — Are ye not yet altogether carnal?
(T. Chalmers, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.