Cor. Chapter 9:1-27
verses for this week: 1 Pet 3:12 For the eyes
of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their
prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
week in Chapter 8, Paul went over how we should use our Christian
Liberty wisely, lest we defeat the young Christian in his mind.
Paul said that he would do all that he could do to not
discourage the young Christian.
Paul’s True Apostleship
Cor 9:1 Am I not an
apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are
not ye my work in the Lord?
Cor 9:2 If I be not an
apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine
apostleship are ye in the Lord.
appears that in some of the localities, opponents questioned
Paul’s apostleship. This
was done to destroy the confidence of his authority to the people in
the church. This would
render his teaching ineffective.
Cor 9:3 Mine answer to
them that do examine me is this,
Cor 9:4 Have we not
power to eat and to drink?
Corinth, false teachers had accused Paul of not being a true
apostle. It appears
they had accused him of refusing money from the church because he
was an imposter. Of course this was not true.
Paul was a true apostle, chosen of God, and the people there
in Corinth were his seal. (Verse
2) Regardless of
what some might say, Paul was a true apostle, one directly sent by
9:10 And there was a
certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the
Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
9:11 And the Lord said
unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight,
and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus:
for, behold, he prayeth,
9:12 And hath seen in a
vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him,
that he might receive his sight.
9:13 Then Ananias
answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he
hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
9:14 And here he hath
authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
9:15 But the Lord said
unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my
name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
9:16 For I will show
him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
Cor 9:5 Have we not
power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and
as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
Cor 9:6 Or I only and
Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
an apostle, Paul was free to claim all the privileges of such an
office. Paul said he
had the right to be supported financially by the church.
They also had the right to be married, and they had the right
to forbear working if they so chose.
Preach the Gospel, Live the Gospel
Cor 9:7 Who goeth a
warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and
eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth
not of the milk of the flock?
Cor 9:8 Say I these
things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
compares the minister with a soldier, a vinedresser, and a shepherd.
Each of these had a right to be supported by their chosen
occupation, and would not be expected to go out and get some other
job to support themselves.
If someone thought him to be speaking as a man, Paul explains
that the law of God teaches the same principle.
Deu 25:4 Thou shalt not
muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.
Cor 9:9 For it is
written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the
ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
Cor 9:10 Or saith he it
altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written:
that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth
in hope should be partaker of his hope.
implies that if God cares for oxen, how much more does He care for
you and I? We know that
even the hairs of our heads are numbered, and God knows more about
us than we know ourselves. And
if he takes care of the sparrow (and all animals), how much more
does he care for us? Verse
10 teaches that one who labors should receive his just reward.
In other words, the true Christian minister should be
supported by the church to whom he ministers.
Cor 9:11 If we have
sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap
your carnal things?
Cor 9:12 If others be
partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we
have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should
hinder the gospel of Christ.
teaches that if we sow to the material realm and reap our labors,
how much more should those who sow “spiritual things” reap for
their efforts. Paul
tells the church there in Corinth that he had not used his power to
force this issue, and did not require of them to support him
said they suffered all things that the gospel might be preached.
Our mindset should be the same… whatever we can do, we
should do it to reach others for Jesus Christ.
Vernon McGee says this in his commentary on I Corinthians.
folk have given you spiritual blessings, spiritual riches, then you
should share your carnal blessings with them.
I heard Torrey Johnson down in Bibletown in Florida say
several times—and I think it is a good principle—that you ought
to support the place where you get your blessing.
Suppose you go down to eat at a certain restaurant.
You don’t walk down the street and around the corner into
another restaurant to pay your bill; you pay the place that fed you.
Yet many people do that sort of thing with their spiritual
food. They get their
spiritual blessings in one place, and they give their offerings in
Cor 9:13 Do ye not know
that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the
temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the
Cor 9:14 Even so hath
the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of
point Paul makes in supporting the minister is that the Levitical
priests of the Old Testament. As
they ministered about “hold things”, they received their living
of these very things. The
Lord Jesus has ordained that this principle should prevail in the
10:10 Nor scrip for
your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for
the workman is worthy of his meat.
10:7 And in the same
house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the
labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
Paul Cuts Short his Liberty for the Gospel’s Sake
Cor 9:15 But I have
used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that
it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than
that any man should make my glorying void.
Cor 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!
makes it clear that he had not taken money from the Corinthians,
neither does he now write to call it to their attention so that they
might provide for him. Paul
would rather be dead than to have any man make his “glorying”
void. He knew his
responsibility was to preach the gospel.
Money was very much inconsequential to him. Jeremiah was a man who knew he needed to preach the word of
20:9 Then I said, I
will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But
his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones,
and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
Cor 9:17 For if I do
this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a
dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
Cor 9:18 What is my
reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the
gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the
teaches that as long as he performed his ministry willingly, and
without compulsion, he would receive a reward.
But even if compulsion forced him to preach the gospel, he
would do it with all his ability because he did not want to abuse
his power in the gospel.
God had committed the gospel to Paul, and his desire was to
fulfill the Lord’s Will in his life.
Cor 9:19 For though I
be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that
I might gain the more.
Cor 9:20 And unto the
Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are
under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are
under the law;
Cor 9:21 To them that
are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but
under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without
Cor 9:22 To the weak
became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things
to all men, that I might by all means save some.
Cor 9:23 And this I do
for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
was a man who would do his very best to relate to others. If he was witnessing to the Jews, he came as a Jew.
Whatever it took, Paul did his best to get on common ground
with people that they might believe him and accept Jesus as their
Lord and Savior. Effectively,
Paul made himself a servant unto all that he by some means could
gain the more for Christ. Every
thing was done for the “gospel’s sake” so that he might be
partaker with other Christians of the joy of bringing souls to the
Running the Race
Cor 9:24 Know ye not
that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?
So run, that ye may obtain.
Cor 9:25 And every man
that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they
do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
Cor 9:26 I therefore so
run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the
Cor 9:27 But I keep
under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means,
when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
likens the Christian race to that of an athlete.
If a person is to win a race, he must discipline himself.
He works out and does his best to train to win.
When he wins the race here on earth, he wins a crown, but it
is a corruptible crown. We
as Christians strive not for a corruptible crown, but an
incorruptible crown. Paul
warns us to keep our bodies under subjection, lest after we preach
to others, we become a castaway.