1 Corinthians 9

Author

Joel King

Scripture

1 Corinthians 9:1-27

Observations

· Paul points out that he is free to go anywhere, that he is an apostle, that he has actually seen Jesus alive, and that the Corinthians know of Jesus because of his work among them
· Then he addresses those who have criticized Paul (Probably for asking something of the Corinthians)
· He points out that it is common practice to provide for other apostles and their families
· He wonders why he and Barnabas would be any different
· He points out that a soldier, a farmer, and a shepherd all partake of the fruit of their labor
· He points out that even the Law in Deuteronomy 25:4 says that the ox who works should be allowed to eat while he works
· He applies this principle to those who do spiritual work should expect material harvest from those who have benefited from their work.
· If others have this right then Paul and Barnabas should have even more because they brought the gospel in the first place
· When they were there they didn’t claim this right
· Paul and his companions did what was necessary so that they wouldn’t hinder the sharing of the gospel
· Paul points out that in Jewish practice the Levites eat from the offerings and given to God (as commanded in the Old Testament)
· He then says that currently, the Lord has commanded that those who serve preaching the gospel should receive their living from those who benefit from that preaching
· Again Paul points out that he has not used these God given rights
· He also points out that he is not trying to get them to support him. But that he can boast that he preached the good news to them without charge
· However, he does not boast about preaching the gospel in the first place, because that is an obligation he owes to God
· He is showing them the principle he taught in the previous chapter. He has laid down his rights for their benefit
· He is not a servant to anyone, but he chooses to serve everybody to win as many as possible to Jesus
· To those who follow the law, like the Jews, he follows the law in order to witness to them
· To those who do not follow the Old Testament law he becomes like one not obligated to the law but to Christ to win them to Jesus
· If someone is weak in belief or conscience, he becomes like them as well
· He serves all men and women and becomes like them so that he might win them to Jesus
· He does this so the gospel is heard, and he might receive an eternal reward for doing so
· He points out that everyone who runs in a race is hoping to win it
· He then encourages them to live life for the gospel so they might receive the prize from God
· When people train hard for the games they do so to win a trophy that will not last, but we do it for a trophy that exists for eternity
· Paul lives his life, and limits his freedoms, so that when his life is over he might reap the eternal reward from God in response to all those he gave up his rights for so that they might receive Jesus.

Application

· I should help support those who pour out their lives to build me spiritually up
· As a pastor, if receiving something for my ministry, hinders the message of the gospel, I should not receive anything so the gospel is received unhindered
· As Christians we often give up our freedom in Christ in order to help others who need to hear the good news.
· Loving someone and meeting them where they are at is more important than the technicality of what the Bible teaches (this is in areas of conscience, not in regards to the Biblical truths themselves – like the gospel)
· I need to strictly train myself to more and more focus on sharing the good news. All other investments are temporal.

Prayer

Father,
Please forgive me for taking pride in claiming my rights as a Christian without thinking about the greater law of love. Open my eyes to places that I have exalted knowledge over loving someone. Help me become more focused on the good news, and give me the strength to strictly train in sharing the good news. Help my ministry be fruitful so that there are many in glory who will have been saved by the work You have done through me. In Jesus name I pray. AMEN

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Rob Schulze wrote:
Father, I agree and ask that you would give me and Trinity boldness and discipline to train ourselves to go make disciples. Father, lead us to lock arms with those who'll graciously push us beyond our comfort levels in such training. Spirit, empower my witness for you. Help me to be more in the world and less of the world. Father, I also pray that you would give your church (& me!) wisdom to know how to become all things to all people so that by all possible means you may save others through our planting and watering. Align us with your purposes for Trinity and our community. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tue, April 7, 2015 @ 1:32 PM

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