Studies In The Book Of I Corinthians

(I Corinthians 9:1-27)


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1. Based on the first three verses of I Corinthians 9, were there people that questioned Paul’s apostleship?

Yes: “(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?  (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.  (3) Mine answer to them that do examine me is this” (I Corinthians 9:1-3).


Š     They did question Paul (II Corinthians 13:3), but he was willing to be examined (I Corinthians 14:37).

Š     Paul was an Apostle (Acts 9:15 and Galatians 1:1).

Š     He was free in Christ (Galatians 5:1; James 1:25).

Š     The Corinthians were his work in the Lord (I Corinthians 3:5-6; cf. Acts 18:1-11).


2. Using other Scriptures, did the Apostles have authority to eat, drink, and marry a sister in Christ?

Paul asked these questions: “(4) Have we not power to eat and to drink?  (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” (I Corinthians 9:4-5)?


Š     Eat and drink (Luke 10:1-8).

Š     Marriage (Hebrews 13:4).

Š     Other Apostles were married (Matthew 8:14), though one did not HAVE to be married (Matthew 19:10-12 and I Corinthians 7:6-9).

Š     Jesus’ brothers (Matthew 13:55) were married.

Š     It is a shame that Paul has to make such arguments!!!!


3. Should those who preach the Gospel be able to refrain from secular work and be supported financially by brethren?

Yes: “(6) Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?  (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?  (8) Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?  (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?  (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.  (11) If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?  (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.  (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 altar?  (14) Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel(I Corinthians 9:6-14).


Š     Paul, when needed, was certainly willing to work secularly (Acts 18:1-4, Acts 20:34-35, I Corinthians 4:11-12, I Thessalonians 2:9, and II Thessalonians 3:7-9).

Š     Preachers, like all laborers, are worthy of wages (Matthew 10:8-11 and Philippians 4:11-18).

Š     Even under the Law of Moses, those who labored spiritually reaped from it physically (Leviticus 6:14-18 and Numbers 5:9-10).

Š     Paul and Barnabas did not use the authority for receiving support from those in Corinth though that was later said to be a mistake (II Corinthians 12:13).  Yet, though a mistake, they still weren’t spiritually in a place to support Paul (II Corinthians 12:14-18).

Š     One difference between a faithful preacher and a false teacher is found in how they value making money (II Peter 2:1-3).


4. Why didn’t Paul take support or exercise some of the liberties given unto him?

He didn’t want those things to become tools against him: “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” (I Corinthians 9:15).


Š     Paul did not write these things [sad that this has to be said] to get support financially.  He was willing to die to keep from allowing these things to become a stumbling block for others (II Corinthians 11:8-12).


5. Did Paul preach the Gospel for self-glory or some sort of earthly benefit to himself?

No, he preached as a servant: “(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!  (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.  (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 gospel.  (19) For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more” (I Corinthians 9:16-19).


Š     Nothing to glory of (II Corinthians 10:17 and Galatians 6:14).

Š     Necessity is laid upon him (Jeremiah 20:9 and Acts 4:20).

Š     Willingly (I Chronicles 28:9).

Š     The rewards of preaching aren’t just money or even heaven, but what we can do for others (Philippians 2:14-16, Philippians 4:1, and I Thessalonians 2:19-20).

Š     As discussed already, Paul wasn’t “charging” people for the Gospel.

Š     Servant to all (Matthew 20:26-28, Romans 1:14-16, I Corinthians 10:33, and II Corinthians 4:5).


6. Did Paul make efforts, using authorized liberties, to be on the same level as others?

Yes: “(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; (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 law.  (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.  (23) And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you” (I Corinthians 9:20-23).


Š     Acts 16:1-3 (not when made a law rather than an authorized liberty; Romans 14:1-3 and Galatians 2:1-5), Romans 12:16, Romans 15:1-3, and I Corinthians 8:13.

Š     Those under the Law of Moses (Acts 21:26; cf. Colossians 2:14-17) and those not (I Corinthians 10:32).

Š     For the sake of the Gospel, we should be willing to give even our lives (Mark 8:35; cf. II Timothy 2:10).


7. Does salvation require hard work?

Yes: “(24) Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  (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.  (26) I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: (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” (I Corinthians 9:24-27).


Š     It’s a long run and hard fight that requires self-control and a faithful FINISH (II Timothy 4:6-8, Hebrews 12:1-3, and James 1:12).

Š     Some don’t keep running this race (Galatians 5:7-9).

Š     You have to practice what you preach (Romans 2:17-29 and I Timothy 4:16).

Š     You can fall away (Luke 8:13, Acts 8:12-24, I Corinthians 10:12, Galatians 5:4, Hebrews 3:12-13, Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 10:26-31; 38, II Peter 2:20-22, Revelation 2:1-7, and Revelation 22:18-19).






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