Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Apostle by Chapter | 1 Corinthians Chapter 9

By Sam Nobles

Support for the Minister
Continuing the discussion from chapter 8 about the improper use of one's liberty in Christ, Paul now uses himself as an example of how he was willing to exercise restraint even when it came to the liberties he had as an apostle of Jesus Christ. In this chapter Paul will explain that he had the right to have a wife and be supported in the preaching the gospel, but he chose not to take that route so no one could accuse him of boasting (v.1-14). “Christian ministry is like fighting a war, taking care of a vineyard, tending a flock, and cultivating a field.”i  (v.7-11).  Those who do these things work hard and are paid without the thought of them being in it for the money. Paul’s argument was that the same should be true of the Christian minister. It is not wrong that we have people who make their living by the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:14).

Ministry is a Calling
Paul told the Corinthian believers that he didn’t take full advantage of his liberties because his desire to see others saved was greater than his desire to be paid (v.15-23).  Ministry can never be more important than the people for whom the ministry is for. Any preacher worth his salt is willing to preach the gospel free of charge when the opportunity arises. It is sad to me that so many wolves in sheep’s clothing have infiltrated God’s flock and instead of feeding the flock they are fleecing the flock. Don’t judge every minister by the bad ones. There are still God-fearing, Bible preaching, Jesus sharing ministers out there who are more concerned with people than their paychecks.

Everyone Should Participate
Paul was also aware of the reality that discipline was a necessary quality for him, as much as anyone else to live a meaningful Christian life (v.24-27). “The Christian life is like a race. It requires self-discipline. It calls for strenuous effort. It demands definiteness of purpose.”ii  Every believer should live their Christian life like they are training for a big event which only has one winner. If that were the case, each believer would take their disciplines seriously, pray fervently, fast often, witness with abandon, and read the Word unceasingly.

[1] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Wise, New edition (David C. Cook, 2010).
[1] William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Second Edition, ed. Arthur L. Farstad, 2nd ed. edition (Thomas Nelson, 2016).
Scripture to Claim:

I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:23 ESV)

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