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I Corinthians Chp. 9

I Corinthians

By Joyce Webb 2016

Chapter 9

Vs. 1 Paul asks the people some questions:

Am I not an apostle (disciple)?

Am I not free?

Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?

Are you not my “work”, “converts”, “believers” because of my work with you?

Vs. 2 Others may not think I am an apostle, but you should, because of my work among you.

Vs. 3 My answer to those who question me is this:

Do not I have the right to eat and drink and stay in your homes?

Do not I have the right to bring along a wife like Jesus’ brother, James, does?

Like Peter brings his wife?

Is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves?

II Thessalonians 3:8 Acts 18:3

Vs. 7 Does a soldier have to pay for his own food and place to stay? Is not a farmer who has grape vines allowed to eat some of the grapes? Is not a man who has a flock (maybe goats) not allowed to have some of the milk?

Vs. 8 We know this is how things are done. Men understand this.

Vs. 9 The Bible also says so in the Old Testament the laws of Moses say Do not put a cover/muzzle over the ox or animal that is walking on the grain to separate it from the stalk. It is working hard for you, let it eat some of the grain.

Vs. 10 Just as the farmer expects to eat from what he grows, so should the worker who preaches and teaches expect to be fed and taken care of by the people he is teaching.

Vs. 11 If we have worked among you teaching you spiritual things should we not expect food and clothing and a place to stay?

Vs. 12 You feed and take care of others who have come to you. We should expect you to do the same for us. Yet we have never asked you to do this. We would rather go without than for this to become an argument and cause trouble among you. We have worked to take care of our own needs.

Vs. 13 You know that the priest in the temple are allowed to have part of the offerings for themselves to eat.

Vs.14 It is the same for those who preach the gospel. They have a right to expect for their needs to be taken care of.

Vs. 15 And yet, I have never talked to you about this. I have never made you feel like you must do this. I have never asked anything from you.

Vs. 16 I have never required people to pay me or give to me anything for preaching. I preach because God has called me and I must obey Him. I am not preaching for my own glory or for what I can get.

Vs. 17 I preach because I want to obey God. I am not preaching because someone is paying me. I feel that I must preach. God has put the call on my life and I must obey.

Vs. 18 What do I get from it? Not pay from men. God will give me my reward. I preach and do not get paid. I do not use my “rights” of being paid.

Vs. 19 I feel free in Christ. Yet when I am with Jewish people, I followed the Jewish customs and way of doing things. When I am with Gentiles, who do not follow the Jewish customs and laws, then I do as the Gentiles do. Yet I always obey the teachings and laws of Christ.

Vs. 22 If I am with those who feel certain things are wrong and a sin, I do not do those things when I am with those people.

I will not use my “freedom” and have them feel bad about me that I am sinning.

I do not want to influence them to do something they feel is wrong and make them feel like they are doing sin and have a guilty spirit.

Vs. 23 I do this so I can preach the gospel and not have people feel against me or think I am sinning.

I want them to learn and listen to what I teach about God. I do not want them to shut their mind to me and not listen because they feel I am doing wrong.

Vs. 24 When people run in a race, many people run, but only one will win the race. We want to be the one that wins. To win, you must have self-control and discipline.

So with a “spiritual” race. We have a goal to reach. We need to have self-control and discipline.

People on earth run to win a crown that will fade and come to nothing. We run a race of the “spirit” and we will win a “crown” that will last forever.

Vs. 26-27 I live in a way that is like running a race. I use self-control and discipline so that I will not be cast away for failing or falling but so that I finish the race and win.


(Paul is explaining to these believers that even though Paul may feel free in spirit before God to do certain things and he does not think they are sin he will not do those things if the people he is with think those things are a sin.

During Paul’s time of preaching there, the question was if they should eat meat that had been offered to idols.

Some of the people felt it they should separate themselves from such beliefs. By refusing to eat the meat they showed that they did not believe in or approve of idol worship.

Others felt that eating the meat did not matter. It did not have any influence about what they believed about God.

In that situation, Paul would not have eaten the meat offered to an idol because he would not want to upset those who believed it was wrong. Even though Paul did not seem to think there was anything wrong with it. He did not think that the meat was “dirty” or “cursed”. Because Paul said that an idol is only a man-made image..

So Paul is saying, when you are with Christians who feel that doing a certain thing is wrong show respect for them and do not do it when you are with them.

In another place with other people you may do that thing, because for yourself you feel it is okay it is not a sin.

In Revelation 2:14 The angel of the church at Pergamos blames the Christians there for making a “stumbling block” for other Christians by eating meat offered to idols.

Some Bible teachers explain that the idol temples had feasts part of it was the meat that had been offered to the idols. After the feast, there was dancing and sexual unions that were sinful. So maybe, eating the meat offered to idols included going to the temples and doing all that went on there.

It seems we do not know for sure what all it meant. But eating meat offered to idols was a big problem for many and Christians were warned to be careful and not to be the reason another person sinned against his own conscience.


However, anything the Bible says is a sin it is a sin. It is not for us to decide otherwise.

On some things, the Bible does not say whether it is a sin or not. In that case, you have to let the Holy Spirit guide you.

You have to think about the Bible teachings as a whole and the ideas and principals taught and decide if something is sin or not.



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