I Corinthians

Chapter 9
{Three laws of evangelism - Verses 1-15 Law of Extreme Sacrifice}
1~~ Am I not an Apostle?
  {'Yes, you are Paul'}
Am I not free?
  {Paul also enjoys the law of liberty, requires Yes, you are free Paul}
Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?
  {all Apostles had to see the resurrected Christ and Paul did on the
  road to Damascus}
Are not you my work in the Lord?
  {Paul founded the church at Corinth}

2~~ If I be not an Apostle unto others of the same kind
  {key word, Paul is being criticized by BELIEVERS in Corinth},
at least I am to you for the seal of my Apostleship
do you keep on being in the Lord.

3-4~~ My defense to them {the 'others' in verse 2}
who keep on judging me is this, 4~~
"Do we not keep on having the right to eat and to drink?"

5~~ "Have we not the right to lead about
a female believer as a wife . . .
as well as the other Apostles,
and as the brethren of the Lord
and {as} Cephas/Peter {does - Peter was married}?"

{Note: Peter had a wife well known to the Corinthians. Paul was criticized for not having a wife and later he will be saying he had the right to take a wife but under the law of supreme sacrifice he chose of his free will NOT to take one}

6~~ "Or I only and Barnabas . . .
have not we power to forbear working?

{Note: Again requires a Yes answer, Yes, Paul you have a right to not do physical labor (Paul was a tent maker). The other Apostles except Barnabas took a salary. Paul said doesn't he also have the right to not do other work but be paid by the Church? That was a second criticism of Paul - he did not take a salary from the Corinthians while building the Church under the principal you do not take money from unbelievers for teaching the gospel it clouds the only important issue to unbelievers - 'what think ye of Christ?'}

7~~ Who goes to warfare any time at his own charges?
Who plants a vineyard, and eats not of the fruit thereof?
Or who feeds a flock, and eats not of the milk of the flock?

{Note: These are three examples of work and payment in the time the Bible was written.}

8~~ Say I these things as a man?
Or say not the law the same also?

{Note: Paul is saying, I am speaking from human viewpoint or Divine Viewpoint from the Old Testament?}

9 ~~ For it stands written
- in the past with the result that it goes on forever -
in the Law of Moses {Deuteronomy 25:4},
"Thou shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn."
Does God take care of the oxen?

{Note: The ox eats from the corn as he grinds the grain so he is not muzzled while he works. Concept is if we do this for a dumb beast what do you do for pastors and teachers?}

10~~ Or does He say it because of us?
For our sakes, no doubt, this is written,
that he that plows should plow in hope
  {that he would be remunerated} . . .
and that he that threshes in hope
should be partaker of his hope.

11~~ If we have sown unto you - for your advantage -
spiritual things - and we have -
is it a great thing if we shall reap from you material things?

{Note: Are you doing us a Favor by paying us a salary? No each gave something to the other.}

12~~ If others be partakers
of this power over you {others do take a salary} . . .
do I not have the right much more then they?
But we have not used this right,
but kept on enduring suffering in all things,
that we should not hinder the gospel of Christ.

{Note: Taking money would have clouded the issue with the unbelievers. The right to remuneration for Pastors and teachers is correct and warranted, but Paul elected NOT to take a salary.}

13~~ Do you not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things from the temple
  {Example for the former Jews. The Levitical Priesthood}?
And, they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
  {Example for the former heathen gentiles. Even the gentile
  'priests' were paid remuneration.}

14~~ Even so has the Lord ordained that
they who preach the gospel should earn a living from the gospel.

15~~ But I have used none of these things.
Neither have I written these things,
that it should be so done unto me {Not writing for back wages!}
For it would be better for me to die,

{Note: In the Greek, you can literally shout at the reader and Paul is shouting at them here.}

{Law of expediency when dealing with unbelievers}
16~~ For if I communicate the gospel,
I have nothing of which to boast.
For necessity keeps on being laid upon me
- to my advantage {and it is to our advantage to evangelize}.
Yes, woe is unto me, if I do not communicate the gospel!

{Note: Evangelism is not constant. But, when the Holy Spirit has presented the opportunity, woe is me if I do NOT do it!}

17~~ For if I habitually practice this thing willingly - and I do -
I have a reward.
But if against my will, a responsibility is entrusted.

{Note: and I do - 'willingly' is two fold:
  1) from your free will you do this and
  2) with the correct mental attitude - not a false motivation such as
  approbation lust.}

{Note: Communicating/witnessing is your responsibility . . . directed for you to do. If you do so willingly, you will receive a reward. If unwillingly, the church will go on but no reward for your 'human good'. Soul winning is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit - you will find out in heaven how successful you were on Earth . . . don't worry about it in time.}

18~~ What is my reward then?
Verily that, when I preach the gospel,
I may distribute the gospel of Christ without charge,
that I abuse not my authority in the gospel.

19~~ For though I keep on being free from all,
yet have I made myself a slave unto all,
that I might gain the more.

{Note: Paul worked to make tents to keep the gospel
clear . . . though he had a legitimate right to be paid for his Preaching and teaching.}

{Principal of Paul's Evangelism to the Jews}
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.

{Note: This is how he evangelized the Jews established rapport with the Jews first i.e. he did not eat pork while with the Jews though he knew it was not sinful for him to do so}

{Principal of Paul's Evangelism to the Gentiles}
21~~ To them that are outside the law {the Gentiles},
as without law
(being not without the norm or standard of God,
but under the law to Christ {principal of the filling of the Spirit}),
that I might gain them that are apart from the law.

{Note: This now is how Paul evangelized the gentiles. He did not criticize them for drinking or fornicating etc. This would obscure the one and only one important issue for the unbelievers.}

22~~ To the obscure ones {the common people},
I became as one of the obscure, that I might gain the obscure.
I have become all things to all men,
that I might by all means save some.

{Note: This is the summary. And, points to remember are: in matters of doctrine, Paul was adamant and dogmatic. But in matters of expediency, Paul was flexible but without deceit or compromise.}

23~~ And this I keep on doing because of the gospel/'good news' that I might become a partner with Him.

{Law of discipline - Verses 24-27}
24~~ Do you not know that they which run in a race run all,
but one receives the prize?
So keep on running that you may obtain.

{Note: In Corinth were the greatest athletic games of the day - the Isthmus Games . . . similar to the Olympics. In the games the prize was a crown of ivy leaves . . . which also came with tremendous financial rewards also.}

25~~ And every believer that keeps on competing in the game
is in training in all things.
Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown.
But we an incorruptible crown.

{Note: There are three wreaths/crowns we can be rewarded for spiritual maturity and divine good production in time: crown of life, righteousness, and glory.}

26-27~~ I therefore keep on running . . . not aimlessly.
So I fight. Not as one that beats the air . . . 27~~
but I train my body under discipline,
and bring it under a system of training,
that when I preach to others,
I myself should not be disqualified.

{Note: Paul is still in the 'Coliseum games' analogy. Boxing was quite often to the death - the gloves were studded with metal etc. If you threw a blow that missed your glove was heavy and pulled you way out in a vulnerable position. A counter punch might kill you. And, in the training for the games, you followed all the rules or you were kicked out and not allowed to compete.}


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