D L M 9:1,2. Apostleship asserted and claimed. N 9:3-27. Claim established by his practical teaching. O P 10:1-11:1. The Mosaic Dispensation typical. Q 11:2-16. The public use of spiritual gifts. O P 11:17-34. The Gospel Dispensation antitypical. Q 12:1-14:40. The public exercise of spiritual gifts. L M 15:1-11. Apostleship asserted and claimed. N 15:12-58. Claim established by his doctrinal teaching
1 Corinthians 9)
1 Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus our Lord? are not you my work in the Lord? (Paul saw Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. Jesus struck him down.)
2 If I be not an apostle to others, yet at least I am to you: for the seal of my apostleship (you are my seal, see Acts 1:25. 2 Cor. 1:9-22) are you in the Lord. (Those that would hear the truth and believe would become Paul's seal, or proof that what he was teaching was authentic.)
N R¹ 3-8. Claim to live of the Gospel equal to that of others. S¹ 9-11. Teaching of the Law thereon. R² 12. Claim not advanced by Paul. S² 13,14. Teaching of the Sanctuary thereon. R³ 15-27. Claim not exercised by Paul.
3 My defense to them that do examine me is this,
4 Have we not the right to eat and to drink? (i.e. at the expense of the assembly.)
5 Have we not authority to lead about a sister, a wife (i.e. a wife who is a believer, and so entitled to be provided for, as well as her husband), as well as the rest of the apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? (He is standing up for his rights. The subject at the end of Chapter 8 was eating meat that had been sacrificed to an idol. Paul is saying that barring offending someone there is nothing wrong with eating that meat, if it is clean and properly prepared. As Paul, you have the power and authority as long as you don't offend those with tender ears.)
6 Or I only and Barnabas (= son of rest), have not we power of not working working? (It appear then that Barnabas adopted the same method as Paul, of working for his living.)
7 Who serves as a soldier (2 Cor. 10:3. 1 Tim. 1:18. 2 Tim. 2:4. Jas. 4:1. 1 Pet. 2:11) any time at his own charges? (lit. soldier's rations.) 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?
8 Say I these things according as a man only? (i.e. according to the universal practice of men) or says not the law also these things?
9 For it has been written in the law of Moses (quoted from Deut. 25:4. See 1 Tim. 5:18), "You shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox that threshes." Does God take care for oxen only? (The question expects the answer "No". But He does care. See Job 38:41. Matt. 6:26; 10:29)
10 Or says He it altogether on account of us? For our sakes, no doubt, this was written: that He that plows ought to plow upon hope; and that he that threshes in hope [should do so] upon the hope of sharing [of the fruit].
11 If we have sown to you the spiritual [things], is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? (See Rom. 12:1)
12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we did not use this power (see Acts 27:3); but bear (to cover) all things, in order that we may not hinder the gospel of the Christ.
13 Do you not know that they which minister about holy things eat of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar divide with the altar?
14 So did the Lord also ordained (see Acts 7:44) that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things: and I wrote not these things, in order that it should be so done in me (i.e. in my case):
for it were well for me to die, rather than that any man should make my boasting void. (See Phil. 2:7)
16 For if I preach the gospel, I have no [cause of] boasting: for necessity lies upon me (see Acts 27:20); for, woe is to me, if I preach not the gospel!
17 For if I practice this thing being willing (see John 3:20), I have a reward: but if being unwilling, a I have been entrusted with a stewardship. I am therefore in duty bound to fulfill it
18 What is my reward then?
Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without cost,
that I use to the full my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men, yet I made enslaved myself to all things (i.e. restrictions of meat,&c.), that I might gain the more.
20 And to the Judeans I became as a Judean, that I might gain the Judeans (i.e. of the tribe of Judah); to them that are under law, [not as myself] as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law (here used in the same sense of Rom. 2:12,14), as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ, (see Acts 19:32)) 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 become 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 may become partaker thereof with it (i.e. the gospel. Sharer in its triumphs.).
V p¹ 24-. Running in a race. q¹ -24. Application. p² 25-. The training. q² -25. Application. p³ 26. Running and boxing. q³ 27. Application.
24 Know you not that they which run in a race-course run all, but one receives the prize?
So (i.e. as these runners do) run, that you may lay hold of. (See Acts 4:13)
25 And every man that strives for the mastery (see Luke 13;24. The usual term for contending in the games) exercises self-control in all things. (See 7:9. This refers to the severe training, extending over many months, before the contest.)
Now they do it in order that they may receive a corruptible crown (see Rom. 1:23. The crown was a chaplet of wild olive, parsley,&c.); but we an incorruptible. (Cp. 1 Pet. 5:4)
26 I therefore so run, as not uncertainly (cp. 1 Tim. 6:17. He runs with clear understanding of the conditions and object. See "one thing" Phil. 3:13); so I fight with the fist (box. In these contests it was more than boxing. Instead of a padded glove the hand was covered with leather bands, studded with pieces of metal), not as one hitting the air: (This was shadow-boxing.)
27 But I keep under my body (see Luke 18:5), and reduce to slavery: lest that by any means, having preached to others ("to act as a herald". The herald summons the competitors), I myself should become disapproved. (Or rejected for the prize. See Rom. 1:28, and cp. Heb. 6:8)