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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org

 

1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTERS 8 & 9

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1-3 Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. 2 If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; 3 but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.

 

1Cor 8,1-13

(108f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Balance >> Conscience is the balance between God and man – Paul’s argument pertains to the idea that there is no such thing as an idol in the world and there is no God but one, yet not all men have this knowledge. Paul compared knowledge to love and then to conscience, referring to the weak in faith, saying that it doesn’t matter if their knowledge is right or wrong; it only matters that they believe it. If what they believe is wrong, by that their conscience is defiled, in that they not believe the truth while believing a lie. The fact that we know the truth, then, in every way that we support their false beliefs we are not walking according to love, and if we expose their false beliefs in a right attitude and motive, they may hate us for it, but such is the nature of love in this world.

(159f) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit godliness >> Counterfeit freedom

1Cor 8,1-3

(22k) Sin >> Pride glorifies self >> Being wise in your own eyes – The advantages of knowledge are consumed by arrogance, but there are no pitfalls to love, except to be hated for possessing it and manifesting it in this world. If anyone thinks he knows God, he does not know Him as he should, for love is an experiential form of knowledge, and for this reason God has called us to know him through love. If we think we have come to know God by merely amassing facts and information about Him, then Paul asks what is more important, to know about God or to be known by Him? The only way to be known by Him is through love.

1Cor 8-1,2

(80b) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word in spiritual warfare >> To deliver yourself from bondage -- These verses go with verses 7-13. Believing what is false is like carbon monoxide poisoning. The molecule acts like an oxygen molecule, tricking the body to receiving it, but once imbedded in the alveoli, oxygen can no longer bond to the tiny sacs in the lungs and the person suffocates. In the same manner, those who believe what is false prohibits them from believing the truth.

(96g) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Positive attitude about yourself – Faith is based on knowledge, yet Paul spoke about knowledge as though it were a necessary evil. In fact, some people take verses like this and say it is unnecessary to study the Bible, since all it does is make us arrogant, but a comment like that is probably more arrogant than most Bible thumpers, unless we think we can carry on a relationship with God apart from knowledge. Love takes knowledge too, suggesting that love is knowledge that has matured, compared to the person with knowledge apart from love. The more we understand God, the better we understand our faith in Jesus, and the more our faith grows into love. True faith is knowledge that has been infused with the Holy Spirit, like a match to a candle that transforms the wax into a flame. So the Holy Spirit transforms our knowledge into faith, but knowledge apart from the Holy Spirit makes us arrogant. Once God burns His knowledge into our heart, He gives the capacity for love and removes the dross of arrogance.

1Cor 8-1

(54l) Paradox >> Opposites >> Do not let that which is a good thing be spoken of as evil -- This verse goes with verse 11

(139h) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Edification

(173e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Scripture that contradicts the catholic faith >> Catholics who are converted to the faith -- This verse goes with verses 4-13

(173g) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Unholy sacrifice >> Offering sacrifice without God’s approval >> Sacrifice against the will of God -- This verse goes with verses 4-10

(195h) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Worshipping other gods >> Worshipping other gods as a servant -- This verse goes with verses 4-7

1Cor 8,2-7

(94n) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective is your personal reality >> How you interpret your point of view – Proverbs 23-7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he,” and Rom 14-14 says, “To him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.” We who know God know that eating food that is sacrificed to an idol does not condemn us, yet if we eat in the presence of those who believe in idols, we will be encouraging them to believe what is false. Eating things sacrificed to idols condones idol worship, defiling the conscience of those who have inclinations to believe in such things. For this reason Paul starts out this chapter saying it is better to walk in love than to walk in knowledge. If we walk in love, we will be careful not to offend our brother’s conscience, but if we walk in knowledge, it might weaken your brother’s conscience if he sees us eating at an idols temple.

1Cor 8-2

(178a) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Presumption (Hinduism) >> Presuming the will of God >> Presumption fills in the blanks

1Cor 8-3

(208f) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Personal relationship >> Being the friend of God >> Relationship with God through obedience >> We are His friends if we keep His commandments

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4-6 Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

 

1Cor 8,4-13

(173e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Scripture that contradicts the catholic faith >> Catholics who are converted to the faith -- These verses go with verse 1. Do not take communion in the Catholic Church, who believe the bread and wine transform into the body and blood of Christ, or in any other church that believes taking communion commends us to God. Jesus said, "Do this in remembrance of Me" (Lk 22-19); He didn't tell us to take communion as some kind of remedy to our sinful nature. Such demon-spawned beliefs epitomize the very concept of food sacrificed to idols. Paul said in verse 8 that food will neither commend us nor condemn us before God. However, if we go into a church that believes communion commends us to God and we partake of it, we will be helping them believe in their false doctrine of transubstantiation, and in this way we will not be advocating the true doctrines of the faith.

1Cor 8,4-10

(173g) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Unholy sacrifice >> Offering sacrifice without God’s approval >> Sacrifice against the will of God -- These verses go with verse 1 

1Cor 8,4-7

(195h) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Worshipping other gods >> Worshipping other gods as a servant -- These verses go with verse 1. Of all the statues of Baal and names of gods man worshipped in Paul’s daysome were more malevolent than othersour society is just as steeped in idolatry. For example, we watch movies that steel two hours from our lives and teach us that we control our own destiny, which conflicts with Scripture. The list continues of all the gods we worship in our world as we live according to their dictates, being almost impossible to avoid them. Then we wag our heads at people in Old Testament times and in Paul’s day who knelt before idols. We say, ‘What fools they were,’ when we are really doing the same things and don’t even realize it.

1Cor 8,4-6

(183f) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Nursery for the Spirit of error >> Ignorance

(255h) Trinity >> Father, Son and Holy Spirit >> Three in one >> There is only one God

1Cor 8-6

(66b) Authority >> Lordship of Christ >> He is Lord over all creation >> over the elements

(114k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Working God’s grace through Christ >> Jesus is the way to the Father

(212b) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> He is the creator >> The creation glorifies God >> God created all things through Christ

(213j) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> Jesus owns you >> His will becomes our will >> As a master owns a servant

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7&8 However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8 But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat.

 

1Cor 8,7-13 

(1f) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> become all things to all men >> Conform without compromise

(2i) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Get out of His way >> Do not touch the apple of His eye >> Do not offend the weak in faith

(9j) Responsibility >> Strengthen one another >> Bear one another’s burdens – A lack of knowledge is a trademark of the "weak". It is their burden that we who have knowledge are obligated to bear. We do not know how they will interpret what we say and do, for they are searching for freedom, except that they have not yet trained their minds to seek freedom outlined in scripture, and can easily be swayed to accept an inferior freedom that will further entangle them into the world’s web of sin.

(12e) Servant >> Bad examples – To be weak in faith is to have an affinity for accepting information permitting certain liberties in the flesh, which has the effect of further placing them in bondage. We become bad examples of the Christian life and lead the weak down a blind ally when we practice our freedom in front of them; and we will be ultimately responsible for their actions along with our own. Therefore, we are to be mindful of new converts, and be on your best behavior around them, because they are impressionable.

(55g) Paradox >> Opposites >> The mature are no stronger than the weak in faith – Ignorance defines the weak in faith. When we are faced with the knowledge of God, do we receive it and grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to maturity, or do we reject it in order to remain ignorant? Ignorance in the presence of knowledge is willful ignorance.

(72j) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> More Authority The More Responsibility >> The strong shall help the weak

(80b) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word in spiritual warfare >> To deliver yourself from bondage -- These verses go with verses 1&2

(126l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Patience >> Be patient with your brother – Paul is appealing to us about how we should relate to each other in the Church and to what level we should curb our behavior to avoid offending our brother. He said we should take every precaution to protect the weak in faith, because Christ died for them. Our purpose as Christians is to win souls to Jesus and keep those who already believe strong in faith. In Paul’s time there were some Christians who were accustom to worshipping idols. How could they be Christians and worship idols? Isn’t that the first commandment in the law, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20-3)? This is the first and foremost commandment, yet some Christians violate it, the weak in faith, babes in Christ who are not yet grounded in the Scriptures. Breaking the law has the power to erode our faith in Jesus through an evil conscience, yet there are many believers who claim to know the Scriptures and say the law is no longer in effect. That is like saying that the war is over so we can let down our guard, but if we step on a land mine it will blow off our leg just as well as if the war were still going. Paul wants us to be careful with the weak in faith, because we don’t want to give him the wrong idea that since we are walking under grace we can live against the law. The ultimate goal of all Christians should be maturity.

(131d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Brother depends on you >> To help build the temple

(139j) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Tearing down the temple through disobedience

(196h) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Immaturity >> Not mature enough to love God – People go to school for years and get a master’s degree or a PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper), and when they finally get a job, they must work seventy hours a week and be completely devoted to their vocation like they should be to Christ, and they can’t say no to their boss because there is a line of people waiting to fill their position. This is an example of idol worship, taking us away from God’s will, chasing after a dream we have about the world, never asking God what He wants us to do. New converts see this and model after us, and before long they are stripped of their faith from generation to generation. We don’t realize we are idol worshippers even as there were in Paul’s day, because we don’t recall bending our knee to any statues. We are ignorant as those who are weak in faith, and just as arrogant. We don’t have anybody as our example to model the true priorities of Christianity, following along the ways of the world.

(234k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Be a blessing >> Be a blessing and love your brother

1Cor 8,7-12

(197j) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Man withers when he is in control >> Unfaithfulness >> Unfaithful to your own conscience

1Cor 8-7

(155d) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> Conscience >> An evil conscience keeps us from believing God >> Knowledge of evil testifies against our deeds

1Cor 8-8

(234b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seeking the glory of His favor

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9-13 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12 And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

 

1Cor 8,9-13

(10e) Responsibility >> Keeping order in the Church >> Decrees of the Church

(203g) Denying Christ >> Dishonor God >> Dishonor God by dishonoring your brother

1Cor 8-9

(118k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Law of the spirit >> Law of liberty – Paul is saying that if a weaker brother sees us dining in an idol’s temple, he may think that worshipping other gods is okay when it isn't. Again, we who are mature should curtail our freedom in Christ if it makes our brother stumble or walk as though freedom were greater than love when it isn't. Paul talked about the freedom we have in Christ on several occasions in reference to the fact that we are not constrained by laws and regulations. Nevertheless, we are not allowed to wound the conscience of a weaker brother for the sake of freedom. Rather, we are all the more obligated to be responsible with it, so the person who thinks Christianity is all about rules and regulations is not offended by our liberty. We who are mature live by the direction of the Holy Spirit, and our goal is to wean the weak off rules and regulations and to be led by the Spirit, who will lead them to fulfill the law in a state of freedom. The Holy Spirit has replaced these rules and regulations so that our liberties transcend even the Laws of Moses. We have knowledge that there really is no such thing as an idol in the world or any other god besides the God of heaven. These so-called gods exist only in the minds of men, and demons hide behind their faces, so when they worship idols, they worship the demons behind them. The process of carrying out our faith is cultivating the hearing ear and obeying the Holy Spirit, leading to the good works that God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Eph 2-10). In this way we know the difference between sin and righteousness, whereas those who are weak in faith do not. Walking on this trail is more important to God than perfecting godliness, in that we accomplish both, but off the trail we accomplish neither. Those who do not understand God’s specific purpose think the general concept of being a good person is all that Christianity offers; therefore, we must keep our behavior excellent among them, though God has given us liberty to live at peace without fear of sin.

(162kb) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Being slaves of men >> In bondage to the burdens of men >> In bondage to freedom (licentiousness)

1Cor 8,10-13

(21c) Sin >> Disobedience >> Unfaithful – Worshipping idols is just as much a sin to us as it was in Paul's day. Moreover, many people think Christianity is about believing a set of doctrines regarding Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of the world; but if there is no mention of the Holy Spirit, then believing in a set of doctrines is no different from observing the Laws of Moses. The gospel of Christ is all about the indwelling Holy Spirit, and believing in Jesus' blood sacrifice is how God made Himself available to us.

(155a) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> Conscience >> Having a good conscience >> Doing right to the best of our knowledge

1Cor 8-11

(54l) Paradox >> Opposites >> Do not let that which is a good thing be spoken of as evil -- This verse goes with verse 1. If they see mature Christians doing things that can be construed as idol worship, they would be inadvertently encouraging such behavior. For example, if they saw us going into a bar, it would strengthen their conscience to remain a Christian alcoholic, which we know is an oxymoron. Nevertheless, we know that beer will not condemn us before God, but those struggling with alcoholism who may be considering Christianity, may see us and get the idea that they can overindulge as Christians. In this way we would weaken our brother’s faith in the truth, and for this reason Paul starts out this chapter saying it is better to walk in love than to walk in knowledge.

1Cor 8-13

(187c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Ministry of dying to self >> Die to self to minister to people >> die to self to help the weak

 

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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org

 

1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 9

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1&2 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

 

1Cor 9,1-6

(191h) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Set apart >> God sanctifies us through His calling

1Cor 9-1,2

(152d) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Apostles >> Fruitful results prove apostleship – The Churches that Paul established through his preaching and teaching were the seal of his apostleship. An apostle has converts, for who ever heard of an apostle that never made converts? This is the difference between an apostle and an evangelist: an evangelist makes converts while an apostle makes churches from converts. The Corinthian Church was one of many churches on Paul’s long list achievements that proved he indeed saw the Lord on the road to Damascus and heard the word spoken to Him that changed his life on that faithful day, which partly explains his deep concern for all the Churches under his care.

1Cor 9-1

(104j) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart shall see God >> Shall see Jesus >> We shall see His face – A lot about what Paul had been saying in these last few chapters is about attitude, and in this chapter he tells about his ministry, using a little rhetoric to ask, “Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?” That is something few can say. Although the original apostles walked with Him for the entire length of His ministry, they did not see Him in His glorified state, but Paul did, and now he is leader of the early church. This suggests that Jesus is more influential in the spirit than He was in the flesh. The other apostles walked with Jesus for 3½ years, but Paul had a one-minute conversation with Him, and now he is lead apostle, who transformed the world, and whose influence is with us to this day.

(117j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Seeing through the eyes of your spirit >> Acknowledging the presence of God

(119a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Law of the spirit >> Freedom from the law -- This verse goes with verse 19

(129d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing the fruit of evangelism >> Bearing the fruit of the gospel

1Cor 9,2-6

(56d) Paradox >> Opposites >> humble yourself to be used of God

 

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3-6 My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Do we not have a right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working?

 

1Cor 9,3-23

(11k) Servant >> Paul’s example of God’s standard – Pastors today have paid positions, where he works for the benefit of the congregation; for their sakes he has committed his life to their spiritual health and well-being. He preaches the gospel to them, shepherds the flock and manages their spiritual lives. He is their instructor, their teacher and trainer; he is their example of Christianity. He dedicates his life to the faith, and therefore while he is in the field threshing, he has the right to receive blessings from the congregation. However, back in the first century pastors generally worked for free; sometimes they held down jobs while their circumstances were afforded to them, such as free room and board but no salary. Paul said, “I have used none of these things” (v15); he was like the ox threshing in the field with a muzzle on his mouth.

(167b) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind is set on the flesh >> Carnal mind cares only for itself – In Corinth Paul was on his own, forced to meet his own needs. The Corinthians were extremely self-centered, never thinking about anybody else; the Corinthian Church was like the Church in America today; we have regressed to their level, concerned only about ourselves. Paul asked nothing from the Corinthians so nobody could accuse him of selfish motives. The Corinthians looked for ways to accuse Paul instead of respecting him as their leader and elder and minister of the gospel as the one who led them to Christ and risked his life doing it. God had given him the right to receive blessings from the people he served; yet he asked nothing from them because of their lack of maturity.

(189b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Holy sacrifice >> Holy offering

1Cor 9,3-6

(7b) Responsibility >> Protecting the Gospel >> Defend the word of God by obeying it These verses go with verses 11-23.

(12g) Servant >> Bond servant >> Their relationship with God – To better understand the relationship between God and His bondservants, see also Eph 4-1, which states that they are prisoners of His will. This may sound like a bad thing, but this concept is cast in view of the contrast of our fleshly appetites to make it appear that we are prisoners of His will, when in fact we want to serve Him, but to do so we must suppress other competitive desires. Paul and the other apostles could not just get married like other people because they had a job to do that required all of their attention. They didn’t even have a right to eat and drink—what does that mean? The apostles didn’t have the liberty to take large sums of time to relax and enjoy their lives, but continued serving God. A bond servant is highly disciplined and extremely focused and sacrificial, willing to give up anything to achieve his life-goal. It is not the choice of the man to be a bondservant but is God's choosing, and the man's only contribution is to let God do as he pleases with the man's life.

(17c) Sin >> Unrighteous judgment >> Judging in the flesh >> Evaluating circumstances by the carnal mind

(101f) Thy kingdom come >> Zeal >> Fulfill your calling with zeal -- These verses go with verses 11-27

(152a) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Apostles >> Enduring hardship proves apostleship – Paul had critics in the Corinthian Church, and his defense to them amounted to a little offbeat rhetoric. He asked whether he had a right to eat and drink, and of course he did. Then he asked whether he had a right to take along a believing wife as the other apostles... of course he did. Was Paul married? No, he wasn’t. Although he had these rights he traded them for a better ministry. Keep in mind that Paul’s advise to remain single in chapter seven was completely unheeded even by the apostles, so that Paul and Barnabas were the only unmarried apostles of the early church. Remaining single was not very popular advice, yet God stood behind him. In the same context he asked his next question, “Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working” (did the double-negative carry a tone of sarcasm)? Barnabas must have been a man like Paul, gritty, committed beyond reason, yet even then probably found it difficult to with Paul.

(188e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Suffering the will of God in your life -- These verses go with verses 12-19

1Cor 9-5

(3g) Responsibility >> To the Family >> Remaining single is better than divorce – This is a rhetorical question, implying that Paul did have a right to get married if he wanted; nevertheless, remaining single was the choice that God wanted Paul to make as a means of securing undistracted devotion to his ministry. He chose not to get married so he could concentrate on God and the Church, but having a wife would have divided his interests and hence interfered with his ministry. All of us who believe in Jesus have room for gratitude that Paul remained single, for he and the other apostles made the gospel available to us.

1Cor 9-6

(101j) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Ambitious in the business world of this life

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7-10 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? 8 I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, "YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING." God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.

 

1Cor 9,7-23

(240c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Pastor (Shepherd) >> Paul has a shepherd’s heart – Paul was asking, ‘If I plant a vineyard and do not eat the fruit of it, then why bother?' He was saying, ‘why should I be an apostle and not share in the benefits of that apostleship?’ He ends this battery of questions asking, “If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?” Then he said, “Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ” (v12). Paul made himself less than an ox (v9), and the world already felt that way about him, scarcely staying out of prison. The Corinthians were immature, but the world did not know Paul. When those heard that the Church was led by a man who would not take anything for his own sustenance, people flocked to the Church all the more, being confident that the leaders of God’s church had no ulterior motives. It was not a commitment that was mandatory, but one Paul felt in his heart necessary to make up for the immaturity of the Corinthians. Through his commitment he received an anointing greater than the other apostles to help him fulfill the job at hand. Although previously he had been a persecutor and a violent aggressor of the Church, these things had long been forgiven him.

1Cor 9,7-14

(218i) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Reaping the harvest >> Reaping the harvest of obedience >> Principle of sowing and reaping – The Corinthians were not faithful enough to understand the simple principle of sowing and reaping. All Paul asked from them was a couple grains of wheat, yet the Corinthians moaned about it. He was hoping they would understand his needs and seek to help him in any way they could, but apparently they wanted Paul to serve them without reciprocating. This is not Christianity as we know it; Christianity is all about giving, and this was the number one lesson Paul was trying to stress with them; without a sense of giving, it was hard even to view them as Christians. If they would learn to give and share and serve, they stood to benefit from helping Paul and helped him in his circumstances, but if they refused to cooperate, it would be a no-win situation for both of them: they would not grow closer to the character of Christ and Paul would not get his needs met. Paul shamed them in 2Cor 11-8 saying, “I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you.” He had to ask for help from other churches who were more mature and understood that Paul had needs.

(230b) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking >> What we must do to partake of the kingdom >> Partaking which requires our participation

1Cor 9,7-10

(225d) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables about wealth >> Parables about a land owner and his farm – Being an apostle, a prophet and a missionary to the gentiles, Paul came to Corinth and preached the gospel and taught them the ways of God without charge, and the result was the Corinthian Church. When Paul went to Corinth, he expected the saints living there to supply his needs; and while he was at Ephesus and Philippi, he expected the saints living there to supply his needs; that was the deal. Paul was talking about the people helping him whom he had personally won to the Lord. While the ox is working in the field, it can also eat the grain of the field, and he figuratively applied this principle to himself, where he was the ox and the Corinthians were the harvest. While he was working to supply their spiritual needs, he could expect them to supply his material needs.

1Cor 9-7

(226a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables >> Parables about war

1Cor 9-9

(63g) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Sarcasm >> Be pretentious >> Pretending to be stupid

 

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11-15 If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? 14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. 15 But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one.

 

1Cor 9,11-27

(101f) Thy kingdom come >> Fulfill your calling with zeal -- These verses go with verses 3-6. This buildup was in Paul's defense, refusing to partake of the ministry, though proving his right to do so, yet refraining for the purpose of furthering the gospel. This was indicative of Paul, but not prior to his conversion, when he persecuted the Church, putting the saints in prison and seeking their death. Even then Paul acted from a level of zeal that no one could replicate, and it was this zeal that God liked in Paul. He was completely committed to the cause of Christ, more so than any of his equals, as though he were competing with them. There was something about him that drove him to be utterly committed to his faith, and God honored this in him, knowing that later the Church would slump into apostasy, when the unrighteous stewards of the last days would come out of the woodwork seeking positions of ministry as a profession and a vocation and not for the sake of the ministry itself, who sought what they could get from the gospel.

1Cor 9,11-23

(7b) Responsibility >> Protecting the Gospel >> Defend the word of God by obeying it – These verses go along with verses 3-6

(12i) Servant >> Attitude of a bondservant – Paul was a man who invested everything he had into the gospel of the kingdom. He could have relaxed a little and allowed the Church to pay for some of his many expenses. He refused to use the Churches resources on himself, but reinvested it into the Church, or he would give it to someone in greater need (someone who saw themselves in greater need than Paul). He was like a man who invested all he owned into the stock market. When a certain share maxed-out he would withdraw it; but instead of living on the proceeds, he would reinvest it into another company to further multiply his profits. This can be most plainly seen in verse 18, where it says, "What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel." He did not declare his reward to be some spiritual benefit to himself, but a further opportunity to serve the people, an attitude that would get him richer in heaven! Paul was a bondservant, obsessed with love and service to God and His people. On the outside he looked like a selfless man, but inwardly he sought the reward of God's Kingdom in the life to come. This is not greed but wisdom.

(14a) Servant >> Servants of God’s word

(63d) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Righteous deception >> Church deceive each other

1Cor 9,12-23

(62f) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Lure in your prey

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1Cor 9,12-19

(152b) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Apostles >> Commitment to the cause proves apostleship

(188e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Suffering the will of God in your life -- These verses go with verses 3-6.

1Cor 9,12-15

(101a) Thy kingdom come >> Devotion >> In your ministry to people >> Devoted to ministering to their spiritual needs -- These verses go with verses 18-27. Paul approved preachers who make a living as ministers of the gospel, though he asked nothing from the Corinthians, since their maturity level was not high enough to accept it. He didn’t want to give anyone a reason to speak evil against him, and thus speak evil against the gospel of Christ. He did everything in his power to dispel any hindrance to the gospel.

1Cor 9-12

(6c) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Jesus’ yoke of evangelism -- This verse goes with verses 16-27

(240j) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Taking away the key of knowledge >> Suppressing the truth

1Cor 9,13-20

(134i) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Immorality >> Adultery >> Spiritual adultery

1Cor 9-15

(84d) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Boasting >> It needs to be said and no one is saying it >> Boasting of my accomplishments in Christ – Paul said he had reason for boasting, since nobody else was talking about the elephant in the room (2Cor 11,1-18). People were criticizing him and complaining about him and challenging him regarding petty things (2Cor 10,7-18), instead of appreciating him and giving him a complement once in a while and honoring him for his accomplishments. The Corinthians were silent about this, and since no one was talking, it was up to him to brag about his accomplishments. It was Paul’s way of rebuking them by talking about himself, because of their refusal to acknowledge his authority as a minister of the gospel. Unbelievers do not recognize the authority of the Church, but those who are born of God are obligated to recognize the authority of their spiritual leaders who do not lord “it over those allotted to [their] charge, but proving to be examples to the flock” (1Pet 5-3).

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16&17 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. 17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.

 

1Cor 9,16-27

(6c) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Jesus’ yoke of evangelism – These verses go with verse 12. Paul was free from all men in that he understood his freedom in Christ so nobody could lie to him and place him in bondage to their deceptions. Nevertheless, he placed himself in bondage to all men, becoming a slave to all in order to win those who were enslaved. He became a Jew in order to win the Jews, though he himself was a Jew by birth, originating from the tribe of Benjamin. He was a natural Jew before his conversion, and then God converted him to a spiritual Jew, the identity of everyone who is born of the Spirit, regardless of nationality. That is, when Paul got saved the concept of “Jew” changed for him. His flesh would always belong to the tribe of Benjamin, but his spirit belonged to God, and this is something his fellow unbelieving Jews could not grasp. Furthermore, a spiritual Jew is more a Jew that a natural Jew. Prior to his conversion Paul placed his confidence in his birthright as a son of Abraham, but after he got saved he placed his confidence in Christ as a son of God. Paul posed as a natural Jew to his fellow Jews in order to relate to them as a spiritual Jew, and preached Jesus to them in hope that he might save some. The same principle applies to the other examples he provided: he posed as one under the law to save those who are under the law, though personally he was under grace, that he might win those who are under the law of Moses. Again, he posed as lawless to those without law, though not without the law of Christ, that he might win those who regularly break the Ten Commandments. He became “all things to all men, that [he] might by all means save some." According to Paul’s example, you have to relate to people before you can preach the gospel to them, or they won't listen.

1Cor 9,16-23

(148k) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Obligation to preach the gospel >> Consumed by the desire to do it – Paul had a strong anointing for evangelism, and he couldn’t help but preach the gospel, and when he did, he offered it without charge, so as not to make full use of his right in the gospel. He almost didn’t have a choice in the matter, saying, “If I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.” So which one was it? Did Paul do it voluntarily and received a reward, or did he preach the gospel as a steward? We would have to say it was a little of both. The gospel of Christ was no hobby to Paul; his stewardship was the anointing that drove him to preach the gospel and the ministry that resulted was a byproduct of his addiction to the Holy Spirit. The man was like a drug addict, the only difference being that instead of his lips forming around a crystal meth bong, they formed around the name of Jesus, speaking the grace of God to the world in hope of saving another soul. To Paul, preaching the gospel was like sticking his hand in cold water after he had burned himself; it was the only way he could find relief. If he stopped, something would build inside him until he couldn’t stand it anymore, and he would have to go and tell somebody about Jesus, “For woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (Jeremiah 20-9).

1Cor 9,16-21

(53g) Paradox >> Opposites >> Preaching freedom in bondage

1Cor 9-16,17

(216h) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> Following God in fear of losing the anointing

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18-23 What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. 19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

 

1Cor 9,18-27

(101a) Thy kingdom come >> Devotion >> In your ministry to people >> Devoted to ministering to their spiritual needs -- These verses go with verses 12-15

1Cor 9-18

(226c) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Reserved in heaven >> God crowns us with glory for sharing our rewards

1Cor 9,19-23

(94a) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective on this life >>

1Cor 9-19

(119a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Law of the spirit >> Freedom from the law -- This verse goes with verse 1

(192f) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Waiting for God to do it His way >> Lose your rights to gain His vindication

1Cor 9-21

(181g) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Lawlessness >> Having no regard for the law >> Being without law

1Cor 9-22

(1e) All things to all men (Key verse) –  We know what the Bible says is off limits and what liberties we have. We also know what the world is doing, that there is a great gulf between us and them behaviorally, spiritually, and almost every other way. Paul wanted to reach people who were vastly different from himself, so he modified a few things about himself without compromising his faith to find some commonality with the people he was trying to reach with the gospel.

1Cor 9,23-27

(234h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Placing no boundaries on your commitment to God >> Going to any extreme to fulfill the will of God – There are many people who consider themselves fellow partakers of the gospel, yet they do very little for the sake of the gospel. In other words, they take from it without investing anything into it, whereas Paul was a giver to the gospel more than a taker from it, which led him to sacrifice his life for the cause of Christ in order to make up for those who would not contribute to it. 

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24-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

 

1Cor 9,24-27

(39f) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Victory >> He overcame every circumstance

(60a) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Operating kingdom principles / Conducting spiritual warfare

(100h) Thy kingdom come >> Diligence in running the race that is set before us – Paul was going to win this race; he had a very high success rate of hitting his target. Paul the zealot disciplined his body and made it his slave. He was extremely self-disciplined, which is something the Church today is lacking. Most people do not see a need for it. He considered himself in a race with other Christians, and the goal of the race was to see who could give more to the gospel and take less from it. Whoever won this race won a prize, and the prize was that he could continue offering the gospel without charge, and the prize was waiting for him in heaven. The Church could learn from Paul’s example and give a little more than they take from the gospel.

(188b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Dying to self keeps you on God’s course

(194a) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Run to God >> Run the race that is set before us – We are in a race, and we try not to fall because we don’t want to get behind. This race is primarily fought in our prayer closet and in our study room with God’s word, which become our ministry toward God and the basis of our ministry toward people. The harder we work strengthening this foundation, the more we can build upon it and the less leaks and stress cracks form that lead to ultimate collapse. This has happened many times to those who thought they could build a big church for God without first laying a proper foundation in the word of God and prayer.

(225o) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables >> Parables about running a race

(226b) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Reserved in heaven >> God crowns us with glory for sharing our rewards >> The reward of a crown – God is listening even when we think He isn’t, for our prayers are being deposited in His bank. Sometimes we think God is messing with us; we are obedient for years, and we are waiting for Him to bless us, and then just as the blessing is about to come, something happens, and we have to continue waiting. It seems that God doesn’t care about us, but the fact is God loves our faith; He can’t get enough of it. We can trust God because He has made us able; we don’t need more proof. We know that God exists and that He loves us, and we know He has a glorious plan for our lives. His plan will only get better the more we trust Him, for the reward is waiting for us in heaven. In the Book of Revelation it talks about the martyrs who complain to God why He hasn’t acted on their behalf (Rev 6-10). His answer to them was to wait until the exact number of souls have been martyred; that is when the moment comes the Father has designated to act on their behalf. One perspective is that God is counting the number of His martyred saints and when that number reaches a designated amount, He exercises His authority over those who martyred them. The other perspective is that it is just a matter of time; He is counting down the seconds. How far and how fast must we run; how much prayer is enough, when God’s prayer bank is full or when the time is right? If we haven’t prayed and the time matures, we may not have strength enough to be a part of what He is doing? We need to participate in the things of God now so we can partake of that which He does in His time.

 

1Cor 9-24

(81f) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> Obedience through continuous prayer – The analogy of this verse has many applications, such as to pray without ceasing. We are to pray as though we were are in a race, in a heightened state, where we are able to understand the wisdom of God that we did not know before we prayed, so that after our prayer-time we realize we learned something without knowing how we learned it. Some pray years for something, a lost loved one, for example, or perhaps God has given us a revelation and He has called us to pray for years that it comes to pass. God stores the prayers of His saints in a bank vault, and they accrue to maturity. When there is enough for Him to act, then He takes His glorious power and begins to reign on behalf of His people and does something extraordinary. Other times we ask God for something a bit simpler, and we receive it almost immediately, but this may be from the fact that we have been praying for years. We have that relationship with God, and through the knowledge of God and through prayer He gives us what we need.

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1Cor 9-25

(170h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Temporary >> Rewards of this life are temporary – Those who play in the Olympic games are regimented and self-disciplined. They don’t just do what they please; they have a trainer who tells them what they must do to succeed, and they follow her advice explicitly, and they don’t take any shortcuts or snitch a candy bar now and then. They don’t relax and watch TV all night but are ambitious and dedicated to winning the gold medal. Paul is saying we need to be just like that in our faith, just as dedicated and determined to succeed. We must be committed to promoting the Kingdom of God and doing our part in seeing people’s lives put together by the power of God. We need to make sure that everyone hears the truth, not a facsimile of it but as God understands it. The reason the gospel is stagnant these days is that we are nowhere near the Olympic analogy; instead, we are lethargic, apathetic and worldly; we need to keep our mind on the prize. Paul said we are striving for an imperishable wreath. The Olympic runner goes through all his trouble to achieve a perishable reward; yet if the medal survives two centuries, the man will not. In this case, though, our goal is to inherit immortality and receive a reward that will follow us into heaven. God will bless us in ways we cannot fathom, and that reward will continue to accrue value throughout all eternity.

(243g) Kingdom of God >> The eternal kingdom >> The indestructible kingdom >> The body of Christ is indestructible >> The indestructible kingdom within us

(249l) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> World’s perception of wealth >> The world’s wealth has no value >> The world’s idea of wealth opposes the truth – Paul equated the Christian life to the Olympic games in that we are in competition against the devil; we are at war with the elementary principles of the world, and the closest opponent is our own flesh, and the goal of our prize is human souls in this spiritual arena. Paul said that those who compete in natural games do it for a perishable wreath but we for an imperishable. This defines God’s true perception of wealth: eternity. If it is destined to perish, then we have no business prioritizing it. Those things that are temporal but necessary such as earning a living we place below that which is eternal. God’s calling, His purpose in our lives, doing His will, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, walking in truth, they all have eternal rewards, and they are worth pursuing, though we do not receive the reward in this life for our service to God. That which God calls us to do hold infinite value above this temporal world, simply because they are eternal. If our job pays $20.00/hour and we bring home a big check and can afford just about anything we want, none of those things will matter in a hundred years from now much less a million, but the things we do for Christ hold promise for a reward that will never disintegrate or lose its value; rather, it will gain value throughout eternity.

1Cor 9-26,27

(108d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Balance >> Faith is the balance between freedom and law

(187j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Spirit versus the flesh >> Trying to work the Spirit by the flesh

1Cor 9-26

(80c) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word in spiritual warfare >> To fight in the Spirit

1Cor 9-27

(134h) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Body of sin >> Dying to the sinful nature

(190b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Taking your sinful nature by force

(192e) Die to self >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Receiving from God by substitution >> Committed in the natural to receive in the spiritual

(207b) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Eternal security? >> Perish By Losing Your Faith >> Perish in deception

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