Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


First Corinthians

First Corinthians was taught by Dr. James Modlish
Outline provided by Randy Rogers



This chapter deals with the ministry, and how Paul conducts himself in the ministry. Following the previous chapter, Paul shows that even though he has Liberty in Christ, he conducts himself in a fashion that will not intentionally offend others.

9:1 “Am I not an Apostle” - Yes! Paul is the thirteenth apostle, “one born out of due time.” (1 Cor. 15:8)

“am I not free” - Yes! Paul is free and not a slave to other men or government (Acts 22:28). Paul was free physically and spiritually!

“have not I seen Jesus Christ our Lord” - Yes! On the road to Damascus in (Acts 9). One qualification for being an Apostle, was to have seen Christ. Paul sure did see him… he got knocked off his horse.

“are ye not my work in the Lord” - Yes! Paul's ministry to the Corinthians led to 2 books in the New Testament that help guide Christians today in the conduct of their daily lives.

9:2 Proof Paul was an Apostle are the Corinthians. They are - “my work in the Lord.”

9:4 Yes - in light of (8:7-9), but not to offend the weak.

9:5 The man’s wife is his sister (Song Sol. 5:1). In the first marriage between Adam and Eve, Eve was Adam’s sister because they both had the same father - God!

“other apostles” - The other Apostles were married.

“Cephas” - This is aramaic for Peter. Peter was married, and had a mother-in-law (Matt. 8:14; Mk. 1:30).

9:6 Paul worked for a living as a tent maker (Acts 18:1-2). He could have quit if he so chose.

9:7 Paul expounds more on (vs. 6).

The obvious answers to what follows are:

[1]. You don’t have to pay the government to fight during a time of war, they pay you.

[2]. You eat of the fruit from your own vineyard.

[3]. You do eat the milk of your own flock.

Three examples of the ministry made here are:

[1]. A Soldier going to battle (2 Tim. 2:3-4).
[2]. A Husbandman planting a vineyard (2 Tim. 2:6).
[3]. A Shepherd tend a flock (1 Pet. 5:1-4).

9:8 Paul’s says it’s not just him talking, but the Law says the same things also.

9:9 Here we have the basic principle of the ministry. A minister is likened to an Ox that is pulling the load. In the law you were not supposed to mussel an ox while treading out the corn. (Deut. 25:4) Allow the ox to eat what he will while he is working.

Paul gives a slightly different slant on this in (Gal. 6:6). When a pastor teaches you the word you should pay the teacher, if he is in the ministry. This also fits with (vs. 11).

“care for the oxen?” - Yes God cares for the oxen, and his ministers too (Prov. 12:10).

9:10 The Lord encourages you in the ministry from time to time, if he calls you.

9:11 “spiritual things” - The word of God.
“carnal things” - Money (Rom. 15:27; Gal. 6:4-6)

9:12 “others” - (vs. 6)

Paul is the exception here. He did not ask for support from the Corinthians although he surely was entitled to it. Paul did want anything to stand in the way of the gospel having free course in Corinth.

9:13 This is a reference to the Old Testament priests (Levites), who had the care of the temple. When a Jew brought a sacrifice into the temple the Levites got to eat it.

9:14 I sometimes hear people talk about rich Christians and how they should not be rich because Jesus was poor. There is nothing wrong with being a rich Christian, so long as the money is a result of you preaching the Word, and giving God what belongs to God. You can’t out give God!

There are some Televangelist's that are scam artists and milk old people for there money, case in point, Jim & Tammy Baker. They have their reward - God looks after widows.

They that preach the Gospel should get paid for doing the Lord’s work. They old saying, “The gospel is Free, but it takes money to pipe it.” is a very true saying. The cost incurred is for the preachers salary, the church building, missionaries in foreign fields, etc. etc.

9:15 Paul gloried in the fact that he took no money from the Corinthians.

9:16 Paul had a special Revelation of the Gospel, so he is bound and determined to preach what God has given him. The start of the Gospel that we preach today started with Paul, not Peter.

9:17 Paul’s reward is not money, but seeing the Corinthians come to Christ and live according to God’s will.

“a dispensation” - this is not a reference to a time period in scripture, but the commission that God gave Paul. This commission is to preach the Gospel of the Grace of God. It was entrusted to Paul not someone else! Paul did this “willingly”!!

9:18 “reward” - Paul’s joy came in knowing he could have gotten money, but didn’t.
(2 Cor. 10:15-18)

9:19 Paul was free (vs. 1) but has made himself a servant to all (See Rom. 1:14).

9:20 Paul went to the Jews first. He would preach to his Kinsman first, following his the rule (Matt. 10:1-8; Rom. 1:16).

9:21 Paul went to the Gentiles since he is the Apostle to the Gentiles. He did not act as a Jew, and did not put the Law on them as if they were Jews. Paul rebukes Peter for how he acted toward the Gentiles when Jews were present (Gal. 2).

9:22 “weak” - those that eat meat (8:11-13)
“I am made” - The Lord did it!

9:24 Paul likens service for the Lord as a race to be run (Phil. 3:13-14; Heb. 12:1-2).
Stay on track - Run to Win!

9:25 “temperate” - self control

Five Crowns that a Christian can receive:

[1]. Incorruptible Crown - (I Cor. 9:25-27)
[2]. Crown of Rejoicing - (I Thess. 2:19)
[3]. Crown of Righteousness - (2 Tim. 4:7,8)
[4]. Crown of Life - (James 1:12)
[5]. Crown of Glory - (I Pet. 5:4)

9:26 Here Paul likens serving the Lord to a boxer.

“so fight I” - Paul had a purpose in his fight, so should all Christians… win the lost!

“one that beateth the air” - Called shadow boxing, or throwing punches that don’t land.

9:27 Paul keeps his body in subjection. He doesn’t want to lose his testimony before men.

This verse is often misused by those that teach you can lose your salvation. Paul is not talking about losing salvation, he is talking about his testimony before the Corinthians as well as anyone else he comes in contact with.

A Christian can’t lose his salvation, but he can lose rewards, health, testimony, character, etc. Live clean, do right, stay in the book, stay in prayer = keep your testimony.

There was a young man once who was working as a janitor for a public school in Texas. He had gotten saved when he was 21 years old. He had not yet given up some of the sins that he was involved before his conversion. He was trying to witness to his coworkers, but one said to him, “it’s not the Lord I disagree with, but I don’t like the one who is representing him.” This is a good example of a castaway, one who had lost his testimony!

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