1 Corinthians 9
(9:1) "Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?"|
In an apparent reference to his supposed
encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul asks, "Have I not seen
Jesus?" Well, if we can believe Acts, he didn't. That account says he was
blinded and saw no one (Acts 9:8).
Did Paul see Jesus?
Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not
ye my work in the Lord?
If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the
seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,||
Have we not power to eat and to drink?||
Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other
apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?||
Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?||
(9:9-10) Paul quotes Dt.25:4, "Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that
treadeth out the corn." That sounds like a nice humane law. Until Paul explains it, that is. He asks, "Does God care about oxen?", and
then answers his own rhetorical question by saying, "Hell no. The law is for our sakes."
According to Paul, God doesn't give a damn about animals.
(9:9) "Doth God take care for oxen?"
(9:10) "Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt."
Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard,
and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not
of the milk of the flock?
Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of
the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is
written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that
thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall
reap your carnal things?||
If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather?
Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we
should hinder the gospel of Christ.||
Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the
things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with
Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should
live of the gospel.||
But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things,
that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than
that any man should make my glorying void.||
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity
is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!||
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will,
a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.||
What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make
the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the
(9:20-22) Paul says he'll do whatever it takes to
make people believe in order to save them from a God
who will torture them forever for their honest disbelief.
(9:20) "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
(9:21) "To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God,
but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law."
(9:22) "To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto
all, that I might gain the more.
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;
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to
God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all
things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the
prize? So run, that ye may obtain.||
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.
Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.||
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that
beateth the air:||
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any
means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.