1 Corinthians 9

1 Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

Paul, a sent one of God.

2 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.

The seal of Paul's work are the churches he started in Corinth.

3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,

Question the things Paul does and if he is truly sent of God. He answers;

4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?

5 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?

Do we not have the right to marry and preach the Gospel? We know Paul wasn't married, but he still had the right to if he chose to.

6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?

Paul being a tent maker by profession didn't take a salary when he started the church in Corinth, but he and Barnabas and had the right to if he chose. They're both, "worthy of his hire." Luke 10:6-8  6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.  7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.  8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

7 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?

Paul is letting us know it's hard to find anyone that works everyday for free. Paul, like any real Pastor preached the Gospel to win souls, but at the same time you must make a living in order to keep the flesh body moving.

8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?

This isn't the flesh talking to make up excuses for the need of money, the law backed him up. Ref. - Deuteronomy 20:6 And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it.

9 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?

Ref. - Deuteronomy 25:4 Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. Even the ox should be able to eat what it plows. It gets paid!

10 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.

This Ministry runs because of those that give to help it run. We have one person that tithes each month, she is a true blessing and we have a couple that gave once last year. I'm sure you can see that would be hard to call a salary for myself, but a way in which we are able to plow, plant and grow those seeds of Truth that they might produce blessings to others.

11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

We feed you the gospel for your soul and see it a good thing to receive worldly things as to live on the plant.

12 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.

Paul speaks about the beggars. A beggar preacher will preach mostly about tithing, leaving little time for much else. They'll tug that heart string, preach how important it is to God you give and the cost involved in the church functioning. All you have to do is turn on the tv or go to most of the churches today. I'm sure the subject will come up.

13 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 the altar?

These begging pastors take from within the temple what was given to God, but those that truly do the work of God are "worthy of his hire."

14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

If and I say [if] the Pastor is teaching The Word of God = The Gospel, Chapter by Chapter and verse by verse, they can and should have a salary in which to live by. Sadly in the churches today, you're lucky to hear more than 10 verses in that hour you sit in the church. You would be hard pressed to find one that teaches within a Chapter by Chapter study and within context of it. If you have one that teaches this way, you're blessed and if not, help them get there. As a Christian you should help others, including your "pastor" stay on The Path or get back on.

15 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.

Paul isn't part of a denomination where the organization defines what he does or teaches. When you're part of a denomination and they pay you, you have NO control over what is being taught and you're told what to teach.

16 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!

Paul preaches The Gospel for Christ, not money or fame. He understands what truly matters is the end result, not the here and now earthly gains.

17 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.

The Truth was given to Paul to tell others and by doing so win souls for Christ. He clearly sees his purpose and reward.

18 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 gospel.

Paul doesn't owe anyone or is indebted to anyone because he hasn't taken a pay for doing what he was led to do. His heart is to The Truth and leading others to it.

19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

When you take a salary, the ones that pay you can control you. Paul was free from humans. He served God only and by so was free to stick to The Truth without it being watered down. You can't do The Lord's work when humans are telling you which steps you must take. You only answer to God.

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;

Paul teaches on the level of the ones he is talking to. If they want to talk about the law, he'll speak in those legal manners with The Truth of God being applied. He was after all trained in the law. Acts 22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city [Jerusalem] at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

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.

He will speak on their level. Paul will go to those that don't live by the law and feed them The Truth of Christ. Paul feeds both Jew and Gentile, all those willing to listen.

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.

Paul isn't conforming to their behavior, he is understanding their state of mind. In order to help anyone, you must understand where it is they're coming from.

23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Paul taught that others will learn and by so, spreading the knowledge of The Gospel throughout the world.

24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

If you're going to teach The Truth of God, you're in that race. Be the one that wins by putting others in the race.

25 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.

Every sport has a reward for the winner and that reward tarnishes. Those that run the race of Christianity and win, have a reward that will last forever. 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

Paul isn't just going through the motions, he's out to win. This isn't a time to put on a show, but to get busy, study and win the race.

27 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.

You want to be prepared for the day don't you? You do so by knowing what tomorrow brings. You must pick up The Word of God today in order to be ready for tomorrow. If you don't, tomorrow is going to take you.