Thematic Bible

1 Corinthians 9:1 (show verse)

Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? [See Acts 9:17; I Cor. 15:8]. Are you people not [the result of] my work in [the service of] the Lord?

1 Corinthians 9:2 (show verse)

[Even] if I am not [accepted as] an apostle with other people, at least I am with you. For you people are my seal [i.e., proof] of my apostleship in [the service of] the Lord.

1 Corinthians 9:3 (show verse)

My defense to those people who [want to] examine my credentials is this:
No Themes for this verse.

1 Corinthians 9:4 (show verse)

Do we [i.e., Barnabas and Paul. See verse 6] not have the right to eat and drink [i.e., at the expense of the church]?
No Themes for this verse.

1 Corinthians 9:5 (show verse)

Do we not have the right to take a believing [i.e., a Christian] wife with us [on our preaching tours], just like the rest of the apostles, and the Lord's brothers do [i.e., James, Joseph, Judas and Simon. Mark 6:3], and Cephas [i.e., Peter]?

1 Corinthians 9:6 (show verse)

Or, are Barnabas and I the only ones who must have a [secular] job for our living?

1 Corinthians 9:7 (show verse)

What soldier ever served [in the army] and paid his own expenses? Who [ever] planted a grape orchard and did not get to eat some of the grapes it produced? Or, who [ever] tended a flock of goats and did not get to drink some of the milk?

1 Corinthians 9:8 (show verse)

Do I say these things from a purely human standpoint, or does not the law of Moses also teach the same thing?

1 Corinthians 9:9 (show verse)

For it is written in the law of Moses [Deut. 25:4], "You should not put a muzzle on an ox while it tramples over the grain." Is it the oxen that God is concerned about?

1 Corinthians 9:10 (show verse)

Or, is He not really saying this for our sakes? Yes, it was written for us because the farmer ought to plow in hope [of planting a crop], and the harvester ought to thresh grain in hope of reaping a crop.

1 Corinthians 9:11 (show verse)

If we have planted spiritual seeds [i.e., the Gospel message] among you, is it too much to expect to reap a material harvest from you?

1 Corinthians 9:12 (show verse)

If other people have the right to receive a share of what you have, should we not have even more [right to it]? Yet we did not make use of this right, but instead we put up with whatever we had to so we would not become a hindrance to [the spread of] the good news [about Christ].

1 Corinthians 9:13 (show verse)

Do you not know that those who perform service in the Temple [are permitted to] eat food from the Temple? And those who serve at the Altar receive a share of what is sacrificed on the Altar?

1 Corinthians 9:14 (show verse)

Even so the Lord directed that those who proclaim the good news [about Christ] should get their living from [preaching] that good news.

1 Corinthians 9:15 (show verse)

But I have not availed myself of any of these rights. And I am not writing this so that it would be done in my case, for I would rather die than have anyone make my boast [i.e., of preaching without financial support] an empty one.

1 Corinthians 9:16 (show verse)

[But] I do not have anything to boast about if I preach the good news because I am compelled to do it. For it would be too bad for me if I did not preach the good news.

1 Corinthians 9:17 (show verse)

For if I preached because [I personally decided] I wanted to, I could claim a reward. But if I did not preach from a personal decision to do so, then it would be because I was entrusted with the task [by God].

1 Corinthians 9:18 (show verse)

Then what is my reward? It is being able to preach the good news without receiving financial support [for it], so as not to claim my full rights in [the work of preaching] the good news.

1 Corinthians 9:19 (show verse)

For although I am free from [being accountable to] all people, I placed myself under obligation to them [as a slave], so as to win as many as possible [to Christ].

1 Corinthians 9:20 (show verse)

I behaved like a Jew in front of the Jews in order to win Jews [to Christ]. I behaved like a person who was under [obligation to observe] the law [i.e., Jews] in front of those who observe that law, although I was not [really] under [obligation to] it. I did this to win those who are under [obligation to observe] the law.

1 Corinthians 9:21 (show verse)

I [also] behaved like a person without [obligation to observe] the law [i.e., a Gentile] in front of those who are not obligated to it, although I was not [really] without obligation to God's law; but was under [obligation to] Christ's law. I did this to win those who are without [obligation to observe] the law [i.e., Gentiles].

1 Corinthians 9:22 (show verse)

I behaved like a weak person in front of weak people [See 8:9-12], in order to win them over [i.e., to help them become stronger]. I have become all things to all people so that, in every way, I could save some of them.

1 Corinthians 9:23 (show verse)

And everything I do is for the sake of [the work of] the Gospel, so that I may share in its benefits.

1 Corinthians 9:24 (show verse)

Do you not know that [although] everyone runs in a race, only one person wins the prize? So, you should run in order to win.

1 Corinthians 9:25 (show verse)

And everyone who [strenuously] competes in athletic events exercises self-control during training. Now they do this to receive a laurel wreath that withers, but we [do it to receive] a lasting crown.

1 Corinthians 9:26 (show verse)

So, I run with a purpose and I fight that way [too]; I do not just shadow box.

1 Corinthians 9:27 (show verse)

But I work out and get my body in shape [i.e., spiritually], so that after preaching to other people, I myself do not become disqualified [i.e., for winning the prize from God. See verse 24].