¶ 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?
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.
| 1 -
Am I not an apostle? Following from the previous chapter 1co0813.
Jesus identified the apostles His witnesses ac0108
when Paul was not among them but He did see the apostle ac0903,
See on 1co1508.
1 - Am I not free? He was but chose to avoid an argument that might turn another person away unnecessarily.
1 - In the Lord Alone neither Paul nor we could do anything jn1505. Also 1co0101, 2ti0101, tt0101.
2 - Others Not at Corinth.
| 3 ¶ Mine answer to them
that do examine me is this,
.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?
6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
| 3 -
Answer From apologia which was used to describe the defense
of a defendant in court.
3 - My answer ... is this In verses 4 to 6.
4 - Power Or "authority." He is not arguing that it would be okay for him to eat meat offered to idols 1co0801 but that he, with other apostles, had a right to expect financial support from the churches.
5 - A sister, a wife Probably should read "a sister [church member] as wife." The idea being that " he had as good a right to be married, and have his family supported, as Peter and other apostles had. Ministers of the gospel ... have a right to be married, and with their families [and] to be supported; though it may sometimes be wise not to exercise this right." (Family Bible Notes).
6 - Power to forbearworking They didn't have to be missionaries. Barnabas had money and property and helped the people in Jerusalem ac0436.
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?
8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
.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?
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.
11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
Plow in hope
9 - Muzzle ... ox de2504.
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.
.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?
14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
- Others The opposing religious teachers 1co0110.
12 - Not used See ac1803, 2co1107, 2co1214.
13 - They which minister In the sanctuary system, priests, levites, and musicians were supported by the people.
14 - Should live of We need to remember to be faithful in tithes and offerings mal0310, 2co0804, v4.
¶ 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.
.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!
.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.
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.
- None of these Paul was apparently eager not to be classified with
preachers who were enriching themselves at the expense of the people. This
provides guidance for our ministries today, not that they should avoid
appealing for funds but that this should not provide more than humble incomes
for the preachers and fulfill the expenses of modest facilities.
16 - Nothing to glory of Compare lu1710.
17 - Dispensation Greek oikonomia. "Stewardship" or "commission." Also see ep0302. For uses of oikonomia also see ep0110, co0125, lu1602-4.
¶ For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant
unto all, that I might gain the more.
.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;
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.
.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.
23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
- Free See on v1.
19 - That I might gain Living and working with the people, Paul could reach them for Christ. A concept lost when the church lost its first love and fell into apostasy.
20 - Under the law See the beginning of ro08.
23 - For the gospel's sake This is to be the motive of every follower of Christ working through the Holy Spirit. See ac0108, ac0217, ac0413.
¶ Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth
the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
.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.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
.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.
- Body ... into subjection This means control of eating. Our body
(or emotions) may be calling for food. When it is between meals or unhealthful,
we need to put our body in subjection. Masturbation is another harmful
27 - Castaway Greek adokimos also means "unapproved" or "rejected." A Hebrew word with the same meaning appears in je0630.