1Co 9:1-3 What does Paul mean “Am I not free”? Free from what? See 1Co 9:4 and the context of chapter 8. What was the significance of his being an apostle to the point he is arguing? See 1Co 9:4-6. Who was examining Paul, and what were they saying about him? See 1Co 4:3-4, 2 Cor 11:5-9.
1Co 9:4-6 What is the connection between Paul’s argument in this chapter and the issue of food sacrificed to idols in chapter 8? See 8:9, and note that “liberty” there is the same word translated as “right” in these verses. What rights does Paul articulate in these verses as belonging to the Christian minister? What is the significance of a believing wife? What does 1Co 9:5 teach us about the rights of Christian workers to marry? Why is this important? See 1 Tim 4:1-3.
1Co 9:7-14 What 10 arguments does Paul give to support the Christian minister’s right to remuneration for his labor in proclaiming the gospel? See also 1 Tim 5:17-18. Did Jesus also teach this? See 1Co 9:14, Mat 10:10, Luke 10:7. Why if others had this right from the Corinthians did Paul have an even greater right (1Co 9:12)? See 1Co 9:2. Did Paul avail himself of this right? Why not? See 1Co 9:12.
1Co 9:15 Was Paul’s purpose in arguing for the Christian minister’s right to remuneration so that the Corinthians might begin supporting him? What was his purpose? See 1Co 8:9,13. Paul understood that exercising his right to remuneration and appealing for the Corinthians to fulfill their duty to support him would cause a hindrance to the gospel (1Co 9:12) among those who were just turning to Christ. Is this still true today? What should Christian workers learn from Paul’s example? What should Christians in general learn from the example of the Philippians, who sent gifts of support to Paul while he was in Corinth? See Phil 4:11-16.
1Co 9:16-18 What was Paul’s motivation to preach the gospel? See 1Co 9:16-17, Jer 20:9, Acts 4:20. How was his motivation different from that of what Jesus calls a hireling (John 10:12-13)? See 2 Cor 2:17, 4:2, 11:7-15, 2 Pet 2:3. What was Paul’s reward in preaching the gospel? See 1Co 9:18. In what sense is that a reward? See Phil 3:8,10, 2:5-11. How is that different from the reward of a hireling? See Mat 6:2,5,16.
1Co 9:19 Again, in what sense was Paul free from all men? See 1Co 9:1,4. Why then was he willing to forego his rights and make himself a slave to others? Paul refused payment in money in order that he might have a greater gain in souls; in light of eternity, which profits more? Are we as willing to forego our rights to worldly gain in order that we may have an eternal gain?
1Co 9:20-21 What does Paul mean that he himself was not under the Law (1Co 9:20)? What law does he mean? See Romans 7:4-6, Gal 2:19, 5:18. What does he mean that neither was he without the law of God but under (literally “in” or “within”) the law of Christ (1Co 9:21)? What is the law of Christ? See James 2:8, Rom 13:8-10, Gal 5:14, 6:2. How is it different from the Law of Moses? See Jer 31:31-34, 2 Cor 3:3,6.
1Co 9:22-23 Who are “the weak” that Paul refers to in these verses, and how are these verses related to the question from chapter 8 that the Corinthians had asked him about eating food sacrificed to idols? See 1Co 8:7,9,10,13. What does he mean “to become a fellow partaker” of the gospel? See 1Co 9:24-27. What is the implication to one who is not willing to do all things for the sake of the gospel?
1Co 9:24-27 What is the “race” in which the Christian competes? See Gal 5:7, Phil 2:16, 2 Tim 4:7, Heb 12:1-2. What is the prize? See 1Co 9:25, 2 Tim 4:8, James 1:12, 1 Pet 5:4, Rev 2:10, 3:11. What is the imperishable wreath/crown? See Phil 3:14, 4:1, 1 Thess 2:19. What regimen of self-control and discipline do professional athletes exercise in order to gain a perishable prize? What does this teach us about what is necessary in order for a Christian to gain the imperishable prize? What is the danger to one who is not willing to exercise such discipline in his Christian life? Note: “disqualified” translates the Greek word adokimos which means “tested and found to have failed the test”. It is a word used almost exclusively by Paul in the New Testament and is translated by the KJV in every other instance but 1 as “reprobate”. See Rom 1:28, 2 Cor 13:5-7, 2 Tim 3:8, Tit 1:16, and Heb 6:8 for every occurrence of this important word.
1Co 9:19-27 How do Paul’s words in these verses apply to all of the issues confronting the Corinthian church? How do they apply to the many issues that confront any body of believers in any time or culture? What is the solution to those problems?