1 Corinthians Chapter 9

In furtherance of the nature of charity closing the previous chapter Paul makes mention in this one that the believers at Corinth have a charitable obligation not just to the seemingly weaker in faith, but to the apostles also. Paul is most certainly an apostle, free from bonds, (and from sin through grace) Having met Jesus Christ - whose gospel they have received by the work of Paul's ministry. (v1) Though some other fellowships may not be of Paul's ministry the corinthians most certainly are - for they all understand the gospel through Paul's preaching. (v2) His words to those that would judge whether he is needful of their charity also are written in this chapter. (v3)

Paul and His fellow ministers most certainly can incur cost; from food (v1) family (as other apostles) (v4) and also have the power to stop working altogether for the gospel. (v6) He examples that no one goes to war at his own expense. Who works for profit without pay? (v7) Even the law both worldly and of Moses say the same thing (v8,v9) that work deserves reciprocation from the produce of its increase - even by God's own scripture. (v9) Not for the benefit of oxen, which is the similitude in the law, but for the sake of men whom should work in the hope that they be far richer, better off for having worked so they work all the more effectively. (v10) Because Paul has ministered spiritual things to the corinthians, it is not so great a matter that Paul be a partaker of carnal things from them in charity instead of by word of the gospel - being already thoroughly grounded in that already. (v11).

He reminds them that other apostles may be in this position of gain (hope) but Paul all the more - yet he has not yet taken this opportunity to claim from their own treasury after this carnal manner. Instead he chooses to suffer adversity without its (the requirement's) exercise over them, in order to fulfil the gospel further.(v12) Paul reminds them that levite priests ministering in God's temple are due the temple's stores, and that those at the altar eat from the offerings brought to the altar. (v13) So likening the ministers of the gospel to live from the reciprocation of charity from the ministered. (v14)

Paul had taken no such opportunity, neither asked for them in writing; that he should attain as such from them. For he considers it better he did die than for him to spoil his efforts to do otherwise for the furtherance of the gospel. Of which this free gospel is his chief concern (as he boasts). (v15) For the gospel is not his own work to boast of, for its increase is necessity of God and Paul a servant bound to obedience to preach it. (v16) If Paul therefore preaches willingly he has a reward, being bound by commandment only, but if not willingly then a "dispensation" of the gospel (meaning, as an employee he is paid for its increase in believers) is committed to him. (v17)

Paul's reward is truly that the gospel ministered by him is given freely so that his power is not abused as principal apostle to the gentiles. (v18) Though he be free from service to all men he made himself servant to all so that the increase might be without charge and the gospel grow all the more abundantly. That is his reward in full. To all people he ministered to them as they were found and as to their varying condition, as freely from the obedience of the gospel to increase his reward. (v20-v22) By doing so he hopes to be considered accepted along with all those that believe on Christ. (v23)

Paul asks that they all strive to win their own race to be pure in faith and the hope of receiving their eternal life. (v24)Every man that does so is tempered (tested) in all things necessary. Not as for a prize of money or a temporary reward, but for an everlasting reward while there is still yet work to be done. (v25) For Paul runs his own race in the certainty that it is for a real reward; (v26) bringing his bodily needs under the requirements of those of his reward - so that he be not a mere hireling. (He uses the term "castaway" but hireling also does not befit the reality of sonship to God.) (v27)

We can infer and extend by perfection here upon our rewards. If we minister the truth out of charity and can hope for a reward of God instead of a reward from a subsequent return of charity from the converted; it is better that God extend that reward from our future (inherited) eternal life down to the reality of the present if it indeed be an eternal reward. (No one is in a better position to reprove Paul in correction to reciprocate.) Paul's increase of the gospel is such a reward - for believers sealed by the Holy Spirit in eternal life are an everlasting increase given at the instant of their conversion and Paul's ministering. Thus by not receiving any other earthly carnal or monetary reward for the gospel, Paul ensures God makes the increase of his reward that much more abundant. By confirming his preaching with miracles say, God has rewarded Paul with all the spiritual gifts he could ever need to accomplish one reward - preaching the gospel freely.

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