1 Corinthians 9
(1-27) Paul Surrenders His Rights
Paul wants to be known for preaching the Gospel. Even though he has the right to be financially supported by the Corinthian Christians, he willingly gives up that right to avoid his Gospel witness becoming tainted. Just as soldiers make a living by fighting, and farmers make a living by their produce and animals, so those who preach the Gospel should be able to make a living by preaching the Gospel. Paul, however, would rather preach the Gospel free of charge so that others will know he is sincere and committed to his calling, and not just in it to make money.
Paul makes himself a servant to all people in order to win many of them to Christ. Paul becomes as one who does not know Christ, not by participating in sin, but by setting aside his preferences, and identifying with those who are lost in order to see them saved. For the sake of the Gospel and with the goal of seeing all people saved, Paul becomes ‘all things to all people’ – Jew, under the law, outside of the law, weak. He sets aside himself and steps outside of his comfort zone in order to bring others to Christ.
Just as a runner runs and just as a boxer fights to win a perishable price, Paul runs with a purpose to glorify God and receive an imperishable reward. Just as athletes practice self-discipline regarding eating and exercising to keep their bodies in shape, Paul practices spiritual self-discipline so that his own faith will remain strong.
Favorite verse: (22) To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.