5 Or have we not power to lead about a wife being a [i]sister, as well as the rest of the Apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power [j]not to work?
7 [k]Who [l]goeth a warfare any time at his own cost? 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 [m]Say I these things [n]according to man? 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 [o]oxen?
10 Either saith he it not altogether for our sakes? For our sakes no doubt it is written, that he which eareth, should ear in hope, and that he that thresheth in hope, should be partaker of his hope.
11 [p]If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we reap your carnal things?
12 [q]If others with you be partakers of this[r]power, are not we rather? nevertheless, we have not used this power: but suffer all things, that we should not hinder the Gospel of Christ.
13 [s]Do ye not know, that they which minister about the holy things, eat of the [t]things of the Temple? and they which wait at the altar, are [u]partakers with the altar?
14 So also hath the Lord ordained, that they which preach the Gospel, should live [v]of the Gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things: [w]neither wrote I 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 rejoicing vain.
16 For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to rejoice of: for necessity is laid upon me, and woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel.
17 For if I do it willingly, I have a reward, but if I do it against my will, notwithstanding the dispensation is committed unto me.
18 What is my reward then? verily that when I preach the Gospel, I make the Gospel of Christ [x]free, that I abuse not mine authority in the Gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all men, that I may win the more.
20 And unto the Jews, I become as a Jew, that I may win the Jews: to them that are under the [y]Law, as though I were under the Law, that I may win them that are under the Law:
21 To them that are without Law, as though I were without Law, (when I am not without Law as pertaining to God, but am in the Law through Christ) that I may win them that are without Law:
22 To the weak I become as weak, that I may win the weak: I am made all things to [z]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 [aa]you.
24 [ab]Know ye not, that they which run in a race, run all, yet one receiveth the prize? so run that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that proveth masteries, [ac]abstaineth from all things: and they do it to obtain a corruptible crown: but we for an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly: so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.
27 But I beat down my [ad]body, and bring it into subjection, lest by any means after that I have preached to others, I myself should be [ae]reproved.
1 Corinthians 9:1Before he proceedeth any further in his proposed manner of things offered to idols he would show the cause of all this mischief, and also take it away: to wit, that the Corinthians thought themselves not bound to depart from an iota of their liberty for any man’s pleasure. Therefore he propoundeth himself for an example and that in a matter almost necessary. And yet he speaketh generally of both, but first of his own person. If (saith he) you allege for yourselves that you are free, and therefore will use your liberty, am I not also free, seeing I am an Apostle?
1 Corinthians 9:1He proveth his Apostleship by the effects, in that that he was appointed of Christ himself, and the authority of his function was sufficiently confirmed to him amongst them by their conversion. And all these things he setteth before their eyes, to make them ashamed for that they would not in the least wise that might be, debase themselves, for the weak’s sake, whereas the Apostle himself did all that he could to win them to God when they were utterly reprobate and without God.
1 Corinthians 9:2As a seal whereby it appeareth sufficiently that God is the author of my Apostleship.
1 Corinthians 9:3He addeth this by the way, as if he would say, So far it is off, that you may doubt of my Apostleship, that I use it to refute them which call it into controversy, by opposing those things which the Lord hath done by me amongst you.
1 Corinthians 9:4Now touching the matter itself, he saith, Seeing that I am free, and truly an Apostle, why may not I (I say not, eat of all things offered to idols) but be maintained by my labors, yea and keep my wife also, as the residue of the apostles lawfully do, as by name, John and James, the Lord’s cousins, and Peter himself?
1 Corinthians 9:7That he may not seem to burden the Apostles, he showeth that it is just that they do, by an argument of comparison, seeing that soldiers live by their wages, and husbandmen by the fruits of their labors, and shepherds by that that cometh of their flocks.
1 Corinthians 9:9Was it God’s proper drift to provide for oxen, when he made this Law? for otherwise there is not the smallest thing in the world, but God hath a care of it.
1 Corinthians 9:11An assumption of the arguments with an amplification, for neither in so doing do we require a reward meet for our deserts.
1 Corinthians 9:12Another argument of great force: others are nourished amongst you, therefore it was lawful for me, yea rather for me than any other: and yet I refused it, and had rather still suffer any discommodity, than the Gospel of Christ should be hindered.
1 Corinthians 9:12The word signifieth a right and interest, whereby he giveth us to understand that the ministers of the word must of right and duty be found of the Church.
1 Corinthians 9:13Last of all he bringeth forth the express Law concerning the nourishing of the Levites, which privilege notwithstanding he will not use.
1 Corinthians 9:13This is spoken by the figure Metonymy, for, of those things that are offered in the temple.
1 Corinthians 9:14Because they preach the Gospel. It followed by this place, that Paul gat no living, neither would have any other man get, by any commodity of masses, or any other such superstitious trumperies.
1 Corinthians 9:15He taketh away occasion of suspicion by the way, that it might not be thought that he wrote this as though he challenged his wages that was not paid him. Nay saith him, I had rather die, than not continue in this purpose to preach the Gospel freely. For I am bound to preach the Gospel, seeing that the Lord hath enjoined me this office: but unless I do it willingly and for the love of God, nothing is to be allowed that I do. If I had rather that the Gospel should be evil spoken of, than that I should not require my wages, then would it appear that I took these pains not so much for the Gospel’s sake, as for my gains and advantages. But I say, this were not to use, but abuse my right and liberty. Therefore not only in this thing, but also in all others (as much as I could) I am made all things to all men, that I might win them to Christ, and might together with them be won to Christ.
1 Corinthians 9:22In matters that are indifferent, which may be done or not done with a good conscience: as if he said, I changed myself into all fashions, that by all means, I might save some.
1 Corinthians 9:23That both I and they to whom I preach the Gospel, may receive fruit by the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 9:24He bringeth in another cause of this mischief, to wit, that they were given to gluttony, for there were solemn banquets of sacrifices, and the riot of the Priests was always too much celebrated and kept. Therefore it was hard for them which were accustomed to righteousness, especially when they pretended the liberty of the Gospel, to be restrained from these banquets: but contrarywise, the Apostle calleth them by a pleasant similitude, and also by his own example, to sobriety and mortification of the flesh, showing that they cannot be fit to run or wrestle (as then the games of Isthmians were) which pamper up their bodies, and therefore affirming that they can have no reward, unless they take another course and trade of life.
Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.
Bible Gateway Plus
Enrich your faith and grow in spiritual maturity with the incredible Bible study and devotional books listed below. Try it for 30 days FREE. Cancel at any time.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.