Chapter 9- Paul’s right as an apostle
Yes, this was written for us,because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? – 1 Corinthians 9: 11-12
We are reminded that although we have rights as Christians, our first and foremost rights are to our apostleship and God. We should put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. Our mission is to reap harvest – that is, to tell others about the wonderful news of Christ in a loving and dedicated manner. We should support others in a godly and Christian manner, and invest ourselves in them. Paul addresses rights specifically because he states that he has not used any of the rights he has – rights to having a wife who is also a believer, to eat and drink, and to have a defence to those who judge him. Yet he does not claim these rights because he is focused on serving the Lord. We are to ‘run in such a way as to get the prize’, the prize being eternal life in heaven with all the others we have told about the word of God.
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
Chapter 10 speaks of an extremely interesting and pressing point, one that I don’t think I have come across in the bible before. According to this chapter, we are not to do anything only for our own good, but also for the good of others. Coming into play are questions of conscience, and the difference between right and wrong. We may be aware of the distinction between right and wrong, but other people will think differently, and we are to do all we can to prevent others from making mistakes and betraying their conscience. For example, if a friend is participating in acts of sexual immorality, we are to convince them to stop, so as to protect their conscience. Caring about the sins of others is just as important as caring about preventing our own sins and monitoring our lives.