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Jan 29, 2024

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:1-18

In discussing the issue of eating food that had been offered to idols, Paul emphasizes our commitment to one another.  Our love for each other must govern our behavior, especially when we have differences of opinion.  The apostle ends his exhortation by saying, "If food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble" (1 Cor 8:13).

There were no chapter divisions in the letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians.  1 Corinthians 9 is a lengthy personal illustration of the importance of giving up our rights for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of the welfare of others.

In a series of 17 rhetorical questions Paul highlights the fact that, as an apostle, he had the right to be supported by the church in Corinth.  "The Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel" (1 Cor 9:14).

Paul said, "We endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ" (1 Cor 9:12).  The 'obstacle' Paul wants to take away is someone thinking that he preached the gospel merely to get money. 

What is at the center of the apostle's heart is the value of the gospel of Christ.  Everything in Paul's life is governed by the life-giving message that Jesus died to bring us to God.  The reason we are still on this earth, and not in heaven, is that we might live in such a way to point people to the light of the glory of Christ.  Like Paul, let us bring everything in our lives in line with the reality that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.