Paul begins with a series of questions that reads like a resume to prove his apostleship.
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? 2 Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
He IS an apostle. With that said, he should be taken care of by his people. He should be provided for! He asks a series of questions that supports this.
I think of it this way: Should we pay a fireman for saving people from a burning fire?? YES.
HOWEVER…He DOES not exercise his right to such things!
15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast. 16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.
Instead, he made himself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.
- To the Jews he became like a Jew, to win the Jews.
- To those under the law he became like one under the law so as to win those under the law.
- To those not having the law, he became like one not having the law so as to win those not having the law.
- To the weak he became weak, to win the weak.
He became all things to all people so that by all possible means he might save some. He Ran the race in such a way as to get the prize! (Something I need to do better! I think more about myself than the people around me that are not saved)
Chapter 10- We continue to talk about what “we can and cannot do” verse “what we should and should not do.” This is understandable. Jesus came and fulfilled the law. This left many in confusion as to “now what?” Should we eat that? Can we go there? Viable questions for sure. We still have this sense of confusion today as to what it means to be “Free in Christ”. Paul clarifies.
First, he tells us to look back on HIstory so that we do not make the same mistakes that brought judgment and will still bring judgment. (So anyone who thinks they don’t need to read the Old Testament is wrong. The three passages Paul discusses are:
- “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”– the Corinthians were taking their “freedom” too far and eating in a pagan temple. Exodus 32 (look at verse 6)
- History was repeating itself. So take this is a warning. You CANNOT do this.
- We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did– This SAME thing happened in Numbers 25 with the Moab women. Numbers 25
- History again repeats itself. You CANNOT do this.
- We should not test Christ, as some of them did
- You know what I am going to say: History repeating itself: Number 1611
“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! “
Eating AT a pagan temple will tempt you more than you can bear. But eating meat that was sold from a temple-that you do not enter…who cares! Meat is meat. You are not committing idolatry.
Now read this: Here are the “should/should not” statements!
23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “
I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.
24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
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.
Hair and head coverings. I know you read that and thought “what in Sam Hill”?? It’s actually not that complicated. Corinthians was the “new age” city. When a woman was married she would culturally wear a head covering. (I wear a wedding ring). For a woman to not wear it when married was a disrespect to her husband. On uncovered head would be like me going to a bar and taking off my wedding ring…loose morals. HOWEVER, there was also a HUGE gender movement going on in Corinth where women were shaving their heads in a feminist “equal” right movement and men were growing their hair to work at the Temple as a prostitute. Hot mess of a time! Oh wait…like today.
The Lord’s supper. It is obvious from the test that people were taking advantage of the Lord’s supper. Some were coming to it disrespectful like a feast, eating and drinking whatever they wanted. Paul said, “Go home and do that”!.