Read 1 Corinthians 9.
In this chapter, Paul began to defend how he served God in the role of Apostle. Verses 1 & 2 offer his qualifications to be an apostle. The main qualification is in verse 1: “Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?” That is a reference to his Damascus road vision. Christ both saved him there and commanded him to preach the gospel (see Acts 9).
The remainder of 1 Corinthians 9:1-2 describes how the conversion of the Corinthians proved his authenticity as an apostle.
In verses 3-14, Paul defended his right to be supported financially by those he served in the ministry of the gospel. He argued that he had the right to be paid by the Corinthians and others for his service in the gospel (vv. 3-14). But then he explained how he refused to insist on this support so that the gospel would travel unrestricted (v. 12b, 15a).
In verses 19-23, Paul explained that everything he did was designed to advance the gospel. As one of my teachers, Haddon Robinson, once put it: “He would do anything short of sinning to win people to Christ.”
Would you “do anything short of sinning to reach people for Christ”? Or, do we do everything we can to avoid talking about Christ?
Those are convicting questions. They challenge our lack of evangelistic zeal and expose our desire to please people more than to please Christ.
Is the gospel coming up in your conversations with others? Are you looking for ways to talk about Jesus? That’s how Paul acted and how we should approach life in this world.