In this week’s Connect podcast, we’ll dive deeper into God’s Word together. We are continuing our study of 1 Corinthians 9. This chapter focuses on our freedom as believers and when we should lay down our rights for the sake of others. If you want to grow in your faith and make a difference in your world, this is for you. Be sure to share so your friends will join us.

1 Corinthians 9:1-18

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? 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.

This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. Don’t we have the right to food and drink? Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living?

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10 Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? 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?

But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.

13 Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

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.

When is it Wrong to Demand my Rights?

How do you know when rights are wrong? Demanding my rights is wrong when it hinders the spread of the Gospel of Christ. When it draws attention away from Jesus and toward a personal or side issue in your public life or private life.

We are not social reformers, we are world transformers.

This means that we are willing to put up with inconveniences. Even Paul suffered because he lived to serve others. He would put up with anything. He put up with them criticizing him for the sake of the gospel. They criticized his personality, looks, preaching style, doctrine, and even his lifestyle.

This will happen anytime you take a strong stand for Jesus.

What do you need to put up with for the sake of the Gospel?