Paul's Defense [1 Corinthians 9]
1Am 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? 2Even 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. 3This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. 4 Don't we have the right to food and drink? 5Don'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?6 Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living?
Apparently, in the middle of this letter addressing the various issues in the Corinthian church, Paul felt a great need to remind them of his importance in their lives. All of chapter nine is Paul's defense of himself. Taken out of the context of Paul's life and of the entire letter to the Corinthians, chapter nine sounds a lot like whining. However, when you understand the circumstances of the entire letter and of Paul's life, you can see that Paul needed to remind them of the truth about himself and his God given role in their lives. They were in a downward spiral and ready to crash as a church. They had walked away from Paul's teaching and the truth of God's Word. Paul was desperate for them to remember how God had brought him into their lives and how he was a spiritual father to them in their new faith. As you read these words, imagine a man with a broken heart and a passion to help a once thriving church to get back on track as a shining example of Christ in the pagan community of Corinth.
May you have a passion for spreading the gospel and upholding God's high standard by His grace.