Urgent Living (7.29-31)
Our lives are ever running lower on time to love and serve the
Lord. We cannot make earthly matters, including our home, our
chief priority in favour of the cause of Christ and of souls. Are
we living too much for things that are doomed to pass away?
Dangerous Knowledge (8.1)
Spiritual knowledge, though vital, is merely ego-inflating if
unaccompanied by active love for Christ, for His cause, and
for souls, as well as by an active conscience warning of sin, and
urging to Christian duties. Here is how love and conscience work
to make knowledge effective, and to keep us humble.
The Glorious Burden (9.1-17)
Paul earns his own living to avoid hindering the Gospel.
However, God commands the normal support of preachers.
Here is the obligation of the persuasive offer of the Gospel, and
it is consistent with election and regeneration. Also, maintaining
fervour for souls, and the woe pronounced against slackness.
Gospel Priorities (9.19)
To be saved by the Gospel means to live for the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 9 is often used to justify compromise with the world,
so called 'front line' living, even patronising pubs and clubs. It
actually condemns this, presenting real dedication to the Gospel,
gaining much instrumentality.
Backsliding Dangers (10.11)
In the wilderness, the Israelites were punished not only for
idolatry and fornication, but also for wanting the foods of
Egypt, being dissatisfied with spiritual provisions, and for
'worldly' worship. Astonishingly, the latter offences are widely
approved in churches today. Here is the counsel of the apostle.
Control of Temptations and Trials (10.13)
Here are eight kinds of trial and seven kinds of temptations
possibly arising from them, with God's assurances of how
He overrules to fix the limits of these, and helps His people
overcome and bear them. Here are the 'ways of escape'
enabling us to overcome them all.
Closer to Christ (10.16)
'The communion of the blood of Christ' is a remarkable term
speaking of partnership or sharing with a divine person. Yet
Christ is not known by touch, voice or bodily sensation, but
by faith. Here is the way in which we know strong personal
spiritual familiarity with Christ.
Putting Self Last (10.24)
Seeking the well-being of others above our own is a key
objective for Christ's people. How we speak of others as well
as to them, and how we help them in deed, must be Christ-like
if we hope to be used by Him, and have spiritual fulfilment.
True Followers (11.1)
What Christ left to Paul to reveal. True Christians are to be
imitators of the apostles' ordinances - here meaning traditions,
ie: the doctrines and practices they taught, including
behaviour, aims, attitude, love, reverence, separation from the
world, working for Christ, and living with an eye to eternity.