Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 9

Paul, the apostle to Corinth

1 Corinthians 9:1-2

After Paul left Corinth, the Christians there began to argue about him. Many of them became Christians later, so they had not known Paul. It seemed difficult for them to accept Paulís authority. They felt that a genuine apostle should be impressive. He should demand his rights. But Paul had behaved in a humble manner. He cared about other people more than he cared about himself.

The word Ďapostleí originally meant someone whom an important person had sent to carry out an important task. In the Bible, it means someone whom God has sent to declare his good news. It mattered very much to the Christians in Corinth whether God was guiding someone by his Holy Spirit.

All the Christians in Corinth wanted to be people whom the Holy Spirit led. But they did not really understand what that means. Paul said that they should learn from the lives of Apollos and Paul himself (4:6). That is, they should learn from their humble behaviour and their desire to help other people. They (Paul and Apollos) were the men whom God had sent as apostles to establish the church in Corinth (3:5-10).

Paul did not pretend that God had sent him as an apostle to all people (Galatians 2:7-8). And Paul had not known Christ during his life on earth. But Paul insisted that Christ had sent him, like the other apostles, to declare Godís message. (See Mark 3:13-19, Acts 22:17-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:8).

The Book of Acts often shows that the Holy Spirit guided Paul (Acts 13:2; Acts 16:6-10; Acts 21:10-14). Godís work in Corinth was also clear evidence that God had sent Paul there.

Next part: Paulís answer to Christians who accused him (1 Corinthians 9:3-6)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.