1 Corinthians 8:1-9:27 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Instruction on Questionable Practices
Comments for Study 6

1 Corinthians 8:1-9:27
Memory Verse: 24

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I. Food Sacrificed to Idles (8:1-13)

>1. What life principle is most important? (1-3)

* 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 "Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God."

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>What are idols and why were/are they built? (4-5)

* 1 Corinthians 8:4-5 "So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"),"

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>What is true about God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ? (6)

* 1 Corinthians 8:6 "yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."

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>2. What is the conscience and how had some Christians defiled it? (8)

* 1 Corinthians 8:7 "But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled."

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>Does that mean their relationship with God has changed? (8)

* 1 Corinthians 8:8 "But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do."

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>How does the life principle in verses 1-3 dictate the actions described in verses 9-13?

* 1 Corinthians 8:9-12 "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall."

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II. The Rights of an Apostle (9:1-18)

>3. Who is Paul? (1-2)

* 1 Corinthians 9:1-2 "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."

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>What rights did he have and yet did not exercise? (3-6)

* 1 Corinthians 9:3-6 "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 must work for a living?"

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>What principle is defined in verses 7-10?

* 1 Corinthians 9:7-10 "Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? Do I say this merely from a human point of view? 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? Surely he says this for us, doesn't he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest."

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>Why didn't Paul exercise these right? (11-12, 15)

* 1 Corinthians 9:11-12 "If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 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."

* 1 Corinthians 9:15 "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. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast."

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>4. What does "receive their living" mean? (13-14)

* 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 "Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and 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."

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>Does this included getting rich from the gospel?

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>What example can we follow in preaching the gospel? (16-18)

* 1 Corinthians 9:16-18 "Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for 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 use of my rights in preaching it."

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III. A Self-Made Slave to Everyone (9:19-27)

>5. Why did Paul use the term 'to win the soul' instead of 'saving the soul' or 'bringing him to Christ'?

* 1 Corinthians 9:19 "Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible."

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>Why did he strive so much to win as many as possible?

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>What was his method in winning as many as possible?

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>6. What would it be like to become like a Jew?

* 1 Corinthians 9:20 "To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law."

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>What inner struggle did Paul have to go through to become like a Jew?

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>What would be the life style and the way of thinking of those not having the law?

* 1 Corinthians 9:21 "To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law."

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>How could Paul become like one not having the law?

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>What did he do to win the weak?

* 1 Corinthians 9:22 "To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some."

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>Why was it absolutely necessary to win the weak?

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>What was Paul's motivation?

* 1 Corinthians 9:23 "I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."

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>7. What do the "race", "running" and "prize" refer to? (24)

* 1 Corinthians 9:24 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize."

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>What does Paul's exhortation mean in "Run in such a way as to get the prize"?

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>How is "strict training" demanded of those competing in the games? Give some illustrations of this.

* 1 Corinthians 9:25 "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."

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>In what way is strict training required for getting a crown that will last forever just as much as for a crown that will not last?

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>What are common and different elements in winning these two different crowns?

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>10. What does it mean that Paul runs and fights with a clear aim in his spiritual life?

* 1 Corinthians 9:26 "Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air."

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>What was the direction of Paul's inner struggle for bearing fruits in preaching the gospel to others?

* 1 Corinthians 9:27 "No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

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>Why is this struggle essential for winning the prize?

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