1 Corinthians 9:1-18 – “Giving up our rights for the sake of the Gospel”

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, May 22nd.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided as an outline each week for our Tabernacle Church family. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:30 on Facebook. We also provide the services through YouTube by Sunday afternoon.  You can find Sermon Notes, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer List, and other resources at our Church Website.

1 Corinthians 9:1-18


  • Paul is addressing Christian liberties and rights
  • What we can do / What we should do
  • The encouragement is to keep one’s interest not on oneself, but rather on the Gospel
  • All for the sake of the Gospel
    • Giving up “our rights” for the sake of the Gospel

Paul’s Rights and Privileges – vv. 1-12a

The rights that Paul possessed as an apostle

  • He had seen Christ – Acts 9:1-19 – Road to Damascus
  • He was sent by Christ

Paul was justified in having the church support his ministry

  • Because of His calling
  • Because of his ministry


  • He knew his position was not as important as his purpose
  • He was part of something much greater than himself

Paul’s Lessons in Forgoing His Rights – vv. 12b-18

Endure all things for the Gospel– v. 12

  • Endurance – keeping on when things are not the best
    • Key is how we respond to the things of life
  • He did not want to put an obstacle in the way of the Gospel

Boast only in the Gospel – v. 15

  • What did he have to boast in?
  • Him nothing… The Gospel everything.
  • Boast… found joy
  • Romans 15:17 – In Christ Jesus he was proud of his work
  • Paul would not boast in his ministry but in the Gospel of his ministry.

Steward the Gospel – v. 17

  • Steward God’s resources
  • He was not REWARDED… as if he had done something
  • We forgotten about GRACE
    • A biblical understanding of salvation is key.
  • Rather, he was a steward (managed what was given)
    • Our gifts
    • Times, Talents, Treasures
    • Our Purpose and Passion
  • Colossians 1:24-27

Preach the Gospel – v. 16

  • Woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel
  • Preach, Teach, Proclaim (church and beyond)
  • Salvation and Sanctification
  • Listen to, Trust in, Live out

Concluding Thoughts

  • How easy is it for us to think highly of ourselves? (I see it at times in ministry)
  • What we are entitled to may not be what is best… we may need to forgo our rights for the sake of the Gospel.
  • What if our greatest desire was for the Gospel to be proclaimed through our life?

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