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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

The apostle takes occasion from what he had before discoursed to mention some other instances of his self-denial and parting with his liberty for the benefit of others. I. He asserts his liberty (1 Cor. 9:19): Though I be free from all men. He was free-born, a citizen of Rome. He was in bondage to none, nor depended upon any for his subsistence; yet he made himself a servant to all, that he might gain the more. He behaved as a servant; he laboured for their good as a servant; he was careful to... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - 1 Corinthians 9:15-23

9:15-23 But I have claimed none of these rights. I am not writing this to claim that these privileges should be extended to me. I would rather die than let anyone make ineffective my boast that I take nothing for my work. If I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast about in that. I do it because necessity is laid upon me. Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! If I do this of my own choice I do deserve a reward. But if I do it whether I like it or not, it is because I have been... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 1 Corinthians 9:21

To them that are without law, as without law ,.... Meaning the Gentiles, who, though they were not without the law of nature, nor without many good civil laws, by which the more cultivated and civilized nations among them were governed, yet they were without the written law of Moses; a description of the Gentiles, usual with the Jews; see Romans 2:12 . And to these the apostle accommodated himself, as if he was without the law; by conversing with them without any difference; by eating any... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Corinthians 9:21

To them that are without law - The Gentiles, who had no written law, though they had the law written in their hearts; see on Romans 2:15 ; (note). Being not without law to God - Instead of Θεῳ , To God, and Χριστῳ , To Christ, the most important MSS. and versions have Θεου , Of God, and Χριστου , Of Christ; being not without the law of God, but under the law of Christ. Them that are without law - Dr. Lightfoot thinks the Sadducees may be meant, and that in certain cases,... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Corinthians 9:21

Verse 21 21.Though not without law to God. He wished by this parenthesis to soften the harshness of the expression, for it might. have seemed harsh at first view to have it said, that he had come to be without law. Hence in order that this might not be taken in a wrong sense, he had added, by way of correction, that he had always kept in view one law — that of subjection to Christ. By this too he hints that odium was excited against him groundlessly and unreasonably, as if he called men to an... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Corinthians 9:1-21

The leading characteristics of a truly great gospel minister. "Am I not an apostle? am I not free?" etc. Taking these verses as a whole, they illustrate some of the leading characteristics of a truly great gospel minister, and I offer the following remarks:— I. The greater the minister of Christ, the MORE INDEPENDENT OF CEREMONIAL RESTRICTIONS . Paul was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, ministers of Christ that ever existed. He was an apostle, and had "seen... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Corinthians 9:15-23

Reasons for this self denial. The rights had been resigned, the power to use his privileges had been unused, and the obligation, self assumed, was to be perpetual. Did any one suspect otherwise? "Better for me to die" than this matter of boasting should be taken from me. No ground for boasting existed in the mere preaching of the gospel; but he could claim and did claim that, in renouncing his right to a support and making other exceptional sacrifices, he was entitled to the boast of... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Corinthians 9:15-23

St. Paul an exception. He wishes it to be understood that he does precisely what he thinks to be right, but does not wish the peculiarity of his conduct to be made a model for others. There are things in life concerning which each man must make his own individual stand, upon which he may find himself compelled to take an individual and exceptional line. And he may do this without opposition to others, without making himself in any way objectionable. St. Paul found sufficient reason for the... read more

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