1 Corinthians 9:23
And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) And this I do . . .—Better, And all things I do for the gospel’s sake: such being the reading of the best MSS. Here a new thought is introduced. From them for whom he labours, the Apostle turns for a moment to himself. After all, the highest reward even an Apostle can have is to be a sharer in that common salvation which has been brought to light by the gospel. With argument and illustration, St. Paul had vigorously and unflinchingly maintained the dignity and rights of his office. The pathetic words with which he now concludes show that in defending the dignity of his Apostolate he had not been forgetful of that personal humility which every Christian minister feels more and more deeply in proportion as he realises the greatness of his office.

9:15-23 It is the glory of a minister to deny himself, that he may serve Christ and save souls. But when a minister gives up his right for the sake of the gospel, he does more than his charge and office demands. By preaching the gospel, freely, the apostle showed that he acted from principles of zeal and love, and thus enjoyed much comfort and hope in his soul. And though he looked on the ceremonial law as a yoke taken off by Christ, yet he submitted to it, that he might work upon the Jews, do away their prejudices, prevail with them to hear the gospel, and win them over to Christ. Though he would transgress no laws of Christ, to please any man, yet he would accommodate himself to all men, where he might do it lawfully, to gain some. Doing good was the study and business of his life; and, that he might reach this end, he did not stand on privileges. We must carefully watch against extremes, and against relying on any thing but trust in Christ alone. We must not allow errors or faults, so as to hurt others, or disgrace the gospel.For the gospel's sake - That it may be advanced, and may be successful.

That I might be partaker thereof with you - You hope to be saved. You regard yourselves as Christians; and I wish to give evidence also that "I" am a Christian, and that I shall be admitted to heaven to partake of the happiness of the redeemed. This he did, by so denying himself as to give evidence that he was truly actuated by Christian principles.

23. partaker thereof—Greek, "fellow partaker": of the Gospel blessings promised at Christ's coming: "with" (not as English Version, "you": but) them, namely, with those thus "gained" by me to the Gospel. Paul had two great ends which he aimed at in this denial of himself in these points of liberty; the one was the doing good to the souls both of Jews and Gentiles, this he had before instanced in; the other was the glory of God, which is that which he here meaneth by this phrase,

for the gospel’s sake, which he before expounded, 1 Corinthians 9:12, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. By Paul’s tenacious adhering to one part in a thing wherein he had liberty, the gospel, that is, the progress or success of the gospel, might have been hindered, both by the reproaches of enemies, and also by the alienation and estrangement of the hearts of weaker Christians, or laying stumblingblocks before them, at which they might fall, being imboldened by the examples of their guides, to do what, though lawful in itself, yet they judged unlawful.

That I might be partaker thereof with you; I did it, saith he, that I might bring you into the fellowship of the gospel: I had rather so interpret it, than of the reward of the gospel, as it pleaseth some. The humility of the great apostle is very remarkable; he disdaineth not to be sugkoinwnov, a partaker in the gospel with the meanest members of the church; he is not ashamed to call those brethren whom his Lord and Master is not ashamed so to call. And this I do for the Gospel's sake,.... The Alexandrian copy and some others read, "all things I do", &c. and so the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions; that is, he became all things to all men, and so and so to different persons; not for his own sake, for his own temporal advantage, or to curry favour with men; not for the sake of gaining wealth, or honour and applause to himself, but for the spread of the Gospel, and its greater usefulness among men: to which he adds,

that I might be partaker thereof with you; meaning either the fruit of the Gospel, the conversion and salvation of sinners, which would be matter of joy both to him and them; or the blessings of grace and eternal life, which the Gospel reveals and promises, which he desired to enjoy in common with others, not only with the Corinthians, for the word "you" is not in the original text, but with Jews and Gentiles; with men of all sorts, who may be gained over to Christ, and saved by him, through the ministry of the word.

And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with {r} you.

(r) That both I and those to whom I preach the Gospel, may receive fruit by the Gospel.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 9:23. Πάντα δὲ ποιῶ] quite general; now all that I do is done for the gospel’s sake.

ἵνα συγκοιν. αὐτοῦ γεν.] Epexegesis of διὰ τὸ εὐαγγ.: in order that I may become a fellow-partaker therein. Comp on ΣΥΓΚΟΙΝ., Romans 11:17. Whoever is included as belonging to those in whom the salvation proclaimed in the gospel shall be fulfilled (at the day of judgment), enters along with them when this fulfilment is accomplished into the participation of the gospel, to wit, through sharing in the common fruition of that which forms the real contents of the message of salvation. Hence the meaning in substance is: in order to become one of those in whom the gospel will realize itself, through their attaining the Messianic salvation. Note the humility of the expression; he who laboured more than all others, has yet in view no higher reward for himself than just the salvation common to all believers. Flatt and Billroth make it: in order to take part in the spreading of the gospel. But the aim here stated corresponds to the βραβεῖον in 1 Corinthians 9:24. The inward salvation of the moral life again (Semler and Pott) is only the ethical path of development, whereby men ultimately reach the συγκοινωνία here intended. Comp Php 3:10 ff.1 Corinthians 9:23. Paul’s course in its chameleon-like changes is governed by a simple practical aim: “But all things I do for the gospel’s sake”. His one purpose is to fulfil his Gospel stewardship (1 Corinthians 9:17, 1 Corinthians 4:1 ff., etc., Acts 20:24); Php 3:7-14 presents the inner side of the “one thing” he pursues. The intensity with which this end is sought accounts for the variety of means; the most resolute, in a complicated situation, becomes the most versatile of men. διὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, “on the gospel’s account”, with a view to spread the good news most widely and carry it into effect most completely: for διὰ of the end as a ground of action, cf. 1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 8:11, Romans 4:25. For himself Paul’s sole ambition is “that I may be joint-partaker in it (with those I save)”—that he may win its salvation along with many others, the fruit of his ministry (cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:19 f.; also John 14:3; John 17:24).1 Corinthians 9:23. Ἴνα συγκοινωνὸς ἀυτοῦ γένωμαι) The Σὺν and γίνομαι show great modesty. Those things which follow, are referred to this verse, as to the proposition [the theme to be handled].—ἀυτοῦ, of it) of the Gospel and salvation; comp. the words, I might save, 1 Corinthians 9:22.Verse 23. - And this I do. The better reading is, and I do all things. For the gospel's sake. This is a wider feeling than even "for the elect's sakes" of 2 Timothy 2:10. With you. The "you" is not expressed in the original, where we only have "a fellow partaker [συγκοινωνὸς, Romans 11:17] of it." But the word illustrates the deep humility of the apostle.
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