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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 9 - Verse 15

Verse 15. But I have used none of these things. I have not urged and enforced this right. I have chosen to support myself by the labour of my own hands. This had been objected to him as a reason why he could not be an apostle. He here shows that that was not the reason why he had not urged this claim; but that it was because in this way he could do most to honour the gospel and save the souls of men. Comp. Ac 20:33; 2 Th 3:8. The sense is, "Though my right to a support is established, in common with others, both by reason, the nature of the case, the examples in the law, and the command of the Lord Jesus, yet there are reasons why I have not chosen to avail myself of this right, and why I have not urged these claims."

Neither have I written these things, etc. "I have not presented this argument now in order to induce you to provide for me. I do not intend now to ask or receive a support from you. I urge it to show that I feel that I have a right to it; that my conduct is not an argument that I am conscious I am not an apostle; and that I might urge it were there not strong reasons which determine me not to do it. I neither ask you to send me now a support, nor, if I visit you again, do I expect you will contribute to my maintenance."

For it were better for me to die, etc. There are advantages growing out of my not urging this claim which are of more importance to me than life. Rather than forego these advantages, it would be better for me—it would be a thing which I would prefer—to pine in poverty and want; to be exposed to peril, and cold, and storms, until life should close. I esteem my "glorying," the advantages of my course, to be of more value than life itself.

Than that any man should make my glorying void. His glorying, or boasting, or joying, as it may be more properly rendered, (to kauchma mou comp. Php 1:26; Heb 3:6,) was,

(1.) that he had preached the gospel without expense to anybody, and had thus prevented the charge of avarice, (1 Co 9:18;) and

(2.) that he had been able to keep his body under, and pursue a course of self-denial that would result in his happiness and glory in heaven, 1 Co 9:23-27. "Any man" would have made that "void," if he had supported Paul; had prevented the necessity of his labour, and had thus exposed him to the charge of having preached the gospel for the sake of gain.

{e} "I have used" 2 Co 11:10

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