Digging Deeper is a weekly Bible study usually available on Monday morning. We offer this unique spiritual formation tool to anyone who wants to receive it. Use Digging Deeper as a personal Bible study tool, for family devotions, and small group discussions. Weekly lessons are based on the current sermon series at The Chapel.

The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our May 19, 2019 message, Gospel-driven Christianity.


Don’t forget to listen to the sermon again as you work through this Sermon Based Study Guide. You can download the sermon through a variety of venue. The easiest way to listen to the sermon and get information about our church is on our church app. You can download our app by searching for The Chapel at Warren Valley in the App Store or get it on Google Play. Or you can always listen to our sermons on our church’s website http://www.thechapelnj.org/sermons


Pastor James’ message continued our series, entitled, “The Right-Side-Up Gospel for an Upside-Down Church” from 1 Corinthians. James preached from 1 Corinthians 9:1-27 from his message, we see:  


  • Review of Chapter 8

  • Chapter 9 – is an illustration of the principle of Chapter 8

  • This is helpful to remember

    • Paul’s authority and apostleship have been called into question.

    • It seems to some that Paul is vacillating (Fee, page 392).

      • Attack the messenger (undermine them, diminish them, strike at them), then attack their message (the message has no value to you anymore)

    • Paul defends his behavior. He has done nothing wrong. He is not inconsistent. He has not failed his apostolic calling (Riddlebarger, page 212)

  • As a result, he has two basic lines of defense:

    • Paul confirms his apostolic authority with all the rights and privileges

    • Paul makes the point that no Christian should exert their liberty without lovingly regarding the “weak.”

EXPOSITION: 1 Corinthians 9:1-27

  • Paul declares his role as an apostle (1 Corinthians 9:1-2)

    This chapter has a series of approximately 19 rhetorical questions in the chapter. A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question that is asked to make a point rather than to elicit an answer. He begins the chapter with four rhetorical questions

    • Am I not free?

    • Am I not an apostle?

    • Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?

    • Are you not my workmanship? (Paul has led many to Christ)

  • Paul declare his rights as an apostle (1 Corinthians 9:3-6)

    • Rights to sustenance (needs met)

    • Right to a spouse (have a wife and travel with her at the church’s expense)

    • Right to support (financial)

  • Paul declares his rationale regarding his rights <Why he has the right to be supported> (1 Corinthians 9:7-14)

    • Rationale # 1: Lessons from the life of a worker (1 Corinthians 9:7)

    • Rationale # 2: Lessons from the Word (1 Corinthians 9:8-10) (see also Deuteronomy 25:4)

    • Rationale # 3: Lessons from an examination of the heart (look within, values) (1 Corinthians 9:11-12)

    • Rationale # 4: Lessons from Old Testament worship (1 Corinthians 9:13)

    • Rationale # 5: Lessons from Christ’s command will (1 Corinthians 9:14)

      • Christ commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel (see Matthew 10:10 and Luke 10:8)

  • Paul declares his restrictions of those rights (1 Corinthians 9:15-18)

    • Paul describes his practice (surrender and sacrifice)

    • Paul declares his passion

      • Calling (preacher of the gospel)

      • Compulsion (divine compulsion)

      • Consequence (“Woe to me” – he would be under the discipline of the Lord if he forsook this call)

      • Compensation (what is his reward? Sharing the gospel free of charge)

Paul reviews his philosophy of ministry (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

  • Paul: The Servant

    • Paul is free…yet he made himself a servant of all

    • To outside observers, it might have looked like Paul’s life was inconsistent, but he consistently pursued one goal: to win people to Jesus. (see Acts 21:23-26 and Acts 16:3)

  • Paul: The Athlete

    • Runs to win the race (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)

    • Fights to win the battle (1 Corinthians 9:26)


We should be willing to remove anything that hinders our ability to share the gospel



  1. Read 1 Corinthians 9:1-2. What is Paul’s point in these verses?

  2. Read 1 Corinthians 9:1-3. How are the Corinthian believers a seal of Paul’s apostleship?

  3. Read 1 Corinthians 9:4-5. What rights of an apostle did Paul have?

  4. Read 1 Corinthians 9:7. Paul gives three illustrations in this verse. What is the principle that Paul is trying to teach?

  5. Read 1 Corinthians 9:8-10. Paul references Deuteronomy 25:4. What is the point that Paul is attempting to make?

  6. Read 1 Corinthians 9:11. What is sowing spiritual things and reaping material things?

  7. Read 1 Corinthians 9:16-18. Why did Paul preach? What is Paul’s perspective on rewards?

  8. Read 1 Corinthians 9:19. Explain how Paul is both free and a servant at the same time.

  9. Read 1 Corinthians 9:23. What is Paul’s goal for ministry?

  10. Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. How do the principles of these verses relate to chapter 8?

  11. Explain how chapters 8 and 9 relate to each other.


  • Ask God to help you to be more Cross centered in your life

  • Confess and repent of any sins that are in your thoughts, words or actions that are hindering your glorifying of God.

  • Ask for the Holy Spirit to help you live in the forgiveness and freedom of cross of Christ.


  • How can you love God more through what you have learned? (read, study, meditate, memorize, share)

  • How can you love others more through what you have learned?


  • Suggested Scripture Study: Read Deuteronomy 25:4; Matthew 10:10; Mark 10:45; Luke 10:8; Acts 15; Acts 16:3; Acts 21:23-26; Romans 14:1-23; 1 Corinthians 8; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9; 1 John 2:18; 1 John 4:19-5:1