1 Corinthians 9:15-27

Talks for Growing Christians

How to Be a Successful Christian Servant

1 Corinthians 9:15-27

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Lesson Number 12

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Christian servants should practice self-denial.
  2. Christian servants should practice accommodation.
  3. Christian servants should practice self-discipline.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s earn the right to be heard!


  1. What was Paul teaching in the first half of Chapter 9?
  2. Was Paul receiving financial support from the Corinthians?
  3. How were some of the Corinthians trying to undermine Paul’s authority as an apostle?
  4. Why is Paul committed to preaching the gospel, regardless of whether he receives financial support?
  5. What happens when athletes do not practice self-discipline?


  1. Christian workers have the right to receive financial remuneration for their service in the Lord’s work.
  2. No, Paul had given up this right when ministering to the Corinthians, so no questions could be raised as to his true motives for preaching the gospel.
  3. They claimed that Paul was not a true apostle because he was not being supported financially by the Corinthian church.
  4. Because there will be an eternal reward from the Lord. And he is obligated before the Lord to preach the gospel because this is part of the stewardship that has been entrusted to him.
  5. They will not be winners.


  1. Discuss the difference between compromise and accommodation. How can you practice accommodation as you seek to serve others with the gospel?
  2. Discuss Paul’s illustration of athletes practicing self-discipline. Discuss areas of life in which Christian servants should practice self-discipline.


  1. When non-believers look at you do they see you practicing self-denial, accommodation, and self-discipline? Have you earned the right to be heard?

Key Verses

  • “When I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:18
  • “I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more.” 1 Corinthians 9:19
  • “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

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