1 Corinthians 9:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 9:23, NIV: I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

1 Corinthians 9:23, ESV: I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

1 Corinthians 9:23, KJV: And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

1 Corinthians 9:23, NASB: I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

1 Corinthians 9:23, NLT: I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.

1 Corinthians 9:23, CSB: Now I do all this because of the gospel, so that I may share in the blessings.

What does 1 Corinthians 9:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has been describing how he limits his own rights and freedoms in order to win others to Christ. He voluntary participates in the Jewish religious system in some ways in order to lead more law-following Jewish people to Christ. He openly lives as one under no obligation to the law in order to win Gentiles to Christ. He even becomes weak, in some sense, for the sake of those who are weak in faith (1 Corinthians 8:4–7).

Now he sums it up by saying that he does all of this for sake of the gospel. Paul is crystal clear in his motivations. He exists to serve God by serving the mission he has been given to win as many as possible to faith in Christ. He places greater value on this mission than on any claim to his personal rights and freedoms. Those sacrifices are costly, but they are worth the benefits.

He mentions one of those benefits: Sharing in the blessings of the gospel with those who believe. Some misread this phrase to mean that Paul believes he himself will be saved only by completing his mission. Instead, he seems to be saying that he will enjoy the blessings of faith in Christ with all those who believe along with him.