In 1 Corinthians chapter 9, Paul is on the defensive with the unreasonable, stubborn, and proud Corinthians! Paul has just challenged them that love is more important than knowledge, and that more knowledge leads to a greater and more Godly love. It seems that they have challenged Paul and his authority to even tell them what to do!
Now Paul takes a whole chapter to show them that he is not asking them to do something he is not willing to do himself. But first, he establishes certain rights he has as an apostle, and that he is (in fact) an apostle. Then he shows them how he has given up his rights.
With nineteen rhetorical questions and an amazing array of support from the Old Testament and from common sense, Paul argues for his rights. But in an interesting turn of discussion, he argues for his rights so that he can demonstrate his willingness to give them up and not so he can enforce them.
In the midst of the chapter, we have a great encouragement for evangelism and a great example of athletic competition! This has long been one of my favorite chapters in the New Testament.
Listen in to this masterful argument from the apostle Paul through the power of the Spirit and the word of God!