New Defender's Study Bible Notes
9:1 an apostle. Evidently a key requirement for the apostolic office was that of having been directly chosen and called by Jesus Christ in person, as Paul had been on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6,15-16). Note also the requisites for choosing a successor to Judas (Acts 1:21-22), indicating they also must have witnessed the resurrected Christ. Thus, no true apostles are living today.
9:5 a sister, a wife. Although Paul had recommended the celibate state as conducive to full-time dedication to the Lord’s service (I Corinthians 7:32-33), he clearly recognized that it was also good to be married (I Corinthians 7:2,38), and that even the apostles had such a right if they so chose. There is no Biblical requirement for a celibate clergy. Peter (same as “Cephas”), for example, had a wife (Matthew 8:14).
9:9 it is written. This passage is quoted from Deuteronomy 25:4. See also I Timothy 5:18. Paul stressed that, even though he had a right to marry, he chose not to for the gospel’s sake. Similarly, he and others who preach the gospel had the right to be supported by those who had profited thereby (I Corinthians 9:14), but he chose not to, in order not to be a stumblingblock to those who needed it (I Corinthians 9:15).
9:14 ordained. The principle that God-called pastors and others who have been called by God to devote full time to the gospel ministry should be supported by those whose income is from secular sources is thus actually an ordinance of God. They may choose, as Paul did on occasion, to support themselves in other ways, but this should not be expected or required of them.
9:22 all things to all men. Paul’s obsession to “gain” people for Christ had constrained him to learn how to approach all types of prospects in terms of their own particular backgrounds and concerns. This can be a great example to modern Christians provided they do not carry it beyond the bounds set by the apostle. That is, his purpose was always “for the gospel’s sake” (I Corinthians 9:23), and it was vital to him that the gospel was not “another gospel” and that the Christ he preached was not “another Jesus” (II Corinthians 11:4). Being “made all things to all men” does not involve compromise of God’s truth concerning Christ and His gospel, as is often the case today. People are not really won to the true Christ and His saving gospel by compromising with the beliefs and behaviors of the ungodly world.
9:27 a castaway. The Greek for “castaway” (adokimos) means literally “disapproved,” but does not suggest being discarded altogether. Paul had just written about losing all rewards, but still being saved (I Corinthians 3:15), and he realized that this could become possible even for him.