MATTHEW 5:1-12


[Mt 5:1-12]:

(v. 1) "Now when He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him,

(v. 2) and He began to teach them, saying:

(v. 3) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,

(v. 4) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

(v. 5) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

(v. 6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

(v. 7) Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

(v. 8) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

(v. 9) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

(v. 10) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(v. 11) Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

(v. 12) Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

[Mt 5:1-2]:


(v. 1) "Now when He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him,

(v. 2) and He began to teach them, saying..."

["and He began to teach them [disciples, v. 1)], saying..." = Nine beatitudes are hereafter presented by our Lord to the disciples and the crowd on the mountainside; but His message this time is specifically directed to believers, especially His disciples and especially about believers being rewarded in heaven for being faithful. This is especially evident in verses 10-12 which cap off the passage and bring home this context:

(v. 10) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(v. 11) Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

[Notice that faithful believers only are in view here, as confirmed by the next verse]:

(v. 12) Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Robert N. Wilkin states, (Journal of the GRACE EVANGELICAL SOCIETY, "Christians Who Lose Their Legacy: Galatians 5:21", p. 32-33):

"Receiving the kingdom of heaven in this context is a rewards concept. This is easily seen by comparing vv. 10 and 12. Verse 10 says that those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake will receive the kingdom of heaven. Verse 12 says that those who are persecuted for Christ's sake should 'rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.' Receiving the kingdom of heaven is parallel to receiving great reward in heaven just as persevering under persecution of Christ's sake.

Of course, eternal salvation cannot be in view here since it is not a reward for holding up under persecution. It is a free gift (John 4:10ff; Rom 3:24; Eph 2:9; Rev 22:17).

Receiving the kingdom in this passage thus refers to some reward. In light of other passages, rulership and its attendant privileges and responsibilities must be in view. All believers will be in the kingdom; however, only faithful believers will rule and possess it (Luke 19:11-27; Rom 8:17; 2 Tim 2:12).

Since inheriting the earth is a synonymous expression to receiving the kingdom, it too refers here to ruling and possessing the kingdom. After all, the kingdom will take place on earth (cf. Rev 20-22). To receive the kingdom is to inherit the earth. Those who are meek [i.e., obedient] will be co-heirs with Christ and will share in kingdom rule and glory."

[Mt 5:3]:

(v. 3) "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

["Blessed are.." = The term beatitude or blessed comes from the Latin 'beatus' which means blessings, and in this context temporal plus especially eternal blessings or rewards.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit" = Our Lord is not describing poverty types. The word poor means aware of one's own spiritual poverty, i.e., spiritual bankruptcy, relative to the righteousness of God. Thus through recognition of one's true poverty in spirit one can rely on the grace of God instead of one's own 'righteousness' for eternal life. One is thereby blessed by God's grace with eternal life so that one may inherit eternal life. But this verse goes further than that for those believers who are "poor in spirit" for it rewards those who continue to be poor in spirit with an inheritance of the kingdom of heaven:

"for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" = implies ownership as well as occupancy of the kingdom. Believers who recognize their own spiritual poverty and thereby rely on God's gracious working through them via the leading of the Holy Spirit in them, (v. 16) rather than doing what they perceive as righteous acts, will be following the path of a faithful lifestyle leading to the reward of their actual inheritance of the kingdom of heaven.


[Mt 5:4]:

(v. 4) "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

[Those that recognize their spiritual bankruptcy will be those who mourn their incapacity, (even as believers), to be as righteous as Jesus Christ. They will mourn their depravity and the sins that come of out of it. But they will be comforted, for God in His great mercy will provide supernatural peace and sure hope in Him for eternal life, (ref: supernatural peace = Jn 14:27; Phil 4:7; Gal 5:22; Heb 10:19-23; Titus 1:1-2; sure hope of eternal life = Ro 5:1-2)]

[Mt 5:5]:


(v. 5) Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.

["meek" = gentleness, obedience, self-control - under the control of the Spirit.

Since an obedient lifestyle is excluded from what is required for an individual to be saved...

[Ro 4:1-2]:

(v. 1) "What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?

(v. 2) If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about - but not before God."

[Eph 2:8-9]:

(v. 8) "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this [salvation is] not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -

(v. 9) not by works, so that no one can boast."

...then salvation is not in view but the reward for the obedient believer of inheriting the earth certainly is.

No believer inherits the earth unless he is faithful. When a believer is faithful he is under the control, i.e., filled with or in submission to the Spirit, (Gal 5:16; Eph 5:18-21). He is obedient to the will of God. That's what produces the true meekness and the gentleness in a believer: submission and obedience.

[Wilkin, op. cit., p. 33]:

"The Lord Himself is a perfect illustration of the truth of the beatitudes. He was meek and poor in spirit, and He willingly accepted persecution for righteousness' sake. As a result He Himself will inherit the earth and receive the kingdom. In Ps 2:8 God the Father says....."

[Ps 2:6-8]:

(v. 6) "I [God the Father, (v. 4)] have installed My King on Zion, My holy hill.

(v. 7) I [author David] will proclaim the decree of the LORD:

'He [God the Father] said to Me [the Son of God], 'You are My Son; today I have become your Father [in the sense of now granting His Son all the privileges of royalty: rulership and ownership of the Kingdom of God due to His Son's absolute obedience in going to the cross for the sins of the whole world]:

(v. 8) Ask of Me, and I will make the nations our inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.' "

[Compare Heb 12:2 which reaffirms this point]:

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him [of reigning] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

(Ref. Heb 1:8-9).


[Mt 5:5 cont.]:

(v. 5) "Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth."

"Blessed are the meek" =

1 Peter provides support for the understanding of the word "meek":

[1 Pet 2:21, 25-3:1-4]:

(v. 21) "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.

(v. 24) He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.

(v. 25) For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."

(3:1) "Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the Word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.

["in the same way" = in the same way as Jesus Christ was submissive - was meek, i.e., obedient to God the Father, (vv 2:21-25).

"wives being submissive to your husbands" = wives subjecting yourselves to the authority of God which is exercised through your husbands.

The Greek word "upotassomenai"

= being in subjection to the authority which God exercises through

= a legal term which signifies the attaching of one legal document in subordination to another in order for them to function together as a unit]

(v. 3:1 cont.) "In the same way, you wives, being submissive to your husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,

(v. 3:2) as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

["If any of them are disobedient to the Word" = Notice that the husbands' rebellious type disobedient behavior is opposite to the wife's prospective obedient and meek behavior. ["chaste and respectful behavior" is a manifestation of a heart that is obedient to the Lord's commands]

[1 Pet 2:21, 24-3:1-4 cont.]:

(v. 3:2) And let not your adornment be external only - braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, and putting on dresses;

[And then the verse which defines the meaning of "meek" = obedience to God]:

(v. 3:4 cont.) but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a meek and gentle spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

["it" = "your adornment" = your beauty]

But let your adornment - your beauty - also include a reflection of your obedience, your subjection to the will of God through God's sovereign authority of the husband who is appointed by God over you.

So the word "meek" = obedient, submissive.

[Mt 5:5 cont.]:

(v. 5 cont) "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

[Believers who are obedient to the will of God will indeed receive their reward of their appointed inheritance of corulership over the earth with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, (cp 2 tim 2:12)]

[Mt 5:6]:

(v. 6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

[D.A. Carson comments on this verse, (The Expositor's Bible Commentary, volume 8; Zondervan Corp, 1984; p.134):

"These people hunger and thirst, not only that they may be righteous (i.e., that they may wholly do God's will from the heart), but that justice may be done everywhere. All unrighteousness grieves them and makes them homesick for the new heaven and earth - the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:13)."

And the reward for this hunger and thirst is a filling of the believer with righteousness, ultimately to be a complete and permanent filling when one goes to be with the Lord and live on into eternity.

[Mt 5:7]:

(v. 7) Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

[To be merciful is to be forgiving of others who do not necessarily deserve it and to respond in deed as a result of a compassion for those in need. The result of one showing mercy is to be rewarded with divine mercy. James 2:13 supports what Matthew is saying:

[Jas 2:13]:

"For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment."

God's mercy is as His grace - it is bestowed on an individual who does not deserve it - the individual has no merit within himself which even partly can claim that what God does is owed to him. And as James says at the end of Jas 2:13: "mercy triumphs over judgment" = God's undeserved mercy - His inestimable grace - gains complete and total victory over the judgment - the eternal condemnation that one would otherwise have received.

Our Lord's parable in Mt 18:23-35 also shows the value and responsibility of individuals having mercy on one another as God has mercy on them. First comes the honest understanding that whatever God does for the individual is an act of mercy - we all deserve nothing but destruction]:

[Mt 18:23-35]:

(v. 23) "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a certain king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.

(v. 24) And when he had begun to settle them, there was brought to him one who owed him ten thousand talents.

[A talent being a measure of gold, this amount even today is staggering and insurmountable - well into the millions of dollars. This being a parable of the kingdom of heaven, we can see from the context that our Lord is referring here to the insurmountable and staggering debt that an individual owes to God relative to his sins and his sin nature]

(v. 25) But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.

[Our Lord is emphasizing here that total destruction is all that any of us deserves]

(v. 26) The slave therefore falling down, prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything,'

[When we realize that we have a problem with God - our debt being so insurmountable - we feel remorse because of our impossible debt; but then we have the effrontery to promise to repay what we cannot. In the final analysis, God the Holy Spirit must instill in us our need for the absolute mercy of God apart from anything that we can do, (Ro 8:8; Jn 1:12-13; 15:5). For we will never come freely of our own will to that point]

(v. 27) And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.

[He forgave him the WHOLE debt! Not even a token payment had to be paid. So what did that slave do right after receiving complete and total forgiveness?]

(v. 28) But that slave went out and found one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii.......................

[A denarius was a Roman silver coin, worth about 16 cents in today's money. One hundred denarii represented about 100 days of labor since one denarius was approximately one day's wage. 100 denarii was considerably less than what was owed by the first slave]

[Mt 18:23-35 cont.]

(v. 28 cont.) But that slave went out and found one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.'

[Notice the total lack of mercy - even the vindictiveness that was expressed by choking the fellow-slave]

(v. 29) So his fellow-slave fell down and began to entreat him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.'

(v. 30) He was unwilling however, but went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed.

(v. 31) So when his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.

(v. 32) Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you entreated me.

(v. 33) Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow-slave, even as I had mercy on you?'

(v. 34) And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.

[What is being illustrated here is not that God will renege on His promise of eternal life to all who trust alone in Christ alone as Personal Savior as soon as a believer shows unforgiveness toward others. This cannot be interpreted that way because passages which are clear on salvation as an eternally secure gift based on faith alone in Christ alone teach differently, (cp Eph 1:13-14; 2:8-9; Jn 5:24; 10:26-30; I Jn 5:9-13). What our Lord is teaching is that God will be merciless to those who show no mercy, as James says in James chapter 2:

[Jas 2:13]:

"For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment."

[Believers who are incorrigibly unfaithful, even to the point of showing no mercy, will be mercilessly disciplined in heaven, (Mt 8:12; 22:1-14; 25:14-30) until it is time for their tears to be wiped away, (Isa 25:8; Rev 7:17; 21:4). They will receive the treatment that they deserve when they reach heaven's shores until it is time for them to move on into eternity future when every tear will be wiped away. Unbelievers will be unmercilessly treated by God unto condemnation in the Lake of Fire for their merciless attitude toward others which is inherant in their disbelief in the gospel, (Jn 8:42-47)]

[Mt 18:23-35 cont.]:

(v. 32) Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you entreated me.

(v. 33) Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow-slave, even as I had mercy on you?'

(v. 34) And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.

(v. 35) So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."

[Mt 5:8]:

(v. 8) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

[Scripture qualifies who it is who indeed "shall see God", i.e., have eternal life with God in heaven, (Ro 3:21-24).

"shall see" = "opsontai" future tense form, middle voice, of the verb = "orao" = meaning to gaze, i.e., with open eyes, with a discerning mind as at something remarkable; and thus differing from "blepo" = which denotes simple voluntary observation or other verb forms which do not convey such an intensity of visual contact. Although it is true that all will see God when they are judged by Him, this verse however refers contextually to another kind of seeing - one of an intimate relationship with Him. Only those who have been credited with Christ's absolutely perfect righteousness - credited with a pure heart - will actually receive this gift of a pure heart at the point of their physical death or when they go up in the rapture. This "pure heart" qualifies them to "see God" - to have eternal life. Hebrews 12:14 describes this absolute righteousness as holiness when the author states:

[Heb 12:14]:

"Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord"

[Pursue peace with all men and holiness. For without the gift of the perfect holiness of Jesus Christ which is received solely by faith in Christ, (Ro 3:21-24), one could not see God and have eternal life. So in light of this gracious gift of eternal life a believer out of gratitude to God should pursue a life of peace and holiness]

[Mt 5:9]:

(v. 9) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

[Relative peace is one thing which men strive for and lie about on this earth using their own human viewpoint reasoning to guide them. Peace to man more often than not means cease fire, postponed killing, being in control over others, etc. Absolute peace, however, is what Mt 5:9 is speaking about - that which finally results in the salvation of men and the sovereign rule of Jesus Christ. Salvation is intimately linked to peace in Scripture as D.A. Carson points out, ('The Expositor's Bible Commentary', Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Editor, vol.8, Zondervan Corp., Grand Rapids, Mich, 1984, p.135):

"Jesus' concern in this beatitude is not with the peaceful but with the peace makers. Peace is of constant concern in both testaments..............

[Eph 2:17-18]:

(v. 17) "And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near;

(v. 18) for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father."

[Heb 12:14]:

"Pursue after peace with all men, and [pursue] after the sanctification [perfect holiness] without which no one will see the Lord."

[Mt 5:9 cont.]:

(v. 9 cont) "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."

[D.A. Carson comments on the doctrine of peace, (op. cit., p.135):

"The Promised Son is called the 'Prince of Peace' (Isa 9:6-7); and Isaiah 52:7

[Isa 52:7]:

"How lovely on the mountains

Are the feet of him who brings good news,

Who announces peace

And brings good news of happiness,

Who announces salvation,

And says to Zion, 'Your God reigns?' "

- linking as it does peace, salvation, and God's reign........................................

......In the light of the gospel, Jesus Himself is the Supreme Peacemaker, making peace between God and man, and man and man. Our peacemaking will include the promulgation of that gospel."

This corroborates with Jn 1:12-13 which states as follows:

[Jn 1:12-13]:

(v. 12) "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name:

(v. 13) who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

These verses indicate that a child of God is one who is born again by faith in Christ. Therefore if a peacemaker is a son, i.e., a child of God according to Mt 5:9 then he is a born again believer according to John 1:12-13.

[Mt 5:10-12]:

(v. 10) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(v. 11) Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.

(v. 12) Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Blessed, (happy and fortunate), are those believers who have been persecuted "when men revile...[them]...and persecute... [them]... and say all kinds of evil against...[them]...falsely" for the sake of righteousness. The faithful believers were persecuted not because they behaved so perfectly righteous but on account of Who they represent and His righteousness. Verse 11 above states: "Blessed are you when men...persecute you...on account of Me [Jesus Christ] ." So a believer who endeavors to follow Christ can expect adversity and persecution because of Whom he endeavors to represent and live like, (cp 2 Tim 3:12). Although it is true that the more Christlike in behavior a disciple is the more he will tend to be persecuted, the disciple will not be persecuted because of his own behavior but because of Who he emulates and His righteousness. For the righteousness of Christ is what stands between an individual and his eternal destiny.

If an individual accepts the righteousness of Christ by faith then he is saved unto eternal life. But if he rejects the free grace gift of Christ's righteousness by faith alone - works excluded - then he is condemned unto eternal condemnation in the Lake of Fire. The presence of a faithful believer - a disciple of Christ who espouses the message of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life brings conviction to the unbeliever that he will never be good enough to contribute to his own salvation. This often results in persecution of the disciple, for the believer is a stench of death of eternal condemnation to the unbeliever, (2 Cor 2:16). So, because of this persecution, a believer, having taken up his cross and suffered, (Mt 16:24), will be blessed with coownership and corulership of the kingdom of heaven:

[Ro 8:16-17]:

(v. 16) "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children,

(v. 17) Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory." (Cp 2 Tim 2:12a).

If a believer is not faithful in his earthly life then he will lose his coheirship - his coownership and corulership with Jesus Christ when he gets to heaven:

[Eph 5:1-5]:

(v. 1) "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;

(v. 2) and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

(v. 3) But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

(v. 4) and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

(v. 5) For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, [even if he is a believer] has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ Who is God."

["of Christ Who is God" =

"ton Christou kai Theo" =

article + noun + "kai" + (no art) + noun

The Christ Who is" God

"no immoral...person...has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ Who is God." = he will not receive an inheritance in heaven - he will not receive any rewards. This is not speaking of eternal life, but rewards because the individuals that Paul is addressing are eternally secure believers: Be assured that individuals who are "beloved children" of God Who "gave Himself up for...[them] a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God", (v. 1), are truly believers secure in their eternal destiny, but who may not behave and thereby not receive "any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ Who is God.", (v. 5).

Incidentally, there is a godly and grand purpose in undergoing persecution: one which results in rejoicing, perserverance, character, hope and love:

[Ro 5:3-5]:

(v. 3) "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations; knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;

(v. 4) and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;

(v. 5) and hope does not disappoint; because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who was given to us."

And for being faithful under persecution: the crown of life:

[Rev 2:10]:

" 'Do not fear what you [believers of the church in Smyna] are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you; may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.' "

[Jas 1:12]:

"Blessed is a man who perseverses under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."

Our Lord is truly coming soon, and He is bringing His reward with Him of eternal life for faithful believers:

[Rev 22:12-14]:

(v. 12) "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

(v. 13) I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

(v. 14) Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city."

"Blessed are those who wash their robes" = blessed, i.e., happy and fortunate are those who are eternally saved.

"wash their robes" is a phrase which signifies receiving forgiveness of sin and a perfect righteousness as a gift through trusting in Christ as Savior. Having ones robes washed results in receiving the right to eat of the tree of eternal life, i.e., in receiving eternal life. Compare 1 Cor 6:11; Acts 22:16; Isa 61:10.

There are mentioned in Scripture specific rewards for the Christian in addition to eternal life:

A "crown of glory" for believers who faithfully exercise their gift of pastor/teacher. (1 Pet 5:4)

A "crown of life" for believers who persevere under trials and testing, (Jas 1:12; Rev 2:10)

Living crowns who are fellow believers to whom a believer ministered faithfully with the exercising of his spiritual gift(s), (Phil 1:4; 1 Thes 2:19-20) A "crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, will award....[to] all who have [loved and] longed for His appearing."", (2 Tim 4:8).

["egapekosin" = have loved]

A "crown which lasts forever":

[1 Cor 9:19-27]:

(v. 19 N.I.V.) "Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.

(v. 20 N.I.V.) To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under law I became like one under law (though I myself am not under law), so as to win those under law.

["law" = "nomon" = law in general. Since no definite article is included with the Greek word "nomon" in this passage, it therefore means that it is law 'in general' rather than the specific Law of Moses. So "law" here in this verse means a set of principles to obey and live by which may or may not include the Law of Moses]

(v. 21 KJV) To them that are without law [I became] as [one] without law, ([in actuality] being not without law to God, but under law to Christ, [which is under the law of Christian liberty - of freedom in Christ as directed by the Spirit, (Ro 14:1-15:33)]

(v. 22 N.A.S.) To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.

(v. 23 N.I.V.) I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings

["that I may share in its [the gospel's] blessings" = that the Apostle Paul, who is secure in his eternal destiny in heaven, may share in the gospel of salvation's blessings which in the context of this passage means opportunities for a believer to earn innumerable rewards in heaven for sharing the information about the gospel and exercising one's spiritual gifts]

(v. 24 ) "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run is such a way as to get the prize.

(v. 25 N.I.V.) "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we [believers] do it to get a crown that will last forever."

["but we believers do it" = 'we believers put our selves through strict training "to get a crown that will last forever"]

[1 Cor 9:19-27 cont.]:

(v. 25 N.I.V. cont.) "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we [believers] do it to get a crown that will last forever.

(v. 26 N.I.V.) Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.

(v. 27) No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

The parable of the talents which follows, (Mt 25:14-30), reflects the relative rewards according to one's faithful service or non-service. Those believers of the tribulation who physically survive to the end, who are faithful to the specific tasks assigned to them will be put in charge - corulership - during their new lives in the millennium. Those believers who are unfaithful - even rebellious and sinful - will have all things taken away from them and will enter the millennium life with nothing and for a season be cast into a location on the millennium earth outside of the fellowship of the wedding banquet where there is a relative darkness. Their utter disappointment will lead them to weep and gnash their teeth at the devastating loss of rewards that they incurred due to their wasted life on earth.

Other passages indicate that unfaithful tribulation believers will not endure to the end, i.e. will physically die. They will enter heaven prematurely in their new immortal bodies, (Cp. Mt 24:13 pp. 22-25); and then they will come back to earth with the Lord at His second coming, (Cp. Mt 24:30 p.49-52).

Note that unfaithful believers of all ages may not live out the number of years that God has appointed to them to live. The converse is also true: that faithful service leads to living out the full allotment of one's years on earth.

[Pr 10:27]:

"The fear of the Lord prolongs life,

But the years of the wicked will be shortened."

The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.

[Jas 1:15]:

"Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death"

Sin when it is full grown in the believer, (v.2), brings forth physical death

[Pr 14:27]:

"The fear [reverent awesome respect] of the Lord is a fountain of life,

That one may avoid the snares of death,"

["snares" = those traps, i.e., lures which hasten physical death]

[Ez 18:4 - 20]:

The soul that sins shall (physically) die.