Should we apologise for pursuing holiness? There are no apologies coming from Paul in chapter 9:
” Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
Paul is not teaching an ethic of working for our salvation. No, no. He is teaching an ethic of strenuously working out our salvation.
Throughout this letter he sets an example of what it looks like to zealously obey and love the Lord. It’s not about being set apart from others and having an attitude of holy superiority. Paul speaks a lot about caring for one another in the body of Christ. Don’t be the cause of another person stumbling. Don’t be selfish at the Lord’s table. Don’t be the cause of confusion and disorder in the midst of a church meeting.
In chapter 15 he again speaks of his work for the Lord, but it’s not prideful or self-seeking.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10
Let’s not apologise for pursuing holiness, love and obedience to the Lord with all the grace and strength that God supplies.