1Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?2If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.3Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,4Have we not power to eat and to drink?5Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?6Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?7Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?8Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?9For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?10Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.11If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?12If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.13Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?14Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.15But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.16For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!17For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.18What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.19For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.20And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;21To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.22To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.23And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:27But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
1 Corinthians 9
English Standard Version
Paul Surrenders His Rights
1Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? (Ac 9:3; Ac 9:17; Ac 14:14; Ac 18:9; Ac 22:14; Ac 22:18; Ac 23:11; 1Co 3:6; 1Co 9:19; 1Co 15:8; 2Co 10:7; 2Co 12:12; 1Th 2:6; Re 2:2)2If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. (2Co 3:2)3This is my defense to those who would examine me.4Do we not have the right to eat and drink? (1Co 9:14; 1Th 2:6; 1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8)5Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? (Mt 8:14; Mt 12:46; Joh 1:42; 1Co 7:7)6Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?7Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? (De 20:6; Pr 27:18; So 8:12; 1Co 3:6; 2Co 10:4; 1Ti 1:18; 2Ti 2:3)8Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same?9For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? (De 25:4; 1Ti 5:18)10Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. (Ro 4:24; 2Ti 2:6)11If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? (Ro 15:27; Ga 6:6)12If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. (Ac 20:33; 1Co 9:15; 1Co 9:18; 2Co 6:3; 2Co 11:12)13Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? (Le 6:16; Le 6:26; Le 7:6; Nu 5:9; Nu 18:8; De 18:1)14In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. (Mt 10:10; 1Co 9:4)15But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. (Ac 18:3; 2Co 11:10)16For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (Ac 4:20; Ac 9:6; Ro 1:14)17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. (1Co 4:1; Ga 2:7; Php 1:16)18What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. (2Co 11:7; 2Co 12:13)19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. (Mt 18:15; 1Co 9:1; 1Co 10:29; Ga 5:13; 1Pe 3:1)20To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. (Ac 16:3; Ac 21:23)21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. (Ro 2:12; Ro 2:14; 1Co 7:22; Ga 2:3; Ga 3:2)22To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. (Ro 11:14; 1Co 7:16; 1Co 10:33; 2Co 11:29)23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. (1Co 10:24)24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. (Ga 2:2; Ga 5:7; Php 2:16; Php 3:14; Col 2:18; 2Ti 4:7; Heb 12:1)25Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. (1Ti 6:12; 2Ti 2:5; 2Ti 4:7; Jas 1:12; Jud 1:3)26So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. (1Co 14:9; Heb 12:4)27But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (So 1:6; Jer 6:30; Ro 1:28; Ro 6:19; Heb 6:8)