1 Corinthians 9

Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are ye not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet at least I am to you, for ye are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. My defense to those who examine me is this. Have we no, not a right to eat and to drink? Have we no, not a right to lead about a sister wife, as also the other apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? Or have only I and Barnabas no right not to be occupied earning a living? Who ever enlists in an army at his own wage? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat from the fruit of it? Or who feeds a flock and does not eat from the milk of the flock? Do I say these things according to man, or does not the law also say these things? For it is written in the law of Moses thou shall not muzzle an ox threshing grain. Is God concerned about oxen, 10 or does he speak altogether for our sake? For our sake, for it was written, He who plows ought to plow with hope, and he who threshes with his hope, with hope to share. 11 If we sowed spiritual things to you, is it a great thing if we will reap your carnal things? 12 If others are partakers of the right from you, are not we more? Nevertheless we did not use this right, but we cover all things, so that we may not give any hindrance to the good news of the Christ. 13 Know ye not that those being employed at the sacred things eat from the temple, and those who serve at the altar are partakers at the altar? 14 And so the Lord commanded those who proclaim the good news to live from the good news. 15 But I have used none of these things, and I did not write these things so that it should be done to me this way. For it is good for me rather to die, than that any man should make my boasting empty. 16 For if I preach the good news, it is not a source of pride for me, for an obligation is laid upon me. And woe is to me if I do not preach the good news. 17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward, but if involuntarily, I have been entrusted with a commission. 18 What then is my reward? That, while preaching the good news, I may make the good news of the Christ without charge, in order not to make full use of my right in the good news. 19 For although being free from all men, I made myself a servant to all, so that I might gain the more. 20 And to the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might gain Jews, to those under law, as under law, so that I might gain those under law, 21 to those without law, as without law (not being without law to God, but within law to Christ), so that I might gain men without law. 22 To the weak I became as weak, so that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all means I might save some. 23 And I do this for sake of the good news, so that I might become a fellow participant of it. 24 Know ye not that those who run in an arena, indeed all run, but one receives the prize? So run that ye may seize it. 25 And every man who strives for mastery exercises self-control in all things. Indeed therefore those men do it so that they might obtain a perishable crown, but we an imperishable. 26 I therefore run this way, not as aimlessly. I fight this way, not as flaying air. 27 But I give my body a black eye and subdue it, lest somehow having preached to others, I myself might become disqualified.
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