1 Corinthians 9

Paul Surrenders His Rights

1 aAm I not free? bAm I not an apostle? cHave I not seen Jesus our Lord? dAre not you my workmanship in the Lord? 2If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are ethe seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

3This is my defense to those who would examine me. 4 fDo we not have the right to eat and drink? 5 gDo we not have the right to take along a believing wife,
Greek  a sister as wife
as do the other apostles and ithe brothers of the Lord and jCephas?
6Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 7 kWho serves as a soldier at his own expense? lWho plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

8Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9For it is written in the Law of Moses, m“You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written nfor our sake, because othe plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 pIf we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?

Nevertheless, qwe have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rrather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
13Do you not know that sthose 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? 14In the same way, the Lord commanded that tthose who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

15But uI 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 vdeprive me of my ground for boasting. 16For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For wnecessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 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 xa stewardship. 18What then is my reward? That in my preaching yI may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

19For zthough I am free from all, aaI have made myself a servant to all, that I might abwin more of them. 20 acTo 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. 21To adthose outside the law I became aeas one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but afunder the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 agTo the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. ahI have become all things to all people, that aiby all means I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, ajthat I may share with them in its blessings.

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives akthe prize? So alrun that you may obtain it. 25Every amathlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we anan imperishable. 26So I do not run aimlessly; I aodo not box as one apbeating the air. 27But I discipline my body and aqkeep it under control,
Greek  I pummel my body and make it a slave
lest after preaching to others asI myself should be atdisqualified.

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