1 Corinthians 9

Am I not an Apostle? Am I not a freeman? Have I not seen Jesus Christ, our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If to others I am not an Apostle, yet, to you, at least, I am; for the seal of my apostleship, are you, in the Lord.

My answer to them who condemn me, is this: Have we not liberty to eat, and to drink? Have we not liberty to lead about a sister wife, as the other Apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or, have I, only, and Barnabas, not liberty to forbear working? Who, at any time, serves in the wars, on his own charges? Who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who feeds a flock, and does not eat of the milk of the flock? Do I speak these things as a man? Or does not the law also say these things? For, in the law of Moses it is written, "You shall not muzzle the ox treading out the corn." Does God take care of the oxen? 10 Or, does he command this chiefly for our sakes? For our sakes, certainly, it is written: because, he who plows, ought to plough in hope; and he who threshes in hope, ought to partake of his own hope. 11 If we have sown for you spiritual things, is it a great matter, if we shall reap your carnal things? 12 If others partake of this authority over you, ought not we, rather? Nevertheless, we have not used this power; but we bear all things, that we may not give any hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that they who perform sacred offices, eat from the temple? Do not they who wait at the altar share with the altar? 14 So also, the Lord has appointed them who announce the gospel, to live by the gospel.

15 But I have used none of these privileges ; neither have I written these things that it should be done to me: for it were good for me rather to die, than that any one should make my boasting void. 16 For when I declared the gospel, I have nothing to boast of; because necessity is laud upon me: yes, woe awaits me if I declare not the gospel. 17 Now, if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but, if against my will, still I am intrusted with the stewardship. 18 What, then, is my reward? that, when declaring the gospel, I shall exhibit the gospel of Christ without charge, in order that I may not abuse my power in the gospel.

19 For, though I be a freeman, with respect to all; I have made myself a servant to all, that I might gain the more. 20 So, to the Jews, I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews: to those under the law, (though not under the law) as under the law, that I might gain those under the law: 21 to those without law, as without law, (not being without law to God, but under law to Christ,) that I might gain those that are without law. 22 To the weak, I became as weak, that I might gain the weak. To all, I have become all things, that, by all means, I might same some. 23 Now, this I do for the sake of the gospel, and that I may become a joint partaker of its rewards.

24 Do you not know that they who run a race, all run, but one only receives the prize? So run, that you may lay hold of the prize? 25 Now, every one who contends is temperate in all things: they, indeed, that they may receive a fading crown; but we, one that does not fade. 26 I, therefore, so run, as not out of view. So I fight, not as beating the air: 27 but, I mortify my body, and keep it in subjection; lest, perhaps, having proclaimed to others, I myself should not be accepted.

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