1 Corinthians 9

Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you: for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. My defence to those who examine me is this: Do we not have the right to eat and to drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who do not have the right to refrain from working? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? who plants a vineyard, and does not eat of its fruit? or who feeds a flock, and does not drink of the milk of the flock? Do I say these things merely on human authority? or does not the law say the same? For it is written in the law of Moses, You shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the grain. Is God concerned about oxen? 10 Or does he say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes it is written: that he who plows should plow in hope; and he who threshes should thresh in hope of a share of the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim upon you, do we not have a greater claim? Nevertheless, we have not used this right, but endure all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who perform the temple services eat the food of the temple? and those who serve at the altar share what is offered at the altar? 14 In the same way the Lord ordained that those who preach the gospel should live by the gospel. 15 But I have used none of these things: nor am I writing these things that it should be done for me: for it would be better for me to die, than for any man to make my boast an empty one. 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast about: for it is a necessity laid upon me; woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I do this willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a commission has been entrusted to me. 18 What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, not taking advantage of my rights in the gospel. 19 For though I am free from all men, yet I have made myself the servant to all, that I might win the more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win the Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 To those who are without the law, as without the law, (though I am not without the law of God, but am under the law of Christ,) that I might win those who are without the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak: I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be a partaker in its blessings. 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And every man who competes is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown; but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore, I do not run aimlessly; and I do not fight as one who beats the air: 27 But I beat my body, and bring it into subjection: lest by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
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