1 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?
2 If I am not an apostle to others, yet indeed I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 My defense to those who examine me is this:
4 Do we not have [the] right to eat and drink?
5 Do we not have [the] right to take along a wife [who is] a sister, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who must work for a living?
7 Who ever serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink from the milk of the flock?
8 Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say these things also?
9 For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it threshes."Is it oxen God is concerned about?
10 Or does He say [this] altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, for it is written, that he that plows should plow in hope, and he that threshes, in hope should partake of his hope.
11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, [is it] a great thing if we reap your material things?
12 If others partake of this right over you, do not we even more? Nevertheless we did not use this right, but bear all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat from the temple, and those who serve at the altar have a share in the altar?
14 Thus also the Lord commanded those who proclaim the gospel to live from the gospel.
15 But I used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should become thus for me; for it is better for me rather to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.
16 For if I preach the gospel, there is nothing for me to boast about, for necessity is pressed upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!
17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if unwillingly, I have been entrusted with a commission.
18 What then is my reward? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ free of charge, so as not to exploit my rights in the gospel.
19 For being free from all [men], I have made myself a servant to all, in order that I might win the more;
20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, in order that I might win Jews; to those who are under law, as under law, in order that I might win those who are under law;
21 to those outside the law, as [one] outside the law (not being outside the law toward God, but subject to [the ]law toward Christ), in order that I might win those outside the law;
22 to the weak I became as weak, in order that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all [men], that I might by all means save some.
23 Now this I do for the sake of the gospel, in order that I may become a partaker of it [with you].
24 Do you not know that those running in a stadium all run, but one receives the prize? So run, in order that you may win.
25 And everyone who competes exercises self-control [in] all things. Now they [compete] in order that they may receive a perishable crown, but we [compete] [for ]an imperishable crown.
26 Therefore I run thus: not as without a goal, thus I box: not as one beating the air.
27 But I treat my body roughly, and I bring it into subjection, lest, having preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.