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, I most certainly am to you, for you are the seal stampproof of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 My answer defense to those who examine me is as follows:
4 Do we have a right to eat and drink?
5 Do we have a right to lead a sister as a wife just like other apostles, and as brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who do not have the right to refrain from secular work?
7 Does a soldier serve at his own expense? Does the one who plants a vineyard not eat of the fruit it produces? Who shepherds a flock and does not eat some of the milk from the flock?
8 I say this from a human point of view. Does the law say the same thing?
9 It is written in the Law of Moses: You should not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads threshes out the grain. Does God care only about oxen?
10 Or did he say it for our benefit? This is written for our benefit without a doubt! He who plows should plow in hope. Likewise he who threshes in hope should be a partaker of his hope.
11 If we sow spiritual seed in you, is it too much if we reap material things?
12 If others are partakers of the right over you, should we also partake? Nevertheless we have not used this power! We suffer all things, lest we should hinder the good news of Christ.
13 Do you not know that they who minister about holy things live off the things of the temple? And they who wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
14 Even so, has the Lord ordained that they who preach the good news should earn their living from the good news?
15 But I have used none of these rights! Neither have I written these things, that it should be done to me. It would be better for me to die, than that any man should make my reason for boasting void.
16 Though I preach the good news I do not brag about it. Preaching the good news is my duty obligation and I must do it! It would be terrible if I did not preach the good news!
17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward. But if I do it against my will, I am just performing the trust of the good news committed to me.
18 What is my reward then? When I preach the good news, I may offer the good news of Christ without charge. That is way I do not abuse my power in the good news.
19 For, though I am free from all persons, yet I have made myself a servant to all, that I might gain more.
20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews. To those under the Law, as under the Law, that I might gain those under the Law.
21 To those without Law I became like those without Law that I might gain them. I am not without law to God, but under the law to towardof Christ.
22 To the weak I became as the weak, that I might gain the weak. I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the sake of the good news that I might be a partaker of it with others.
24 Do you not know that they who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain the prize.
25 Every man taking part in the contest is temperate in all things. They do it to obtain a corruptible crown but we do it to receive an incorruptible crown.
26 I do not run without definite aim purpose and I do not fight like a man beating the air.
27 But I discipline my body, and bring it into subjection, so that after I have preached to others I will not be disqualified.