1 AM I not a freeman? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not you my work in the Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle to others, I certainly am to you; for you are a seal of my apostleship in the Lord. 3 My defense to those who condemn me is this; 4 Have we not a right to eat and drink? 5 Have we not a right to lead about a sister, a wife, as also the other apostles; and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or I only and Barnabas, have we not a right to abstain from labor? 7 Who ever goes on a military expedition at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and eats not the fruit of it? or who feeds a flock and eats not of the milk of the flock? 8 Do I say these things in the manner of men? or does not the law also say the same? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, You shall not muzzle the ox that threshes. Does God care for oxen? 10 or does he speak entirely for our sakes? For our sakes, doubtless, it was written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and that he who threshes in hope should partake of it. 11 If we have sown for you spiritual things, is it too much if we reap your earthly things? 12 And if others have this right, do we not have it more? But we have not used this right, but endure all things, that we may not impede the gospel of Christ. 13 Know you not that those who perform sacred rites eat from the temple? Those who wait on the altar partake of the altar? 14 So also the Lord has appointed to those who preach the gospel to live by the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things, and I have not written these things that it should be so done to me; for I prefer to die, rather than that any one should make my boasting vain. 16 For if I preach the gospel I have nothing to boast of; for a necessity is laid upon me; for woe is me, if I preach not the gospel. 17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if unwillingly, I am intrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That preaching I may make the gospel without expense, that I may not abuse my right in the gospel.
19 For being free from all men, I have made myself a servant of all, that I may gain more; 20 to the Jews I have been as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to those under the law, as under the law, not being myself under the law, that I might gain those under the law; 21 to those without law, as without law, being not without law to God, but with law to Christ, that I might gain those without law; 22 to the weak I have been as weak, that I might gain the weak; I have been all things to all men, that I may save some in all conditions; 23 and I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may be a partaker of it.
24 Know you not that those who run in the race all indeed run, but one takes the prize. So run that you may obtain. 25 And every one that contends in the games is temperate in all things, they indeed to obtain a perishable crown, we an imperishable. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly, and so strike, not as one who beats the air; 27 but I brow-beat my body, and bring it into subjection, lest having preached to others I should myself be a reprobate.