1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? 2 Are not ye my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet I am to you; for ye are the seal of my apostleship. 3 My answer to them who examine me is this. 4 Have we not power to eat and to drink? 5 Have we not power to lead about with us a sister, a wife, as well as the other apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Peter? 6 Or I only and Barnabas, have we not power to forbear working? 7 Who ever warreth at his own charge? Who planteth a vineyard, and doth not eat of its fruit? Or who feedeth a flock, and doth not eat of the milk of the flock? 8 Do I speak these things as a man? Doth not the law also speak the same? 9 For it is written, in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn? Doth God take care for oxen? 10 Or speaketh he chiefly for our sakes? surely for our sakes it was written: for he who ploweth, ought to plow in hope; and he that thresheth in hope, ought to be a partaker of his hope. 11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter, if we shall reap your carnal things? 12 If others partake of this power over you, do not we rather? Yet we have not used this power: but we suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 Know ye not, that they who are employed about holy things, are fed out of the temple? And they who wait at the altar, are partakers with the altar. 14 So also hath the Lord ordained, that they who preach the gospel, should live of the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things; nor have I written thus, that it might be done so unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make this my glorying void. 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of; for a necessity lieth upon me, and wo is me, if I preach not the gospel. 17 If indeed I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if unwillingly, yet a dispensation is intrusted to me. 18 What then is my reward? that when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I am free from all men, I made myself the servant of all, that I might gain the more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews: to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law: 21 To them that are without the law, as without the law, (being not without the law to God, but under the law to Christ) that I might gain them that are without the law. 22 To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak: I became all things to all men, that by all means I might save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker thereof with you.
24 Know ye not, that they who run in the race, all run, but one receiveth the prize? so run that ye may obtain. 25 And every one that contendeth, is temperate in all things: and they indeed, to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; I so fight, not as one that beateth the air. 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest by any means, after having preached to others, I myself should become a reprobate.