1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are ye not my work in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, yet to you at least I am; for the seal of my apostleship are ye in the Lord. 3 My defense to those examining me is this. 4 Have we no right to eat, and to drink? 5 Have we no right to lead about a sister as our wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or have only I and Barnabas no right to give up working? 7 Who ever serves as a soldier at his own charges; Who plants a vineyard, and eats not of its fruit? Or who feeds a flock, and eats not of the milk of the flock? 8 Do I speak these things after the manner of man? Or does not the law also say the same? 9 For in the law of Moses it has been written, "You shall not muzzle an ox while treading out the grain." Doth God care for the oxen? 10 Or doth He say it assuredly for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written; because he that plows ought to plow in hope; and he that threshes ought to thresh in hope of partaking. 11 If we sowed for you spiritual things, is it a great matter, if we shall reap your carnal things? 12 If others partake of this authority over you, do not we still more? But we used not this right; but we bear all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the Gospel of Christ. 13 Know ye not that those who are occupied upon sacred things eat of the things of the temple? and that those who wait at the altar partake with the altar? 14 Even so did the Lord ordain, that those who proclaim the Gospel should live by the Gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things; and I wrote not these things, that it may be so done in my case; for it were good for me rather to die, than that any one should make my glorying void. 16 For, if I proclaim the Gospel, it is not to me a matter of boasting; for necessity is laid upon me; for woe is to me, if I proclaim not the Gospel. 17 For, if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but, if unwillingly, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What, then, is my reward? That, when proclaiming the Gospel, I may make the Gospel without charge, to the end that I may not fully use my right in the Gospel.
19 For, being free from all men, I made myself servant to all, that I might gain the more. 20 And, to the Jews, I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those under law, as under law (not being myself under law), that I might gain those under law; 21 to those without law, as without law (not being without law to God, but under law to Christ), that I might gain those without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I may, by all means, save some. 23 And I am doing all things for the Gospel's sake, that I may become a partaker thereof with others.
24 Know ye not that those running a race, all, indeed, run; but one receives the prize? So run; that ye may obtain. 25 And every one who strives in the games exercises self restraint in all things; they, indeed, therefore, to receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. 26 I, therefore, so run, as not uncertainly I so fight, as not beating the air. 27 But I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage; lest, by any means, after having preached to others, I myself should be rejected.