1 Corinthians 9:19-27 - Paul's Work As An Apostle

19 For although I am free from [being accountable to] all people, I placed myself under obligation to them [as a slave], so as to win as many as possible [to Christ]. 20 I behaved like a Jew in front of the Jews in order to win Jews [to Christ]. I behaved like a person who was under [obligation to observe] the law [i.e., Jews] in front of those who observe that law, although I was not [really] under [obligation to] it. I did this to win those who are under [obligation to observe] the law. 21 I [also] behaved like a person without [obligation to observe] the law [i.e., a Gentile] in front of those who are not obligated to it, although I was not [really] without obligation to God's law; but was under [obligation to] Christ's law. I did this to win those who are without [obligation to observe] the law [i.e., Gentiles]. 22 I behaved like a weak person in front of weak people [See 8:9-12], in order to win them over [i.e., to help them become stronger]. I have become all things to all people so that, in every way, I could save some of them. 23 And everything I do is for the sake of [the work of] the Gospel, so that I may share in its benefits.

24 Do you not know that [although] everyone runs in a race, only one person wins the prize? So, you should run in order to win. 25 And everyone who [strenuously] competes in athletic events exercises self-control during training. Now they do this to receive a laurel wreath that withers, but we [do it to receive] a lasting crown. 26 So, I run with a purpose and I fight that way [too]; I do not just shadow box. 27 But I work out and get my body in shape [i.e., spiritually], so that after preaching to other people, I myself do not become disqualified [i.e., for winning the prize from God. See verse 24].