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Paul does not exercise his right to be paid
1And in relation to all these questions let that be your first thought. Do not think only of the freedom that your faith and knowledge give you. Remember that knowledge may make a man self-sufficient and self-important. It is love that builds. I for instance am free — I am an apostle. I have seen the Lord Jesus myself. 2-5At Corinth, at any rate, my apostleship is unquestioned, because I have there a very certain witness to, and evidence of, the authenticity of my credentials; you yourselves are my credentials. I am the founder of your faith, your church. I repeat then that I have all the rights of this position. 6I have the right to live on the gospel, yes, and to support a wife, if I so choose, on the gospel, to take her with me, as do the other apostles, and our Lord's brethren in the flesh, and Cephas also. 7-8The vinedresser, the shepherd, the soldier earn their living by what they do. We have the same right ourselves. 9“Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.” (Deut xxv. 4) These ideas are not my own — they are laid down in scripture. 10Moses' words have a spiritual meaning, they refer to us and our faith. Do you think that anything in that law merely refers to cattle, and has not some moral or spiritual significance? This text means the law of supply whereby the worker lives through his work and is glad and hopeful thereby, partakes in the blessing he bestows. 11And such rights have I, they are mine according to the scriptures — I have a right to be paid by you, and to exercise authority over you. 12Others already do this, but I have more right than anyone, since it is I who am the founder of your spiritual good fortunes, and that includes also material well-being. But I have never exercised this right, my own idea has been that the gospel of Christ should not bind any burden upon men, however small, that is to say, so far as I was concerned. 13And yet you know that the priests who serve the altars and sacrifices make a living out of it, 14and similarly the Lord expressly declared that those who teach the gospel should live by it. 15But you know that I do not exercise the right and never have.
The reason for his unwillingness to receive pay
And why not? Well, that is my affair! At any rate, I am not writing this now preparatory to claiming any compensation in the future. Far from it — I would rather anything than that my special reason for satisfaction and self-congratulation should be taken away. What is that? you ask. 16The gospel? Oh no, that does not affect me in a personal sense — I have to preach the gospel, woe unto me, if I preach it not. 17If I enjoy it, and do it willingly, I am well paid. If it is distressful to me, still I have my stewardship to fulfil, and must be faithful to it. 18But what is my special reward, what is the peculiar compensation which accrues to me out of the pains I take in spreading this teaching? Why, just the doing it for nothing, — preaching the gospel at no man's charges — that is my special privilege. In other words, the privilege and the right which I most relish and cling to most earnestly, is just this — to make no use of my rights and privileges!
What it means to be all things to all men
19And I declare I carry that principle through all that I do. I absolutely neglect my own point of view. 20Other people's opinions, other people's beliefs and creeds and traditions, other people's weaknesses — these all become my own. The freer I am myself, the more I seem to become the slave of others! And though this is past a joke, yet I do it willingly, because thereby I win people. At one time the Jewish tradition and the law are everything to me — that is because I am with Jews. 21And now they are nothing to me — because I am with Gentiles. Oh yes, the law is something to me, the divine law, Christ's laws I mean, but not the law of the Jews. 22But with the weak I become weak myself — all things to all men in fact, if only I can win a few. 23And why do I do all this? Why do I take everybody else's point of view except my own? For the sake of the Gospel, because I wish to have a share in it myself — on just the same principle as the athlete trains for a contest. 24He sacrifices everything to the one end, if he can only carry off those much coveted laurels. 25And so a man must sacrifice himself, his own prejudices and predilections, and self-esteem, if he is to gain that immortal chaplet. 26That is the secret of my life. I do not hit out at random, but I go to work in a scientific manner, like one who trains for a boxing match. My blows are well and cunningly directed. 27They are aimed at myself, my physical being, my physical ego; otherwise what guarantee is there that I shall be saved myself, even though I have preached to others.
1Do I not have cherut [in Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach]? Am I not a Shliach? Have I not seen Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Adoneinu? Are you not my po'al (work) in Adoneinu? 2If to others I am not a Shliach, surely I am to you, for you are the chotam (seal) of my shlichus (Ga 2:10), in Hashem. 3My apologetic to the ones cross-examining me is this: 4Do I not have the privilege of eating and drinking? 5Is the privilege not mine to take an achot b'Moshiach as isha in my travels for Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach's avodas kodesh, just as the rest of his Shlichim do and the Achim [see p.848] of Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Adoneinu and Kefa? 6Or is it only Bar-Nabba and I who are denied the privilege of not working at a parnasah? 7Whoever heard of someone serving as a chaiyal (soldier) but having to pay his own wages for doing so? Who plants a kerem (vineyard) but does not eat the p'ri hakerem? And who serves as a ro'eh (shepherd) over a flock and of the cholov (milk) of the flock does not partake? [Devarim 20:6; Mishle 27:18] 8Do I say this according to the dvar haBnei Adam? Or does not the Torah say these things? 9For, in the Torah of Moshe [Rabbenu] it has been written, LO TACHSOM SHOR BEDISHO ("You shall not muzzle an ox treading grain" DEVARIM 25:4). Surely it is not for oxen that Hashem is concerned. 10Or does he not speak altogether for our sake, and is it not for us that Hashem says this? Ken, for us, because it was written that the one plowing ought to plow on in tikvah, and the one threshing ought to partake with tikvah. 11If we sowed spiritual things to you, is it too much if we reap in material things from you? [Ro 15:27] 12If others over you can claim this privilege, can we not even more? But we did not make use of this privilege; we endure all things, lest any hindrance we should give to Moshiach's Besuras HaGeulah. 13Do you not have da'as that the kohanim serving in the Beis Hamikdash sherut (service in the Temple) eat the things of the Beis Hamikdash; the kohanim attending the Mizbe'ach (altar) have their share with the Mizbe'ach (altar)? 14So also Moshiach Adoneinu appointed the ones proclaiming the Besuras HaGeulah to get their parnasah from the Besuras HaGeulah. 15But I have not used any of these privileges; I did not write these things that it might be so with me; for it's better for me rather to die than that someone deprive me of my kavod [in Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Pp 1:21]. 16For if I preach the Besuras HaGeulah there is nothing for me to boast about, als (since) necessity is laid on me, for Oy Li ("Woe to me!") if I do not preach the Besuras HaGeulah [YIRMEYAH 20:9]. 17For, if I do this willingly, I have a sachar (reward), but if unwillingly, then a ne'emanut (trusteeship), a kehunah for the Besuras HaGeulah [Ro 15:16] has been entrusted to me. 18What then is my sachar (reward)? That in preaching as a maggid of the Besuras HaGeulah, I may make the Besuras HaGeulah free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the Besuras HaGeulah. 19For being no indentured servant to any one of the Bnei Adam, I made myself a servant [working for nothing] to kol Bnei Adam, that I might win the more. 20And I became to the Yehudim as a Yehudi, that I might win Yehudim; to the ones under Torah, I became as under Torah--not being myself under [the epoch of] Torah--that the ones under Torah I might win; 21To the ones without Torah, as without Torah, though not being without the Torah of Hashem but being under Moshiach's Torah [YESHAYAH 42:4], that I might win the ones without Torah. 22I became weak to the weak ones that I might win the weak ones. I have become all things to kol Bnei Adam, that by all means I might save some. 23And all things I do because of the Besuras HaGeulah that a fellow partaker and deveykus sharer in it I may become. 24Do you not have da'as that the ones running on a race course all indeed run, but it is only one who receives the prize? So run that you may obtain the prize. 25And everyone competing in the [Olympic] games in all things exercises shlitah atzmi: those ones, therefore, that they may obtain a perishable wreath; but we, an imperishable. 26Therefore, I run not as one without a goal that is kovua (fixed, set). I box as not beating the air. 27But I do more than merely spar with my basar; I pommel it and keep it under strict subjection, so that after I am the maggid to others, I myself will not become declared ineligible.