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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.
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Rights and Duties of an Apostle
1Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Haven't I seen Jesus our Lord? And aren't you the result of my work for the Lord? 2Even if others do not accept me as an apostle, surely you do! Because of your life in union with the Lord you yourselves are proof of the fact that I am an apostle.
3When people criticize me, this is how I defend myself: 4Haven't I the right to be given food and drink for my work? 5Haven't I the right to follow the example of the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Peter, by taking a Christian wife with me on my travels? 6Or are Barnabas and I the only ones who have to work for our living? 7What soldier ever has to pay his own expenses in the army? What farmer does not eat the grapes from his own vineyard? What shepherd does not use the milk from his own sheep?
8I don't have to limit myself to these everyday examples, because the Law says the same thing. 9#Deut 25.4; 1 Tim 5.18We read in the Law of Moses, “Do not muzzle an ox when you are using it to thresh corn.” Now, is God concerned about oxen? 10Didn't he really mean us when he said that? Of course that was written for us. The one who ploughs and the one who reaps should do their work in the hope of getting a share of the crop. 11#Rom 15.27We have sown spiritual seed among you. Is it too much if we reap material benefits from you? 12If others have the right to expect this from you, haven't we an even greater right?
But we haven't made use of this right. Instead, we have endured everything in order not to put any obstacle in the way of the Good News about Christ. 13#Deut 18.1Surely you know that the men who work in the Temple get their food from the Temple and that those who offer the sacrifices on the altar get a share of the sacrifices. 14#Mt 10.10; Lk 10.7In the same way, the Lord has ordered that those who preach the gospel should get their living from it.
15But I haven't made use of any of these rights, nor am I writing this now in order to claim such rights for myself. I would rather die first! Nobody is going to turn my rightful boast into empty words! 16I have no right to boast just because I preach the gospel. After all, I am under orders to do so. And how terrible it would be for me if I did not preach the gospel! 17If I did my work as a matter of free choice, then I could expect to be paid; but I do it as a matter of duty, because God has entrusted me with this task. 18What pay do I get, then? It is the privilege of preaching the Good News without charging for it, without claiming my rights in my work for the gospel.
19I am a free man, nobody's slave; but I make myself everybody's slave in order to win as many people as possible. 20While working with the Jews, I live like a Jew in order to win them; and even though I myself am not subject to the Law of Moses, I live as though I were when working with those who are, in order to win them. 21In the same way, when working with Gentiles, I live like a Gentile, outside the Jewish Law, in order to win Gentiles. This does not mean that I don't obey God's law; I am really under Christ's law. 22Among the weak in faith I become weak like one of them, in order to win them. So I become all things to all people, that I may save some of them by whatever means are possible.
23All this I do for the gospel's sake, in order to share in its blessings. 24Surely you know that many runners take part in a race, but only one of them wins the prize. Run, then, in such a way as to win the prize. 25Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline, in order to be crowned with a wreath that will not last; but we do it for one that will last for ever. 26That is why I run straight for the finishing line; that is why I am like a boxer who does not waste his punches. 27I harden my body with blows and bring it under complete control, to keep myself from being disqualified after having called others to the contest.