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9
Waiving rights for the gospel
1Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord? Aren’t you my work in the Lord? 2If I’m not an apostle to others, at least I am to you! You are the seal that shows I’m an apostle. 3This is my defense against those who criticize me. 4Don’t we have the right to eat and drink? 5Don’t we have the right to travel with a wife who believes like the rest of the apostles, the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas? 6Or is it only I and Barnabas who don’t have the right to not work for our living? 7Who joins the army and pays their own way? Who plants a vineyard and doesn’t eat its fruit? Who shepherds a flock and doesn’t drink its milk? 8I’m not saying these things just based on common sense, am I? Doesn’t the Law itself say these things? 9In Moses’ Law it’s written: You will not muzzle the ox when it is threshing.#Deut 25:4 Is God worried about oxen, 10or did he say this entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake because the one who plows and the one who threshes should each do so with the hope of sharing the produce. 11If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it so much to ask to harvest some material things from you?
12If others have these rights over you, don’t we deserve them all the more? However, we haven’t made use of this right, but we put up with everything so we don’t put any obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get to eat food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share part of what is sacrificed on the altar? 14In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who preach the gospel should get their living from the gospel. 15But I haven’t taken advantage of this. And I’m not writing this so that it will be done for me. It’s better for me to die than to lose my right to brag about this! 16If I preach the gospel, I have no reason to brag, since I’m obligated to do it. I’m in trouble if I don’t preach the gospel. 17If I do this voluntarily, I get rewarded for it. But if I’m forced to do it, then I’ve been charged with a responsibility. 18What reward do I get? That when I preach, I offer the good news free of charge. That’s why I don’t use the rights to which I’m entitled through the gospel.
19Although I’m free from all people, I make myself a slave to all people, to recruit more of them. 20I act like a Jew to the Jews, so I can recruit Jews. I act like I’m under the Law to those under the Law, so I can recruit those who are under the Law (though I myself am not under the Law). 21I act like I’m outside the Law to those who are outside the Law, so I can recruit those outside the Law (though I’m not outside the law of God but rather under the law of Christ). 22I act weak to the weak, so I can recruit the weak. I have become all things to all people, so I could save some by all possible means. 23All the things I do are for the sake of the gospel, so I can be a partner with it.
24Don’t you know that all the runners in the stadium run, but only one gets the prize? So run to win. 25Everyone who competes practices self-discipline in everything. The runners do this to get a crown of leaves that shrivel up and die, but we do it to receive a crown that never dies. 26So now this is how I run—not without a clear goal in sight. I fight like a boxer in the ring, not like someone who is shadowboxing. 27Rather, I’m landing punches on my own body and subduing it like a slave. I do this to be sure that I myself won’t be disqualified after preaching to others.
9
1Am I not free? Am I not an emissary? Haven’t I seen Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord? Aren’t you my work in the Lord? 2If to others I am not an emissary, yet at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my office of emissary in the Lord. 3My defense to those who examine me is this: 4Have we no right to eat and to drink? 5Have we no right to take along a wife who is a believer, even as the rest of the emissaries, and the brothers of the Lord, and Kefa? 6Or have only Barnabas and I no right to not work? 7What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and doesn’t eat of its fruit? Or who feeds a flock, and doesn’t drink from the flock’s milk? 8Do I speak these things according to the ways of men? Or doesn’t the Torah also say the same thing? 9For it is written in the Torah of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.”#Deuteronomy 25:4 Is it for the oxen that God cares, 10or does he say it assuredly for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because he who plows ought to plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should partake of his hope. 11If we sowed to you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we reap your fleshly things? 12If others partake of this right over you, don’t we yet more? Nevertheless we didn’t use this right, but we bear all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the Good News of Messiah. 13Don’t you know that those who serve around sacred things eat from the things of the temple, and those who wait on the altar have their portion with the altar? 14Even so the Lord ordained that those who proclaim the Good News should live from the Good News. 15But I have used none of these things, and I don’t write these things that it may be done so in my case; for I would rather die, than that anyone should make my boasting void. 16For if I proclaim the Good News, I have nothing to boast about; for necessity is laid on me; but woe is to me if I don’t proclaim the Good News. 17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. 18What then is my reward? That when I proclaim the Good News, I may present the Good News of Messiah without charge, so as not to abuse my authority in the Good News. 19For though I was free from all, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more. 20To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those who are under the law; 21to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Messiah), that I might win those who are without law. 22To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. 23Now I do this for the sake of the Good News, that I may be a joint partaker of it. 24Don’t you know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run like that, that you may win. 25Every man who strives in the games exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore run like that, not aimlessly. I fight like that, not beating the air, 27but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.