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9
The Rights of Those Who Preach the Gospel
1Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? 2If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
3Mine answer to them that do examine me is this: 4Have we not power#9.4,5,6 power or right. to eat and to drink? 5Have we not power#9.4,5,6 power or right. to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? 6Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power#9.4,5,6 power or right. to forbear working? 7Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
8Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 9#Deut 25.4. For it is written in the law of Moses,
Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox
that treadeth out the corn.
Doth God take care for oxen? 10or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.#9.10 should be partaker of his hope. Some early manuscripts have of partaking. 11#Rom 15.27. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 12If others be partakers of this power#9.12 power or right. over you, are not we rather?
Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 13#Deut 18.1. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14#Matt 10.10; Luke 10.7. Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
15But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. 16For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 17For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 18What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21to them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
9
1Am I not a free man? Am I not an emissary of the Messiah? Haven’t I seen Yeshua our Lord? And aren’t you yourselves the result of my work for the Lord? 2Even if to others I am not an emissary, at least I am to you; for you are living proof that I am the Lord’s emissary. 3That is my defense when people put me under examination.
4Don’t we have the right to be given food and drink? 5Don’t we have the right to take along with us a believing wife, as do the other emissaries, also the Lord’s brothers and Kefa? 6Or are Bar-Nabba and I the only ones required to go on working for our living? 7Did you ever hear of a soldier paying his own expenses? or of a farmer planting a vineyard without eating its grapes? Who shepherds a flock without drinking some of the milk? 8What I am saying is not based merely on human authority, because the Torah says the same thing — 9for in the Torah of Moshe it is written, “You are not to put a muzzle on an ox when it is treading out the grain.” If God is concerned about cattle, 10all the more does he say this for our sakes. Yes, it was written for us, meaning that he who plows and he who threshes should work expecting to get a share of the crop. 11If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12If others are sharing in this right to be supported by you, don’t we have a greater claim to it?
But we don’t make use of this right. Rather, we put up with all kinds of things so as not to impede in any way the Good News about the Messiah. 13Don’t you know that those who work in the Temple get their food from the Temple, and those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrifices offered there? 14In the same way, the Lord directed that those who proclaim the Good News should get their living from the Good News.
15But I have not made use of any of these rights. Nor am I writing now to secure them for myself, for I would rather die than be deprived of my ground for boasting! 16For I can’t boast merely because I proclaim the Good News — this I do from inner compulsion: woe is me if I don’t proclaim the Good News! 17For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if I do it unwillingly, I still do it, simply because I’ve been entrusted with a job. 18So then, what is my reward? Just this: that in proclaiming the Good News I can make it available free of charge, without making use of the rights to which it entitles me.
19For although I am a free man, not bound to do anyone’s bidding, I have made myself a slave to all in order to win as many people as possible. 20That is, with Jews, what I did was put myself in the position of a Jew, in order to win Jews. With people in subjection to a legalistic perversion of the Torah, I put myself in the position of someone under such legalism, in order to win those under this legalism, even though I myself am not in subjection to a legalistic perversion of the Torah. 21With those who live outside the framework of Torah, I put myself in the position of someone outside the Torah in order to win those outside the Torah — although I myself am not outside the framework of God’s Torah but within the framework of Torah as upheld by the Messiah. 22With the “weak” I became “weak,” in order to win the “weak.” With all kinds of people I have become all kinds of things, so that in all kinds of circumstances I might save at least some of them.
23But I do it all because of the rewards promised by the Good News, so that I may share in them along with the others who come to trust. 24Don’t you know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one wins the prize? So then, run to win! 25Now every athlete in training submits himself to strict discipline, and he does it just to win a laurel wreath that will soon wither away. But we do it to win a crown that will last forever. 26Accordingly, I don’t run aimlessly but straight for the finish line; I don’t shadow-box but try to make every punch count. 27I treat my body hard and make it my slave so that, after proclaiming the Good News to others, I myself will not be disqualified.