Wins Over All
1 Am I not free? Am I not a shaliach? Have I not seen Yeshua our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not a shaliach, at least I am to you—for you are the seal of my office of shaliach in the Lord.
3 My defense to those who examine me is this. 4 Don’t we have the right to food and drink? 5 Don’t we have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other shlichim and the Lord’s brothers and Kefa? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to not work? 7 What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink its milk?
8 I don’t say these things merely as a man, do I? Doesn’t Torah also say these things? 9 For it is written in the Torah of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is threshing.”#9:9. Deut. 25:4. Is it the oxen that concern God, 10 or is He speaking entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because the one plowing ought to plow in hope and the one threshing in hope of a share in the crop. 11 If we sowed spiritual things into you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others have a share in this claim over you, shouldn’t we even more?
Nevertheless we did not use this right, but we put up with all things so that we cause no hindrance to the Good News of Messiah. 13 Don’t you know that those who perform the holy services eat from the Temple, and those who wait on the altar receive a share at the altar?#9:13. cf. Lev. 6:16, 26; 7:6, 31-32; Num. 5:9-10; 18:8-20, 31; Deut. 18:1. 14 So also the Lord ordered those who proclaim the Good News to get their living from the Good News.
15 But I have used none of these things, and I am not writing these things so it will happen this way in my case—for I would rather die than let anyone deprive me of my reason to boast. 16 For if I proclaim the Good News, I have no reason to boast—for pressure is put on me and woe to me if I don’t proclaim the Good News! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have been entrusted with a commission. 18 What then is my reward? That when I preach, I may present the Good News free of charge, not making use of my right#9:18. cf. 1 Cor. 9:12b, 14. in the Good News.
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win over more of them. 20 To the Jewish people I identified#9:20. Or became. as a Jew, so that I might win over the Jewish people. To those under Torah I became like one under Torah (though not myself being under Torah), so that I might win over those under Torah; 21 to those outside Torah, like one outside Torah (though not being outside God’s Torah but in Messiah’s Torah), so that I might win over those outside Torah. 22 To the weak I became weak, so that I might win over the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all means possible I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the Good News, so that I might be a fellow partaker of it.
24 Don’t you know that in a stadium the runners all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win! 25 Every competitor exercises self-control in all respects. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we do it to receive an imperishable one. 26 So I run in this way—not aimlessly. So I box in this way—not beating the air. 27 Rather, I punish my body and bring it into submission, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
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