THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL
B. The Apostle's Vindication
1. His Qualifications
1 1Am I not 2afree? Am I not an 3bapostle? Have I not 4cseen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my 5dwork in the Lord?
2 If to others I am not an apostle, yet surely I am to 1you; for you in the Lord are the 2aseal of my bapostleship.
3 My defense to those who examine me is 1this.
4 1Do we not have a 2right to 3aeat and to drink?
5 Do we not have a right to take along a sister as a wife, aeven as the rest of the apostles and the bbrothers of the Lord and cCephas?
6 Or do only I and aBarnabas not have the bright not to work?
7 What soldier ever aserves by his own wages? Who bplants a cvineyard and does not dpartake of its fruit? Or who shepherds a flock and does not partake of the milk of the flock?
8 Am I speaking these things aaccording to man? Or does the law not also say these things?
9 For in the law of Moses it is written: a"You shall not muzzle the ox 1while it is treading out the grain.'' Is it for oxen that God cares?
10 Or does He say it altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written because the aplowman should plow in hope, and he who threshes, in hope of partaking.
11 If we have sown to you the aspiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap from you the fleshly things?
12 If others partake of this right over you, should not rather we? Yet we did anot use this right, but we 1bear all things that we may bnot cause any hindrance to the gospel of Christ.
13 Do you not know that those who labor on the 1sacred things aeat the things of the sacred temple, that those who attend to the altar have their portion with the altar?
14 So also the Lord directed those who announce the gospel to alive from the gospel.
15 But I myself have not used aany of these things; and I have not written these things that it may be so with me; for it is good for me 1rather to die 2than -- No one shall make my bboast void.
3. His Faithfulness
16 For if I preach the gospel, I have no boast, for anecessity is laid upon me; for woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.
17 If I do this of my own will, I have a 1areward; but if not of my own will, I am bentrusted with a 2cstewardship.
18 What then is my reward? That in preaching the gospel I may present the gospel awithout charge, so as bnot to use to the full my right in the gospel.
19 For though I am afree from 1all, I have benslaved myself to 1all that I might gain the more.
20 And to the Jews I became aas a Jew in order that I might bgain Jews; to those cunder law, as under law (though I myself am dnot under law), that I might gain those under law.
21 To those awithout law, bas without law (though I am not 1without law to God but 2within claw to Christ), that I might gain those without law.
22 To the weak I abecame weak that I might gain the weak. To all men I have 1become ball things that I might by all means csave some.
23 And I do all things for the sake of the gospel that I may become a 1fellow apartaker of it.
24 Do you not know that those who 1run on a aracecourse all run, but one receives the 2bprize? cRun in this way, that you may 3lay hold.
25 And everyone who acontends exercises self-control in all things; they then, that they may receive a corruptible 1crown, but we, ban cincorruptible.
26 I therefore arun in this way, not as though without a clear aim; I box in this way, not as though beating the bair;
27 But I 1buffet my body and 2make it my slave, 3lest perhaps having 4preached to others, I myself may become 5adisapproved.