1 Corinthians 9 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
  Search
The Message (MSG) New International Version (NIV)
1 And don't tell me that I have no authority to write like this. I'm perfectly free to do this - isn't that obvious? Haven't I been given a job to do? Wasn't I commissioned to this work in a face-to-face meeting with Jesus, our Master? Aren't you yourselves proof of the good work that I've done for the Master? 1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?
2 Even if no one else admits the authority of my commission, you can't deny it. Why, my work with you is living proof of my authority! 2 Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 I'm not shy in standing up to my critics. 3 This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me.
4 We who are on missionary assignments for God have a right to decent accommodations, 4 Don't we have the right to food and drink?
5 and we have a right to support for us and our families. You don't seem to have raised questions with the other apostles and our Master's brothers and Peter in these matters. 5 Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas ?
6 So, why me? Is it just Barnabas and I who have to go it alone and pay our own way? 6 Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living?
7 Are soldiers self-employed? Are gardeners forbidden to eat vegetables from their own gardens? Don't milkmaids get to drink their fill from the pail? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk?
8 I'm not just sounding off because I'm irritated. This is all written in the scriptural law. 8 Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn't the Law say the same thing?
9 Moses wrote, "Don't muzzle an ox to keep it from eating the grain when it's threshing." Do you think Moses' primary concern was the care of farm animals? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses: "Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain." Is it about oxen that God is concerned?
10 Don't you think his concern extends to us? Of course. Farmers plow and thresh expecting something when the crop comes in. 10 Surely he says this for us, doesn't he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.
11 So if we have planted spiritual seed among you, is it out of line to expect a meal or two from you? 11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?
12 Others demand plenty from you in these ways. Don't we who have never demanded deserve even more? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn't we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 All I'm concerned with right now is that you not use our decision to take advantage of others, depriving them of what is rightly theirs. You know, don't you, that it's always been taken for granted that those who work in the Temple live off the proceeds of the Temple, and that those who offer sacrifices at the altar eat their meals from what has been sacrificed? 13 Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?
14 Along the same lines, the Master directed that those who spread the Message be supported by those who believe the Message. 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
15 Still, I want it made clear that I've never gotten anything out of this for myself, and that I'm not writing now to get something. I'd rather die than give anyone ammunition to discredit me or impugn my motives. 15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast.
16 If I proclaim the Message, it's not to get something out of it for myself. I'm compelled to do it, and doomed if I don't! 16 Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
17 If this was my own idea of just another way to make a living, I'd expect some pay. But since it's not my idea but something solemnly entrusted to me, why would I expect to get paid? 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.
18 So am I getting anything out of it? Yes, as a matter of fact: the pleasure of proclaiming the Message at no cost to you. You don't even have to pay my expenses! 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it.
19 Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: 19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.
20 religious, nonreligious, 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.
21 meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law.
22 the defeated, the demoralized - whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ - but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.
23 I did all this because of the Message. I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it! 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
24 You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25 All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
26 I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me! 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
27 I'm staying alert and in top condition. I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.