Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not you my work in the Lord?
If I am not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you. For ye are the seal of mine apostleship in the Lord.
Mine answer to those who examine me is this:
Have we not power to eat and to drink?
Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as do other apostles and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
Or is it I only and Barnabas who have not power to forbear working?Œ
Who goeth to war at any time at his own expense? 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?
Say I these things as a man, or saith not the law the same also?
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,
or doth He say 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.
If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it so great a thing if we should reap your worldly things?
If others are partakers of this power over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this power, but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the Gospel of Christ.
Do ye not know that those who minister concerning holy things live of the things of the temple, and those who wait upon the altar are partakers with the altar?
Even so hath the Lord ordained that those who preach the Gospel should live from the Gospel.
But I have used none of these things; neither have I written, that these things should be so done unto me. For it would be better for me to die than that any man should make my glorying void.
For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory about, for necessity is laid upon me. Yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel!
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, a dispensing of the Gospel is committed unto me.
What 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.
For though I am free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those who are under the law;
to those who are outside the law, as outside the law (though not outside the law of God, but under the law of Christ), that I might gain those who are outside the law.
To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak. I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
And this I do for the Gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Know ye not that those who run in a race all run, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain it.
And every man that striveth for mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible.
I therefore so run, but not with uncertainty; I so fight, but not as one that beateth the air.Œ
But I keep control of my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.