Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?
If I am not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
My answer to those that examine me is this,
Do we not have authority to eat and to drink?
Do we not have authority to bring with us a sister, a wife, as also the other apostles and as the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?
Do only Barnabas and I not have authority to forbear working?
Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? or who feeds a flock and does not eat of the milk of the flock?
Do I say this only according to men? or does not the law say the same also?
For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the grain. Does God take care for oxen?
Or does he say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that plows should plow in hope, and that he that threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.
If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap material things from you?
If others are partakers of this authority over you, why not us? Nevertheless we have not used this authority, but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
Do ye not know that those who work with sacred things live of the things of the sanctuary? and those who serve at the altar partake of the altar?
Even so the Lord has ordained that those who preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
But 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 anyone should make this my glory void.
For though I preach the gospel, I have no reason to glory, for it is an obligation laid upon me; for woe is me, if I do not preach the gospel!
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, the stewardship of the gospel is committed unto me.
What reward, then, shall I have? That preaching the gospel, I may make the gospel of the Christ without charge, that I abuse not my authority in the gospel.
Therefore, though I am free regarding everyone, yet I have made myself slave 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 that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those that are under the law;
to those that are without law, as without law (being not without law of God, but under the law of Christ), that I might gain those that are without law.
To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all things to everyone, that I might by all means save some.
And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker together of it.
Know ye not that those who run in a race indeed all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that ye may obtain it.
And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we, an incorruptible one.
I therefore so run, not as unto an uncertain thing; so I fight, not as one that beats the air;
but I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection, lest preaching to others, I myself should become reprobate.