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1 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? 2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. 3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, 4 Have we not power to eat and to drink? 5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? 7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? 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? 8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 9 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? 10 Or saith he 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. 11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 15 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 any man should make my glorying void. 16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 18 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. 19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. 24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

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1 Sarah R = "On occasion in his letters Paul seems to be defending himself. As he was not one of the original twelve disciples who were taught by Jesus, perhaps he faced criticism or skepticism from the churches. In many instances we see him sharing his credentials, so to speak, as an apostle and as one who has a divinely inspired message."
2 Sarah R = "A quote from Deuteronomy 25:4."
3 Deena E = "There is so much fuss surrounding giving to pastors, priests, ministers and churches. Apparently the same issue existed in Paul's time. When Jesus commissioned the 70 disciples (Luke 10) He told them not take anything with them, for the household receiving them would give them provisions. If a person (minister) is pouring heavily into your life, building you up spiritually and teaching you how to be a better person and live a blessed life, what is so wrong with giving to them?"
4 Cary W = "Oh that more churches and ministers of the gospel would take this attitude as their own.  Paul required nothing in exchange for his service and ministrations.  He served because he was so compelled to love Christ and His church and lay down his very life for them.Yet, because he labors not for the world or carnal, he is reminding them to take good care of the fathers, pastors and shepherds or teachers of the faith, since their devotion is singular unto God and His people."
5 Sarah R = "Paul did not preach the gospel or travel as a missionary for his own personal gain, but rather because he was compelled to by the Spirit within him. Following a radical encounter with the resurrected Jesus, Paul had a fire burning within him that he had to share with others. He had an undeniable passion for bringing others to know the freedom in Christ that he had found. How the world would change if every Christian believer had the same passion!"
6 Cary W = "In my thirty some years called as a messenger and minister of the gospel, I have found His work in me to be as Paul describes here.  Learning to be all things to all men.  To relate first to their current beliefs and life state, so that my words, example and message be tailor fit to gracefully meet their needs and allow their heart to open in trust and confidence of God's voice in me."
7 Cary W = "The more we are able to surrender our prejudice and even religious notions, and open ourselves up to the true spirit of each and every person we encounter, the more opportunity will be given to meaningfully connect and share the precious life and truth with God."
8 Sarah R = "Paul later writes to Timothy, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7). "
9 Cary W = "This letter is directing a blow to the churches tendency to let the world and its ways seep back into their lives and examples.  We are to bring every thought, motive, desire and ambition in subjection to the Spirit of Truth and Righteousness, lest we fail to be an example of our glorious message of Christ."