NASB — 1 Corinthians 9 — KJV

Paul’s Use of Liberty

1 Am I not afree? Am I not an bapostle? Have I not cseen Jesus our Lord? Are you not dmy work in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the aseal of my bapostleship in the Lord.

[1] a1Co 9:19; 10:29 bAc 14:14; Ro 1:1; 2Co 12:12; 1Th 2:6; 1Ti 2:7; 2Ti 1:11 cAc 9:3, 17; 18:9; 22:14, 18; 23:11; 1Co 15:8 d1Co 3:6; 4:15
[2] aJn 3:33; 2Co 3:2f bAc 1:25

3 ¶ My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 IaDo we not have a right to eat and drink? 5 IaDo we not have a right to take along a IIbelieving wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the bbrothers of the Lord and cCephas? 6 Or do only IaBarnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 7 Who at any time serves aas a soldier at his own expense? Who bplants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not Iuse the milk of the flock?

[4] ILit It is not that we have no right to eat and drink, is it? a1Co 9:14; 1Th 2:6, 9; 2Th 3:8f
[5] ILit It is not that we have no right to take along...Cephas, is it? IILit sister, as wife a1Co 7:7f bMt 12:46 cMt 8:14; Jn 1:42
[6] ILit I and Barnabas aAc 4:36
[7] ILit eat of a2Co 10:4; 1Ti 1:18; 2Ti 2:3f bDt 20:6; Pv 27:18; 1Co 3:6, 8

8 ¶ I am not speaking these things aaccording to Ihuman judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “aYOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING.” God is not concerned about boxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, afor our sake it was written, because bthe plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher [to thresh] in hope of sharing [the crops]. 11 aIf we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we adid not use this right, but we endure all things bso that we will cause no hindrance to the cgospel of Christ. 13 aDo you not know that those who bperform sacred services eat the [food] of the temple, [and] those who attend regularly to the altar have their share Ifrom the altar? 14 So also athe Lord directed those who proclaim the bgospel to cget their living from the gospel.

[8] ILit man aRo 3:5
[9] aDt 25:4; 1Ti 5:18 bDt 22:1-4; Pv 12:10
[10] aRo 4:23f b2Ti 2:6
[11] aRo 15:27; 1Co 9:14
[12] aAc 18:3; 20:33; 1Co 9:15, 18 b2Co 6:3; 11:12 c1Co 4:15; 9:14, 16, 18, 23; 2Co 2:12
[13] ILit with aRo 6:16 bLv 6:16, 26; 7:6, 31ff; Nu 5:9f; 18:8-20, 31; Dt 18:1
[14] aMt 10:10; Lk 10:7; 1Ti 5:18 b1Co 4:15; 9:12, 16, 18, 23; 2Co 2:12 cLk 10:8; 1Co 9:4

15 ¶ But I have aused none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make bmy boast an empty one. 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for aI am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach bthe gospel. 17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a areward; but if against my will, I have a bstewardship entrusted to me. 18 What then is my areward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel bwithout charge, so as cnot to make full use of my right in the gospel.

[15] aAc 18:3; 20:33; 1Co 9:12, 18 b2Co 11:10
[16] aAc 9:15; Ro 1:14 b1Co 4:15; 9:12, 14, 18, 23; 2Co 2:12
[17] aJn 4:36; 1Co 3:8; 9:18 b1Co 4:1; Ga 2:7; Ep 3:2; Php 1:16; Col 1:25
[18] aJn 4:36; 1Co 3:8; 9:17 bAc 18:3; 2Co 11:7; 12:13 c1Co 7:31; 9:12

19 ¶ For though I am afree from all [men], I have made myself ba slave to all, so that I may cwin more. 20 aTo the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under Ithe Law, as under Ithe Law though bnot being myself under Ithe Law, so that I might win those who are under Ithe Law; 21 to those who are awithout law, bas without law, though not being without the law of God but cunder the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the aweak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become ball things to all men, cso that I may by all means save some. 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

[19] a1Co 9:1 b2Co 4:5; Ga 5:13 cMt 18:15; 1P 3:1
[20] IOr law aAc 16:3; 21:23-26; Ro 11:14 bGa 2:19
[21] aRo 2:12, 14 bGa 2:3; 3:2 c1Co 7:22; Ga 6:2
[22] aRo 14:1; 15:1; 2Co 11:29 b1Co 10:33 cRo 11:14

24aDo you not know that those who run in a race all run, but [only] one receives bthe prize? cRun in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who acompetes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then [do it] to receive a perishable bwreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I arun in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not bbeating the air; 27 but I Idiscipline amy body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

[24] a1Co 9:13 bPhp 3:14; Col 2:18 cGa 2:2; 2Ti 4:7; He 12:1
[25] aEp 6:12; 1Ti 6:12; 2Ti 2:5; 4:7 b2Ti 4:8; Jm 1:12; 1P 5:4; Rv 2:10; 3:11
[26] aGa 2:2; 2Ti 4:7; He 12:1 b1Co 14:9
[27] ILit bruise aRo 8:13


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He sheweth his liberty,

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?

[1] Ac 9:3, 5, 15, 17; 13:2; 14:4; 16:17; 18:8, 9; 22:6, 14; 23:11; 26:16; Ro 1:1, 5; 11:13; 1Co 1:1; 3:6; 4:14; 9:2, 19; 15:8; 2Co 6:1; 11:5; 12:11; Ga 1:1, 15; 2:7; 5:1; 1Ti 2:7; 2Ti 1:11; Tit 1:1.
[2] Jn 6:27; 2Co 3:1; 12:12.
[3] Ac 22:1; 25:16; 1Co 14:37; 2Co 10:7; 12:16; 13:3, 5, 10; Php 1:7, 17; 2Ti 4:16.
[4] Mt 10:10; Lk 10:7; 1Co 9:7; Ga 6:6; 1Th 2:6; 2Th 3:8; 1Ti 5:17.
[5] So 4:9, 12; 5:1; Mt 8:14; 12:46; 13:55; Mk 1:30; 6:3; Lk 6:15; Jn 1:42; 2:12; Ac 1:14; Ro 16:1; 1Co 1:12; 7:15, 39; Ga 1:19; 1Ti 3:2; 4:3; 5:2; Tit 1:6; He 13:4.
[6] Ac 4:36; 11:22; 13:1, 50; 14:12; 15:36; 18:3; 20:34; 1Co 4:11; 1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:7.

and that the minister ought to live by the Gospel:

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.

[7] Dt 20:6; Pv 27:18, 27; So 8:12; Is 7:22; Jr 23:2; Jn 21:15; Ac 20:28; 1Co 3:6; 2Co 10:4; 1Ti 1:18; 6:12; 2Ti 2:3; 4:7; 1P 5:2.
[8] Is 8:20; Ro 3:31; 6:19; 1Co 7:40; 14:34; 1Th 2:13; 4:8.
[9] Nu 22:28; Dt 5:14; 25:4; Ps 104:27; 145:15; 147:8; Jna 4:11; Mt 6:26; Lk 12:24; 1Ti 5:18.
[10] Mt 24:22; Lk 17:7; Jn 4:35; Ro 15:4; 1Co 3:9; 2Co 4:15; 2Ti 2:6.
[11] 2K 5:13; Mal 3:8; Mt 10:10; Ro 15:27; 2Co 11:15; Ga 6:6.
[12] Gn 24:56; Ne 4:8; Lk 11:52; Ac 20:31; Ro 15:22; 1Co 4:11, 14; 6:7; 9:2, 15, 18; 2Co 11:7, 12, 20; 12:13; 1Th 2:6; 2Th 3:8.
[13] Lv 6:16, 26; 7:6; Nu 5:9; 18:8; Dt 10:9; 18:1; 1S 2:28; 1Co 10:18.
[14] Mt 10:10; Lk 10:7; 1Co 9:4; Ga 6:6; 1Ti 5:17.

yet that himself hath of his own accord abstained,

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.

[15] Mt 18:6; Ac 8:3; 20:24, 34; 1Co 4:12; 9:12; 2Co 11:9; 12:13; Php 1:20; 1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8.
[16] Is 6:5; Jr 1:17; 20:7, 9; Am 3:8; 7:15; Lk 9:62; Ac 4:20; 9:6, 15; 26:16; Ro 1:14; 4:2; 15:17; Col 4:17.
[17] Ex 4:13; 1Ch 28:9; 29:5, 9, 14; Ne 11:2; Is 6:8; Jr 20:9; Ezk 3:14; Jna 1:3; 4:1; Mal 1:10; Mt 10:41; 24:25; Lk 12:42; 1Co 3:8, 14; 4:1; 9:16; 2Co 8:12; Ga 2:7; Ep 3:2; Php 1:17; Col 1:25; 1Th 2:4; 1Ti 1:11; Phm 1:14; 1P 5:2.

to be either chargeable unto them,

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.

[18] Ro 14:15; 1Co 7:31; 8:9; 9:6; 10:33; 2Co 4:5; 11:7; 12:13; 1Th 2:6; 2Th 3:8.
[19] Pv 11:30; Mt 18:15; 20:26; Jn 13:14; Ro 1:14; 11:14; 15:2; 1Co 7:16; 9:1, 20; 10:33; 2Co 4:5; Ga 5:1, 13; 1Ti 4:16; 2Ti 2:10; Jm 5:19; 1P 3:1.
[20] Ac 16:3; 17:2; 18:18; 21:20; Ro 3:19; 6:14; Ga 4:5, 21; 5:18.
[21] Ps 119:32; Mt 5:17; Ac 15:28; 16:4; 21:25; Ro 2:12, 14; 7:22, 25; 8:4; 13:8; 1Co 7:19; Ga 2:3, 12; 3:2; 5:13, 22; Ep 6:1; 1Th 4:1; Tit 2:2; He 8:10.

or offensive unto any, in matters indifferent.

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].

[22] Ro 11:14; 15:1; 1Co 7:16; 8:13; 9:19; 10:33; 2Co 11:29; Ga 6:1.
[23] Mk 8:35; 1Co 9:12, 25; 2Co 2:4; Ga 2:5; 2Ti 2:6, 10; He 3:1, 14; 1P 5:1; 1Jn 1:3.

Our life is like unto a race.

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.

[24] Ps 19:5; Ec 9:11; Jr 12:5; Ho 12:10; 1Co 9:26; Ga 2:2; 5:7; Php 2:16; 3:14; 2Ti 4:7; He 12:1; Jm 1:12; Rv 3:11.
[25] 1Co 15:54; Ga 5:23; Ep 6:12; 1Ti 6:12; 2Ti 2:5; 4:7, 8; Tit 1:8; 2:2; He 12:4, 28; Jm 1:12; 1P 1:4; 5:4; 2P 1:6; Rv 2:10; 3:11; 4:4, 10.
[26] Mt 11:12; Lk 13:24; 2Co 5:1, 8; Ep 6:12; Php 1:21; Col 1:29; 2Ti 1:12; 2:5; He 4:1; 1P 5:1; 2P 1:10.
[27] Ps 50:16; Jr 6:30; Mt 7:21; Lk 9:25; 12:45; 13:26; Ac 1:25; Ro 6:18; 8:13; 1Co 4:11; 6:12; 8:13; 9:25; 13:1; 2Co 6:4; 11:27; 13:5; Col 3:5; 2Ti 2:22; 1P 2:11; 2P 2:15.


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