Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord?
If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
This is my defense to those who would examine me.
Do we not have the right to our food and drink?
Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?
Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?
Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?
Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same?
For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned?
Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop.
If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits?
If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings?
In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.
But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing this to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have any one deprive me of my ground for boasting.
For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission.
What then is my reward? Just this: that in my preaching I may make the gospel free of charge, not making full use of my right in the gospel.
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more.
To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law--though not being myself under the law--that I might win those under the law.
To those outside the law I became as one outside the law--not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ--that I might win those outside the law.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air;
but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 10
I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,
and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
and all ate the same supernatural food
and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
Nevertheless with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
Now these things are warnings for us, not to desire evil as they did.
Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to dance."
We must not indulge in immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.
We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents;
nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.
Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come.
Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols.
I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say.
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?
Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar?
What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?
No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
"All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up.
Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.
Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience.
For "the earth is the Lord's, and everything in it."
If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience.
(But if some one says to you, "This has been offered in sacrifice," then out of consideration for the man who informed you, and for conscience' sake--
I mean his conscience, not yours--do not eat it.) For why should my liberty be determined by another man's scruples?
If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,
just as I try to please all men in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
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