Paul’s Use of Freedom

Am I not (A)free? Am I not an (B)apostle? Have I not (C)seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not (D)my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you; for you are the (E)seal of my (F)apostleship in the Lord.

My defense to those who examine me is this: [a](G)Do we not have a right to eat and drink? [b](H)Do we not have a right to take along a [c]believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the (I)brothers of the Lord, and [d](J)Cephas? Or do only [e](K)Barnabas and I have no right to refrain from [f]working? Who at any time serves (L)as a soldier at his own expense? Who (M)plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not [g]consume some of the milk of the flock?

I am not just asserting these things (N)according to human judgment, am I? Or does the Law not say these things as well? For it is written in the Law of Moses: “(O)You shall not muzzle the ox while it is threshing.” God is not concerned about (P)oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written (Q)for our sake, because (R)the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing in the crops. 11 (S)If 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 (T)did not use this right, but we endure all things (U)so that we will cause no hindrance to the (V)gospel of Christ. 13 (W)Do you not know that those who (X)perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share [h]from the altar? 14 So also (Y)the Lord directed those who proclaim the (Z)gospel to (AA)get their living from the gospel.

15 But I have (AB)used none of these things. And I have not written these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than that. No one shall make (AC)my boast an empty one! 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast about, for (AD)I am under compulsion; for woe to me if I do not preach (AE)the gospel. 17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a (AF)reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a (AG)commission nonetheless. 18 What, then, is my (AH)reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel (AI)without charge, so as (AJ)not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

19 For though I am (AK)free from all people, I have made myself (AL)a slave to all, so that I may (AM)gain more. 20 (AN)To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might gain Jews; to those who are under the Law, I became as one under the Law, though (AO)not being under the Law myself, so that I might gain those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are (AP)without the Law, I became (AQ)as one without the Law, though not being without the law of God but (AR)under the law of Christ, so that I might gain those who are without the Law. 22 To the (AS)weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak; I have become (AT)all things to all people, (AU)so 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.

24 (AV)Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives (AW)the prize? (AX)Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who (AY)competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. So they do it to obtain a perishable (AZ)wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I (BA)run in such a way as not to run aimlessly; I box in such a way, as [i]to avoid (BB)hitting air; 27 but I strictly discipline (BC)my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Avoid Israel’s Mistakes

10 For (BD)I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all (BE)under the cloud and they all (BF)passed through the sea; and they all were (BG)baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and they all (BH)ate the same spiritual food, and all (BI)drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was [j]Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased; for their dead bodies were (BJ)spread out in the wilderness.

Now these things happened as (BK)examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as (BL)they indeed craved them. Do not be (BM)idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “(BN)The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to (BO)play.” Nor are we to commit sexual immorality, as (BP)some of them [k]did, and (BQ)twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor are we to put the Lord to the test, as (BR)some of them [l]did, and were killed by the snakes. 10 Nor (BS)grumble, as some of them [m]did, and (BT)were killed by the (BU)destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an (BV)example, and (BW)they were written for our instruction, upon whom (BX)the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let the one who (BY)thinks he stands watch out that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and (BZ)God is faithful, [n]so He will not allow you to be (CA)tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

14 Therefore, my (CB)beloved, flee from (CC)idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise people; you then, judge what I say. 16 Is the (CD)cup of blessing which we bless not a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is the (CE)bread which we break not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Since there is one loaf, we (CF)who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf. 18 Look at [o]the people of (CG)Israel; are those who (CH)eat the sacrifices not partners in the altar? 19 What do I mean then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or (CI)that an idol is [p]anything? 20 No, but I say that things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they (CJ)sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become partners with demons. 21 (CK)You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and (CL)the table of demons. 22 Or do we (CM)provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not (CN)stronger than He, are we?

23 (CO)All things are permitted, but not all things are of benefit. All things are permitted, but not all things [q](CP)build people up. 24 No one is to (CQ)seek his own advantage, but rather that of his [r]neighbor. 25 (CR)Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions, for the sake of conscience; 26 (CS)for the earth is the Lords, and [s]all it contains. 27 If (CT)one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, (CU)eat anything that is set before you without asking questions, for the sake of conscience. 28 But (CV)if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of that one who informed you and for the sake of conscience; 29 Now by “conscience” I do not mean your own, but the other person’s; for (CW)why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, (CX)why am I slandered about that for which I (CY)give thanks?

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or (CZ)whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God. 32 (DA)Do not offend Jews or Greeks, or (DB)the church of God; 33 just as I also (DC)please everyone in all things, (DD)not seeking my own benefit but the benefit of the many, (DE)so that they may be saved.

Christian Order

11 (DF)Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

Now (DG)I praise you because you (DH)remember me in everything and (DI)hold firmly to the traditions, just as I handed them down to you. But I want you to understand that Christ is the (DJ)head of every man, and [t](DK)the man is the head of a woman, and God is the (DL)head of Christ. Every man who has something on his head while praying or (DM)prophesying disgraces his head. But every (DN)woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for it is one and the same as the woman [u]whose head is (DO)shaved. For if a woman does not cover [v]her head, have her also [w]cut her hair off; however, if it is disgraceful for a woman to [x]have her hair cut off or [y]her head shaved, have her cover [z]her head. For a man should not have his head covered, since he is the (DP)image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For (DQ)man [aa]does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but (DR)woman for the man’s sake. 10 Therefore the woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman [ab]independent of man, nor is man [ac]independent of woman. 12 For as the woman originated from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and (DS)all things originate (DT)from God. 13 (DU)Judge [ad]for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does even nature itself not teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her as a covering. 16 But if anyone is inclined to be contentious, (DV)we have no [ae]such practice, nor have (DW)the churches of God.

17 Now in giving this next instruction (DX)I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together [af]as a church, I hear that [ag](DY)divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19 For there also (DZ)have to be factions among you, (EA)so that those who are approved may become [ah]evident among you. 20 Therefore when you come together it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, 21 for when you eat, each one takes his own supper first; and one goes hungry while (EB)another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the (EC)church of God and (ED)shame those who have nothing? What am I to say to you? Shall (EE)I praise you? In this I do not praise you.

The Lord’s Supper

23 For (EF)I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that (EG)the Lord Jesus, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He also took (EH)the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the (EI)new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death (EJ)until He comes.

27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way, shall be (EK)guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a person must (EL)examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For the one who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not properly recognize the [ai]body. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number [aj](EM)are asleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are (EN)disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with (EO)the world.

33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is (EP)hungry, have him eat (EQ)at home, so that you do not come together for judgment. As to the remaining matters, I will (ER)give instructions (ES)when I come.


  1. 1 Corinthians 9:4 Lit It is not that we have no right to eat and drink, is it?
  2. 1 Corinthians 9:5 Lit It is not that we have no right to take along...Cephas, is it?
  3. 1 Corinthians 9:5 Lit sister, as a wife
  4. 1 Corinthians 9:5 Peter’s Aramaic name
  5. 1 Corinthians 9:6 Lit I and Barnabas
  6. 1 Corinthians 9:6 I.e., to support themselves
  7. 1 Corinthians 9:7 Lit eat from
  8. 1 Corinthians 9:13 Lit with
  9. 1 Corinthians 9:26 Lit not hitting
  10. 1 Corinthians 10:4 I.e., the Messiah
  11. 1 Corinthians 10:8 Lit committed sexual immorality
  12. 1 Corinthians 10:9 Lit made trial
  13. 1 Corinthians 10:10 Lit grumbled
  14. 1 Corinthians 10:13 Lit who will not
  15. 1 Corinthians 10:18 Lit Israel according to the flesh
  16. 1 Corinthians 10:19 I.e., anything real
  17. 1 Corinthians 10:23 Or edify
  18. 1 Corinthians 10:24 Lit the other
  19. 1 Corinthians 10:26 Lit its fullness
  20. 1 Corinthians 11:3 Or the head of a woman is her husband
  21. 1 Corinthians 11:5 Lit who is shaved
  22. 1 Corinthians 11:6 Lit herself
  23. 1 Corinthians 11:6 Lit shear herself
  24. 1 Corinthians 11:6 Lit shear herself
  25. 1 Corinthians 11:6 Lit herself
  26. 1 Corinthians 11:6 Lit herself
  27. 1 Corinthians 11:8 Lit is not from
  28. 1 Corinthians 11:11 Lit without
  29. 1 Corinthians 11:11 Lit without
  30. 1 Corinthians 11:13 Lit among
  31. 1 Corinthians 11:16 I.e., the one advocated by Paul’s opponents
  32. 1 Corinthians 11:18 Lit in church
  33. 1 Corinthians 11:18 Or dissensions
  34. 1 Corinthians 11:19 Or recognizable
  35. 1 Corinthians 11:29 I.e., body of the Lord
  36. 1 Corinthians 11:30 I.e., are dead

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