16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach.(A) Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward;(B) if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.(C) 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge,(D) and so not make full use of my rights(E) as a preacher of the gospel.

Paul’s Use of His Freedom

19 Though I am free(F) and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone,(G) to win as many as possible.(H) 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews.(I) To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law),(J) so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law(K) (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law),(L) so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.(M) I have become all things to all people(N) so that by all possible means I might save some.(O) 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

The Need for Self-Discipline

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?(P) Run(Q) in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown(R) that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.(S) 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly;(T) I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.(U) 27 No, I strike a blow to my body(V) and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.(W)

Read full chapter