1 Corinthians 9:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.

New Living Translation
If I were doing this on my own initiative, I would deserve payment. But I have no choice, for God has given me this sacred trust.

English Standard Version
For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship.

Berean Study Bible
If my preaching is voluntary, I have a reward. But if it is not voluntary, I am still entrusted with a responsibility.

Berean Literal Bible
For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if unwillingly, I am entrusted with a stewardship.

New American Standard Bible
For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For if I do this willingly, I have a reward, but if unwillingly, I am entrusted with a stewardship.

International Standard Version
For if I preach voluntarily, I get a reward, but if I am unwilling to do it, I am still entrusted with that obligation.

NET Bible
For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward. But if I do it unwillingly, I am entrusted with a responsibility.

New Heart English Bible
For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For if I do this with my pleasure, I have a reward, but if without my pleasure, I am entrusted with a stewardship.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If I spread the Good News willingly, I'll have a reward. But if I spread the Good News unwillingly, I'm [only] doing what I've been entrusted to do.

New American Standard 1977
For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, the stewardship of the gospel is committed unto me.

King James 2000 Bible
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a stewardship of the gospel is committed unto me.

American King James Version
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed to me.

American Standard Version
For if I do this of mine own will, I have a reward: but if not of mine own will, I have a stewardship intrusted to me.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation is committed to me:

Darby Bible Translation
For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with an administration.

English Revised Version
For if I do this of mine own will, I have a reward: but if not of mine own will, I have a stewardship intrusted to me.

Webster's Bible Translation
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed to me.

Weymouth New Testament
And if I preach willingly, I receive my wages; but if against my will, a stewardship has nevertheless been entrusted to me.

World English Bible
For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.

Young's Literal Translation
for if willing I do this, I have a reward; and if unwillingly -- with a stewardship I have been entrusted!
Study Bible
The Rights of an Apostle
16Yet when I preach the gospel, I have no reason to boast, because I am obligated to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17If my preaching is voluntary, I have a reward. But if it is not voluntary, I am still entrusted with a responsibility. 18What then is my reward? That in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not use up my rights in preaching it.…
Cross References
John 4:36
Already the reaper draws his wages and gathers a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may rejoice together.

1 Corinthians 3:8
He who plants and he who waters are one in purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.

1 Corinthians 3:14
If what he has built survives, he will receive a reward.

1 Corinthians 4:1
So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

1 Corinthians 9:18
What then is my reward? That in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not use up my rights in preaching it.

Galatians 2:7
On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews.

Ephesians 3:2
Surely you have heard about the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you,

Philippians 1:16
The latter do so in love, knowing that I am appointed for defense of the gospel.

Colossians 1:25
I became its servant by the commission God gave me to fully proclaim to you the word of God,
Treasury of Scripture

For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed to me.

if I.

1 Chronicles 28:9 And you, Solomon my son, know you the God of your father, and serve …

1 Chronicles 29:5,9,14 The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, …

Nehemiah 11:2 And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves …

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and …

2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to …

Philemon 1:14 But without your mind would I do nothing; that your benefit should …

1 Peter 5:2-4 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, …

have.

1 Corinthians 3:8,14 Now he that plants and he that waters are one: and every man shall …

Matthew 10:41 He that receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive …

against.

Exodus 4:13,14 And he said, O my LORD, send, I pray you, by the hand of him whom …

Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name…

Ezekiel 3:14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, …

Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, …

Jonah 4:1-3 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry…

Malachi 1:10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nothing? …

dispensation. See on ver.

1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity …

1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards …

Matthew 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.

Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom …

Galatians 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision …

Ephesians 3:2-8 If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is …

Philippians 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.

Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God …

1 Thessalonians 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, …

1 Timothy 1:11-13 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed …

(17) For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward.--The previous words, "Yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel," are a parenthesis; and now the writer proves the truth of his assertion--that the necessity of preaching the gospel deprives the mere act itself of any grounds of boasting--by showing that if there were no necessity there would be a ground of boasting. The argument is this:--Suppose it to be otherwise, and that there is no such necessity, then, by voluntarily undertaking it, I have a reward. The undertaking it of my own free will would entitle me to a reward. But if (as is the case) not of my free will, but of necessity, then I am merely a steward--a slave doing his duty (1Corinthians 4:1; Luke 17:7-10).

A dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.--Better, I am entrusted with a stewardship.

Verse 17. - If I do this thing willingly. The word rather means "spontaneously;" "without compulsion." He was preaching willingly, but still it was in obedience to an irresistible behest (Acts 9:6, 15). I have a reward. The reward (or rather, "wage ") of such self chosen work would be the power to fulfil it (comp. Matthew 6:1). Against my will; rather, involuntarily, "under Divine constraint." A dispensation. He was appointed a "steward" or "dispenser" of the gospel, and could only regard himself at the best as "an unprofitable slave," who had done merely what it was his bare duty to do (Luke 17:10). There is no merit in yielding to a must. For if I do this thing willingly,.... That is, not freely and without receiving anything for preaching, without seeking any temporal profits and advantages; nor in pure love to Christ, and the good of souls, without any fear of punishment, or hope of reward; but the apostle supposes a case which was not, and his sense is, that supposing no necessity had been laid upon him, or any injunction or command given him to preach the Gospel, but he had entered on it without any obligation upon him, then, says he,

I have a reward; or should have one, or might expect one; so the Jews (q) say, that a reward is given to him, who does anything unbidden:

but if against my will, or unwillingly,

a dispensation of the Gospel is committed to me; which was his case; the Gospel was committed to his trust, as anything is to the trust and charge of a steward by his lord, who is obliged to take care of it, and is accountable for it, and of whom faithfulness is required; he did not undertake this economy, or dispensation of the Gospel of himself, of his own mind and will, but it was enjoined him by one that had the command over him, and could and did oblige him to take the charge of it; though he made him willing, as well as able to do it: and therefore since this was the case, that it was not at his own option whether he would preach the Gospel or not, but he was obliged to it by one, that had a superior power and influence over him; hence, though he performed it ever so well, and with never so much faithfulness and integrity, he asks in the following verse,

(q) Maimon. apud Hammond in loc. 17. Translate, "If I be doing this (that is, preaching) of my own accord (which I am not, for the 'necessity' is laid on me which binds a servant to obey his master), I have a reward; but if (as is the case) involuntarily (Ac 9:15; 22:15; 26:16); not of my own natural will, but by the constraining grace of God; (Ro 9:16; 1Ti 1:13-16), I have had a dispensation (of the Gospel) entrusted to me" (and so can claim no "reward," seeing that I only "have done that which was my duty to do," Lu 17:10, but incur the "woe," 1Co 9:16, if I fail in it).9:15-23 It is the glory of a minister to deny himself, that he may serve Christ and save souls. But when a minister gives up his right for the sake of the gospel, he does more than his charge and office demands. By preaching the gospel, freely, the apostle showed that he acted from principles of zeal and love, and thus enjoyed much comfort and hope in his soul. And though he looked on the ceremonial law as a yoke taken off by Christ, yet he submitted to it, that he might work upon the Jews, do away their prejudices, prevail with them to hear the gospel, and win them over to Christ. Though he would transgress no laws of Christ, to please any man, yet he would accommodate himself to all men, where he might do it lawfully, to gain some. Doing good was the study and business of his life; and, that he might reach this end, he did not stand on privileges. We must carefully watch against extremes, and against relying on any thing but trust in Christ alone. We must not allow errors or faults, so as to hurt others, or disgrace the gospel.
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