All in for the Gospel (1 Cor 9:19)
1 Cor 9:19 In the previous context here in chapter 9 Paul has been defending his apostleship.
Verse 19 He seems to be using language that would suggest that he had been accused of trying to please the masses.
- At the same time, he seems to be countering the aristocrats of the day who may have accused him of being a slave, because he wasn’t paid. They wouldn’t have accepted his message because he was working-class.
- Paul’s point is that he makes Himself a slave, voluntarily, to spread the news of Jesus.
- He is stepping past the accusations and persecutions. A real act of love.
Verse 20 It seems now that Paul now moves from addressing the aristocrats to addressing the Jews.
- Paul would make the case for Christ from the OT law to appeal to the Jews.
- Paul would follow the law in ways to not cause offense. (Jesus also did this)
Verse 21 Now Paul begins to address the Gentiles. People who were not following the Jewish tradition.
- When he was with the Gentiles, he lived like a Gentile.
- Again, he is entering into their world.
- But this time he also adds this extra statement. That he is still bound to Christ’s law.
- So, while he lived like the Gentiles, he didn’t share in their sin.
Verse 22 Paul moves to some more general, less specific categories of people.
- He started with aristocrats, then Jews, then Gentiles, now the weak.
- The word weak used here means just that, weak, sick, or feeble, without strength.
- Paul goes on in even broader terms, I have become all things to all men…
- But what Paul is really getting at here is that the Gospel is more important than culture, or even religious traditions.
Verse 23 Paul makes it clear that he does all of this solely for the sake of the Gospel.
- He isn’t trying to make a name for Himself.
- He endures the persecution and criticism for the sake of the Gospel.
What are some take away points to remember from this passage.
- It’s not a matter of gifting, we are all called to this.
- The Great Commission applies to all of us.
- It’s not a matter of gifting, it a matter of calling.
- Jesus gave the Great Commission to all who would follow Him.
- We have to move past culture and traditions
- And in doing so, we must separate the real issues.
- In all of this remember the Gospel is more important.
- In the end the Gospel is all that matters.
- The Gospel is all that will last.
- We have to see the value in all people as worthy of the Gospel
- To take the Gospel to people who have never heard it before we have to see their value in Christ.
- We have to see the value in all people as worthy of our efforts
- We will never leave our comfort zones if we don’t see the people as worthy of our efforts.
- We will have to leave our comfort zones
- The love of Christ must reach all people to fulfill the Great Commission.
- But to get there we are going to have to leave our comfort zones in really significant ways.
- We must be captured by the Gospel and Jesus ourselves.
- We will never do any of this if we are not fully captured by Jesus.
- We can’t take rejection personal
- We can’t be offended by culture; we can’t take it personal.