Today I look a passage in 1 Cor 9 where Paul says he as been all things to all people to reach them for the Gospel. Paul entered into the world of people who had never heard the name Jesus before in order to bring the Gospel message. The call remains the same for us today. So what does it look like for us today to be all things to all people for the sake of the Gospel?
All in for the Gospel (1 Cor 9:19-23)
• In the previous verses here in chapter 9 Paul has been defending his apostleship.
Verse 19 Paul seems to be using language to suggest that he had been accused of trying to please the masses.
• He also seems to be contouring the aristocrats of the day who may have accused him of being a slave.
o They would not have accepted his message because he was a working-class person.
• Paul’s point is that he makes Himself a slave, voluntarily, to spread the news of Jesus.
Verse 20 Paul now moves from addressing the aristocrats to the Jews.
• Paul is entering into their world to relate to them, where they are.
Verse 21 Paul now 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.
o But this time he also adds this extra statement, that he is still bound to Christ’s law.
o So, while he lived like the Gentiles, he didn’t share in their sin.
Verse 22 Paul now moves to some more general, less specific categories of people.
• The word “weak” used here means just that, weak, sick, or feeble.
o By that he means that he shares in their weakness, for the sake of the Gospel.
This put him at odd with the aristocrats of the day.
Who believed in fate, that the poor must be poor because that was fate or God’s judgment.
• The verse ends with I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.
• What Paul is really getting at here is that the Gospel is more important than culture, or even religious traditions.
• The verse ends by saying… that by all possible means I might save some.
o Despite all of Paul’s efforts, only some will believe in Jesus.
Verse 23 Finally, Paul makes it clear that he does all of this solely for the sake of the Gospel.
• But he also says that he does so that he might share in its blessings.
o As we press into making efforts to share the Gospel, it’s important to remember that.
What are some take away points to remember from this passage.
1. It’s not a matter of gifting, we are all called to this.
a. Stop saying it’s not my gifting
2. We have to move past culture and traditions
a. And in doing so, we must separate the real issues.
3. We have to see the value in all people as worthy of the Gospel
a. In fact, their value comes from the Gospel
4. We have to see the value in all people as worthy of our efforts
a. We will never leave our comfort zones if we don’t see the people as worthy of our efforts.
5. We will have to leave our comfort zones
6. We can’t take rejection personal