Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Can you sense the kind of man Paul was from these comments? This is the man who having broken free of the shackles of Judaism was willing to subject himself again to the same restrictions and even add to the restrictions if it meant a brother didn’t fall into bondage. [1 Cor 8:13] What an amazing attitude! No wonder Paul was such a successful evangelist and church planter with attitudes like that. Now he spells it out even clearer. He considered himself a free man but was willing to be a slave to all in order to bring people to Christ.
Although Paul was not in Rome at the time of writing this letter it is like the saying “when in Rome do as the Romans do” was invented by him. To the Jews, I am a Jew. To the those under the law, I am under the law. To the Gentiles, I live apart from the Jewish law. [Notice he didn’t say – I’m a Gentile]. To the weak, I am weak. I am all things to all people so that I might win some. Or as it is put in the NLT which I like – I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. Paul is the consummate missionary or apostle. He will go to any lengths to win people for Christ. Can you sense the impact that has on people when they know the one talking with them is on their side and is willing to see things from their perspective? Not judging them, but loving and accepting them into the kingdom. Now that is compelling. I think it is the secret to his success. What do you think? That, and the burning passion seered on to his soul that was put there by a personal encounter with Christ.
Notice something interesting in what Paul said above. Did you see it? “I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.” How interesting: I didn’t know they were different. Law of God = Law of Christ. Doesn’t Christ = God? How then are these two laws different? Take it away and suck on it.
Paul says I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. What a great life statement.
Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.D. Thomas
Don’t be afraid to expand yourself, to step out of your comfort zone. That’s where the joy & the adventure lie.Herbie Hancock
Life’s purpose is not to be happy; But to matter, to be used by God & to make a difference that we have lived at all.Sidney Mohede
You Are Either A Prisoner Of Your Past Or A Pioneer Of Your Future.Robb Thompson