Week 2, Day 1
Understanding People to Reach People
By: Crystal Van Tine
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
I struggle to share the Gospel, to speak openly of my faith, especially with people who do not attend church. You know, the ones who really need to hear a clear explanation of the Gospel. I fear offending others, being looked down on, and being judged. But Paul’s passion to share the Gospel in this passage challenges me and my flimsy excuses. I pray we will allow the Holy Spirit to correct and instruct our hearts in this, as needed.
Observation #1: Paul is willing to give up everything for the Gospel. Paul is unceasingly zealous to share the freedom found in Christ with everyone, everywhere. He breaks down social boundaries, religious (but unbiblical) walls, and legalistic strongholds. He could hoard his salvation, hiding away until he dies and goes on the spend eternity with Jesus. But instead, Paul is willing to sacrifice his own comfort, convenience, reputation, and even his life, to share the Gospel. He remembers his chains, and wants to give everyone else the opportunity to be unshackled as well.
Observation #2: Paul knows that sharing his freedom enhances his own enjoyment of it. I know I have often viewed sharing my faith as me imposing my opinions and beliefs on others. This is probably my biggest barrier to sharing the Gospel. But when I realize that I am not imposing by offering the greatest joy and freedom possible, it frees me to rejoice in sharing the Gospel. Paul tells us that the incredible sweetness of welcoming a new brother or sister is more than adequate compensation for any discomfort or danger in sharing the Gospel.
Question #1: What am I struggling to give up to share the Gospel (reputation, being liked, discomfort, etc)? What do I need to repent of?
Question #2: How have I experienced the joy and blessing of seeing someone believe the Gospel?