Saturday, April 12, 2014

all things to all people

1 Corinthians 9

 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.

  22 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.

  24 Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize?

So run to win!

25 All athletes are disciplined in their training.

        They do it to win a prize that will fade away,

        but we do it for an eternal prize.

26 So I run with purpose in every step.

         I am not just shadowboxing.

27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.

         Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

This is Paul's "I am all things to all people" thinking.

I think what Paul is basically saying here is that he tried to build some sort of common ground with everyone, building a connect, a vibe, with them for a very simple reason - to be ready for the opportunity to share with them who Jesus is & what it all means to him & them.

I wonder if we live that way?

It seems Christians spend a lot of time trying to separate themselves from "the world" so as to not me defiled or tainted by it & the sin that is so rampant in it.

But Paul seems to say that we don't need to be so prissy & precious. He seems to indicate here that we need to jump into the river of life in the world, live our lives around all kinds of people, & wait for the Lord to bring us an opportunity to share with them who Jesus is.

Does any of that which I just wrote make sense?

We Christians sometimes give the impression that we want to live in enclaves of fellow believers, doing business with Christians, & sort of insulating ourselves from the rest of the world.

And Paul seems to indicate here a life of just the opposite. He suggests we are called to jump into the fray & be connected with the very people we've come to minister to.

Anyway, enough about what I'm seeing here -  tell me what you think?

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