Tag: share in the gospel blessing
Scripture reading for November 25th: 1st Corinthians 7-10
Paul was called by God to be an apostle and given the task of reaching the Gentiles. Paul viewed the task of being an apostle, sent to the Gentiles, very seriously. He did not want to take any support from those he was sent to so they would have no excuse for not listening. He knew he had a right to have his needs supplied by those who received the message but was moved to offer it free of charge. He felt compelled to preach as delivering a trust given him by God. God would meet his needs. (1st Corinthians 9:15-18)
Paul’s mission strategy was graciously formed in him by the Holy Spirit, some of it against his early Jewish training! Paul was free in Christ and taught this freedom, but viewed himself as a slave with the job of serving all men the truth of Jesus Christ. This required some ingenuity and subversive thinking. When ministering to Jews, Paul drew off his Jewish heritage and spoke in a manner that they could relate to. (1st Corinthians 9:19-20) When ministering to Gentiles, he tried to speak the language of the Gentiles and relate to them without using Jewish law and religious terms that might be hard for them to comprehend. His whole purpose was to win them to Christ and see them saved!
“To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (1st Corinthians 9:22-23) Paul’s missionary heart chose to follow the Holy Spirit in being the proper witness to whomever God sent him to. This would require laying aside the religious prejudice of his Jewish roots in order to reach the Gentiles. He must also be prepared for criticism and even persecution from his own brothers who were still in religious bondage.
Paul viewed his mission to reach lost souls as competition in an Olympic race. The runners ran to win a floral crown that would not last, but he was running for a crown that would last forever! Souls saved would be in God’s presence for eternity. This required strict discipline of the body and spirit to follow Christ! Let’s all run this race to win!