Good morning to all, grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today my Father's word revealed who he has made me through the words of Paul.1 Corinthians 9:19-23 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jew I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 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.
As we investigate God's message to us through Paul the first evidence we see Paul proclaiming his freedom in Christ is he belongs to no man. Paul tells us he is totally free in Christ from all thinking of men, and what they think of him. His only concern is to make himself a slave for Christ for everyone to win as many as possible. This means what ever a person needs Christ will intercede through Paul and be what that persons needs to hear in order they may be saved. That is why Paul states who Christ has made him to be for the Jew, for those under the law, those not having the law, and those that are weak. As we grow in Christ we should also be letting the Holy Spirit of Christ intercede for others as Paul did. If Christ is growing in us, and using us we also should have these testimonies proving him working through us in our own lives.
Many of us today are not revealing this relationship that Christ is interceding through us for others. Most of us do not see what the other person is, or what the other person needs, because we ourselves do not see the person we are, and what we need. For Christ to make ourselves be his slave for everyone, we first have to be a slave to Christ ourselves. This means whatever Christ wants to work out of us that is false that is not him we willingly have to give it to him, and not keep what he is asking us to give up. Many "Christians" today do not want to be a slave to anyone. Paul gave Christ all everyday, and was a slave to His presence, grace, and love above anyone and anything else. He was Paul's Heavenly Father, Lord, Savior, and Master. Paul was his child, a sinner needing to be saved, his servant, and slave to what ever he wanted to accomplish through him. Paul was willing to give God all authority over him, and God was willing to give Paul all authority through Christ for saving souls.
This will be our sign that Christ is living in, and through us for others because we will be all things for all people. We will also have these testimonies for ourselves to prove Christ is all things for all people.
We are going to break down Paul's words and prove his truth through the scriptures. We all should look at our own lives and be able to have testimonies for ourselves bearing fruit for the gospel. First of all we are going to address the Jew. How did Paul make himself like a Jew to save the Jews. We are going to find Paul's proof of becoming a Jew for the Jew's so he may save some of them.
Galatians 1:13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church (body of believers) of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles. I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.
Next we will address the ones under the law, and many today have received this message of Paul differently but clearly he is speaking as under the law, he is not controlled by the Spirit as struggling with sin being a Christian. He is speaking as one struggling with sin under the law. My hope is that many will see their error and receive his truth about this scripture.
Read all of Romans 7:7-25. I will share a little with you so you may receive this is Paul speaking when he use to live under law.
What shall I say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet." But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment produced in me every kind of covetous desire. v18 I know that nothing good lives in me, this , in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out For what I do is not the good I want to do, no, the evil I do not want to do -this I keep on doing. v24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
We know who will rescue us from the law of death, and that is Jesus Christ our Lord. Hopefully through these words him testifying about himself living through the law, Paul saved some that was living through the law, these words would reveal the sin in all of us who are living by the law or by our own works trying to make ourselves good. During this time it was only the Jews that lived through the Law of Moses but many were living through the natural law of God and not being able to control their sin. This is many of us still today who are morally trying to save themselves through the natural law of God. The law and his commandments reveals the sin in us, and that was it's purpose from the very beginning. So we can be rescued by our Savior's saving grace which through His Spirit we can fulfill the law, and have no condemnation from the law by not being able to fulfill it ourselves. There is no shame or guilt in Christ we are free from fulfilling the law, because he does through us!!
The next people we are going to describe are the people not having the law or not living through the Law of Moses. This would be the Gentiles and "sinners" that lived outside the Jewish laws. How did Paul make himself not a person living under the Law of Moses or the natural moral law of God? Through this scripture in Acts the apostles (those sent by God) Barnabas and Paul, were speaking to the Greek Gentiles that believed in other gods who were named Zeus and Hermes. Paul and Barnabas performed miracles and the Greek Gentiles quickly worshiped them as Zeus and Hermes, thinking their gods became them! Zeus being the Greek's top Olympian god, and the ruler of all the other Olympian gods. He was the god of the sky. Hermes was the youngest son of Zeus, the god of boundaries and transitions. Paul and Barnabas brought themselves to their level which was under law instead of glorifying themselves as gods. This would be making themselves as one under no law mere men themselves which were all sinners. Not Jews, or Greeks but mere human men. This was their response to the Greeks as they wanted to worship them as Zeus and Hermes.
Acts 14:14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting. "Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.
We are going to describe the next group of people; the weak. How did Paul make himself weak to save the weak? He tells others about his weakness and how God gives him strength when he is weak.
2 Corinthians 11:27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I don't inwardly burn? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus , who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.
2 Corinthians 12:10 That is why, for Christ sake, I delight in weakness,in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
These words tell us plainly Paul is weak and he delights in his weakness because he knows Christ will make him strong when he is weak. Paul told us about his weakness in difficult times, burning inside and feeling weak but praise God he gave Paul strength and made him strong. Most of us in America who are Christians do not have to face hunger, nakedness, insults, being cold, but we do have to face many daily pressures. We are weak in other areas with daily pressures. We are weak in giving up what God wants from us, we are weak in following him, and doing what he has asked of us. Most of us have not gotten to Paul's point of weakness through his trails as being a Christian. Most of us are weak in faith in Christ something Paul was very strong in. Next we are going to discuss how Paul being strong in faith, handled the weak in faith through Christ Jesus our Lord.
God tells us the strong in faith must bear with the weak and the weak in faith must bear with the strong. It is Christ who makes the strong strong so the strong bear with the weak because we know Christ will also make them strong. We must realize God is not talking about sin here, that we bear with other people sinning, he is talking about personal convictions that are disputable matters depending on each person. A sin is not a disputable matter. This would mean food, drinking, books, movies, and what people may do in other cultures in how they worship Jesus Christ our Savior. Paul tells us through these words each of us must be convinced in our own minds with such matters. The strong in faith must bear with the weak in faith and the weak must bear with the strong in faith.
Romans 13:3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant?
Remember Paul is NOT talking about sin here, he is talking about personal convictions.
For an example; A man might be weak in faith and wear only pants and not shorts, where a man full of faith may were pants and shorts. The weak in faith will not condemn the strong for wearing shorts and the strong may not wear shorts around the weak to make him fill more comfortable, and the weak in faith will not condemn the strong in faith for wearing shorts. We know it is not a sin to wear shorts, and we know it is not a sin not to wear shorts, but both have personal convictions to follow their own mind and heart.
Another example would be if a church wanted to worship on Saturday and not Sunday. The weak in faith would bear with the strong, and the strong would bear with the weak. There would be no division because both would be convinced in their own minds they are right with God through Jesus Christ our Lord in the peace and love he is giving them no matter what day they choose. The strong in faith would visit the weak in faith on Sunday and the weak in faith would visit the strong on Saturday each comfortable in their minds because of the faith grace and love God is giving them both. It is not about clothes, food, and days with God, it is about his love, and his relationship being the most important thing in our own lives, and he will give each person what he needs to grow in faith in Him through that amazing relationship he has allowed us to have through the cross, and giving us all we need for others as our faith in him grows.
I hope this helps you to recognize if God is creating you more into his Sons Holy image, I know it has helped me to realize more of who he is in my life. He wants to use you and shape you to be all he wants you to be, so he can work through you for all people that he sends you today and everyday for the saving of their souls so they can truly live now and live forever through his amazing grace and presence.