1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
(Observation) Paul says He is “free from all men” and follows with a list of people groups, to whose outlook, Paul has subjected himself in order to “win” them to a saving faith in the good news about Jesus. Lastly, Paul adds the motive that he “may become a fellow partaker of it.”
(Interpretation) I suggest to you that Paul’s intentional subjection to others is motivated by his desire that everyone whom God brings across his path have a chance to be a “fellow” with him by faith in Jesus. like his Father in heaven, Paul is not willing “that one of these little ones perish.” So, Paul becomes a “fellow” with those not of his own kind in order that he may, by sharing the good news about Jesus, become a “fellow” with them in the body of Christ, if and when they believe. So, Paul enters into worldly fellowship with those unlike himself in order that, if they believe, they may enter into Godly fellowship with Paul, in the kingdom of heaven, through faith in Jesus.
(Cross-reference) Matthew 18:14 “So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.
(Application) I suggest to you that Paul, no more than you or I, knows who among those he befriends will believe his “gospel.” So he therefore becomes “all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.” Boy oh boy, have I ever missed a lot of opportunities to share the good news by failing to “become all things to all men” that God brings across my path. What a shame.
What do you think? Is Paul’s conviction in the passage to “become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some;” applicable just for him – or just for the disciples – or just for your pastor – or just for the guy who led you to a saving faith in Christ – or does it apply to you also? If so, are you being “… careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time…? (Eph 5:15 &16)