“For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you,” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.
When Paul wrote this section, he didn’t mean that he partook of the all the things that others were doing around him.
We aren’t to become like the world in order to bring the world to Jesus.
We don’t need to party and to fall into the same traps that the world has fallen into in order to bring them to Christ.
But in understanding each person’s background and in what they are struggling with, then they are more receptive to the gospel.
We all have a history, a place that we have come from. We all have dark tales where we have been delivered from the darkness and now brought into the light.
Even those who think that they have always been righteous now must realize that their past was just their own filthy self-righteousness and that it was never clean nor just.
In our former lives we did many of the same things that those around us did, and yet now we are being changed into the image of Christ day by day through His Spirit working in us.
It is not our own work but it is His work being wrought in us. I know of some who go out into the street corners and preach the good news of the Kingdom.
Some preach hell fire and brimstone, giving a castigating message that falls on the deaf ears of many.
But in order to win many over that message has to be one of first understanding where each of those individuals have come from.
Many are hurting and lost because of the death of a loved one or a divorce. Then those words of brimstone throw salt into a wound that will shut the door forever to those who would preach in this manner.
Paul adapted his teaching to the thought of the culture around him. He understood the Jews who were under the law and who followed the practices of it.
He knew of the Greeks that sought wisdom from the ancient philosophers of their past.
And yet with his understanding of the culture that he was then a part of, he sought to show each of them a way that was higher and more excellent, the way of Christ.
We must be led by the Spirit and not by our own agendas.
How many of us have shut the doors to those who have come offering pamphlets of white-washed false doctrines?
These are the agendas of devils who think that the flesh will do a work of man rather than of God.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?