Free from All, Slaves to All

Jerry Sittser

READ : 1 Corinthians 9:15-23

I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. (v. 22)

We like to claim our rights. In large measure we can, too, as long as we don’t deprive other people of their rights. Paul had rights, too. One was the right to financial support, so that Paul could preach the gospel without worrying about where his next meal would come from: “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”

But Paul chose to waive this right and provide for his own needs. After all, he wanted to be able to boast about something that he offered his ministry free of charge! What he could not boast about was his preaching. He was under obligation to preach. It was a duty, a divine mandate. “Woe to me,” Paul said, “if I do not proclaim the gospel!”

So impassioned was Paul that he was willing to do almost anything short of sinning to tell people about Jesus. He gave up his religious heritage, his ethnic identity, his comfort and safety to proclaim the gospel. He became a slave to all to win all to Christ. More important to Paul than his rights was a great cause, to announce to people the glorious news of


God of grace, give us the courage to forsake our rights for the gospel. Amen.