Become All Things to All People

Become All Things to All People


  • Household Shoe Wearing Example
    • Ask: I want to give y’all a scenario. Imagine with me that you are going over to a new friends house for dinner. This is your first time at their house and you are excited to make a good impression and get to know them better. You show up to their door, are greeted warmly, walk in, and look around. As you stand in the entrance you notice the carpets are spotless and perfect, there is a shelf full of shoes next to the entrance, and your friends are in their socks, not wearing any shoes.
    • Now someone tell me, in that scenario, what is one of the first things you do?
      • You don’t bring your muddy shoes into someone else’s house and rub them all over their fresh carpet.
      • You don’t loudly proclaim “This is a free country, I can wear shoes if I want to!”
      • You don’t reason with them “Well I wear shoes at my house, so I am going to wear them here too! That’s just who I am, and if you don’t like my shoe wearing self then I guess we just won’t be friends!”
    • No man! No one would do that! Even if you are a shoe wearer in your own home, you become a shoe-taker-offer In your friends home because you want to be respectful and polite.
  • Now church, here is the tough question… if we can do that with shoes, why can’t we humble ourselves and do that with all things, all opinions, all practices and habits for the sake of love?
  • The title of today’s sermon is “Become all things to all people”. It could be more plainly put this way “Humble yourself for the sake of others.”
  • Turn with me to 1 Corinthians Chapter 9 as we read today’s text, Verses 19-23.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 ESV  For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.  (20)  To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.  (21)  To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.  (22)  To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.  (23)  I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

Point One – We are free, but for Love’s sake we become bound

  • Point one is this, We are free, but for Love’s sake we become bound
  • Let’s focus in on verse 19:

1 Corinthians 9:19 ESV  For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.

  • Y’all know that as Christians we are free right? Christ has set us free from the Law and now we live under grace!
  • You see Paul grew up as a religious Jew, he knew the scriptures backward and forward. And that means he understood all of the laws of the Old Testament.
    • In fact his belief was that the only way to get to heaven was to perfectly follow the laws of God and never sin.
    • And he felt that if he did not follow the laws of the Old Testament that he would be punished by God, maybe even sent to hell.
    • So Paul followed the law out of fear.
    • And the fear of God is a good thing church, we should fear God, look at proverbs 9:10

Proverbs 9:10 ESV  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

  • The Fear of the Lord is the Begging of all wisdom. But it’s just the start, see there is something better than the fear of the Lord, and that is Love for the Lord.
    • Before Paul was saved he was motivated to follow the Law out of fear. And then he got saved and Christ freed him from the Law. But that doesn’t mean he just throws the law away and lives a big sin fest!
    • Not at all, instead now his motivation is love. He follows the laws of Christ out of Love.
    • And how much more motivational is love then fear. A man will do much more for loves sake then he will for fears sake.
      • If you pull a gun on me I will do whatever you ask until you put that gun away.
      • If you pull a gun on my wife I will step in front of the gun in order to protect her.
    • So as Christians we don’t sin, not because we are afraid of the punishment of sin, but because we love God and want to please Him.
    • And one of the most pleasing things to God is when we lead other people to him.
  • So again I repeat, we are free, but for loves sake we ought to become bound. From time to time, that is, so that we can lead others to Christ.
  • Let me give you an example:
    • Leviticus 11 tells us we are not allowed to eat pork. It says it plain as day “You shall not eat of the pig”. That’s law, ok. The Law says, no pork!
    • But then in Mark chapter 7 Jesus teaches that there is no food that we can eat that in and of itself is sinful.
    • So the Law says no eating Pork. But Jesus, who frees us from the law says we should care more about what comes out of our mouth then what goes in.
    • So as a Christian I know it is not a sin for me to eat pork.
    • But just because it is not a sin for me to eat pork doesn’t mean that I am going to bring a plate of bacon to a barmitveh! Because I don’t want to needlessly offend anyone there, because I might want to preach the Gospel to them!
    • Nowhere in the Bible does it say it is a sin to drink alcohol, it makes it clear however that it is a sin to be drunk.
      • Even so, knowing that drinking is not a sin, even being free to drink… that doesn’t mean that I am going to go to an AA meeting to minister while sipping a Corona.
  • That’s crazy right?
  • But sometimes we get all high and mighty, thinking our way is the best way, and if people don’t like it, then tough!
    • Here is a real life example. I Googled “Hillary wearing a hijab”
    • Third think on the list is “Hillary submits to Islam, wears a hijab”.
    • And as a matter of fact, yes, you can find pictures of Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama wearing headscarf’s in the Middle East.
    • You know who else you can find wearing a head scarf in the Middle East?
      • Laura Bush! That’s right, the past three First Ladies of the United states can be seen wearing headscarf’s! Oh no! Scandalous right?
      • Of course it is not scandalous, unless you are a conspiracy theorist who think that all of our past three first ladies are Muslim, then this really isn’t a big deal.
    • Why? Because in the Middle East, women cover their heads, and to not do so is incredibly rude. And their political influence as foreign women would be greatly diminished!
      • Now if Hillary Clinton Is willing to give up her right as a free woman to have an uncovered head… if Hillary Clinton is willing to give up her freedom for the sake of politics, how much more should we be willing to give up ours for the sake of love?
  • I want to show you this picture, it is a picture taken from Faith and Victory Pakistan, a small church that Faith and Victory (Pastor Matt’s church) helped plant. And I ask that in the video we blur this picture out, as it is not safe for us to post this on the internet.
  • Now look at this picture, here we see a Muslim woman who just accepted Christ getting ready to be baptized. And look both the Christian and the new Christian are wearing headscarfs. If this woman did not wear a headscarf, the other woman may not have been saved.

Point Two – Become all things to all people that some might be saved

  • That brings me to point two: Become all things to all people that some might be saved.
    • Let me say that again: Become all things to all people that some might be saved.
  • Lets look now at verses 21-22

1 Corinthians 9:21-22 ESV  (21)  To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.  (22)  To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

  • Let me paraphrase this in modern English for you: Paul says “To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (Not being outside the law of God but outside the law of Christ)” In other words “To the sinner I became a sinner (not that I would ever sin)”.
    • You know how Trent got saved? We went to Hardy’s and bowling with him. You know how often I talked about Jesus when we went bowling? None! We just bowled and had a good time, that opened the door to invite him to church where he got saved.
    • For Trent’s sake, for those two hours we bowled, I gave up my right to be a pastor, and I just became a guy who wanted to bowl.
    • Sure I could have quoted Bible verses the whole time, and preached at him the whole time, but for two hours I kept my religion to myself so that he might be saved.
  • One time I invited a family to church for free Pizza, they just so happened to be hanging out with one of church members. They said “Free pizza? Sure!”. We get to church and they don’t say much, they eat there pizza and whisper to themselves. Afterwords I complemented the guy’s tattoos.
    • He told me he was a tattoo artist.
    • I told him “That’s awesome, I might want some more ink soon”.
    • He looked at me crazy and said “You have ink?”
    • I said yup, and I rolled up my sleeve and showed him.
    • I kid you not, he looked back at his girlfriend and said “Honey, I take it back, let’s go to this church!”
      • And they came for nearly a year straight!
    • They came to church because I had a tattoo. I didn’t preach to him about how sinful his tattoos were, I wasn’t like “How dare you come into our church with a tattoo of a naked woman riding on Satan’s back? SINNER!”
    • I could have done that, but I gave up that right. Instead I bonded with him.
  • Paul says “To the weak I become weak”. Paul is not talking about the physically weak here… he is not saying “to the wuss I became a wuss” more likely he is talking about mental fortitude. In today’s language he would be saying “To the naive I become naive”.
    • You know what drives me crazy…. OHHH it gets me going… I cannot stand it when people are politically ignorant.
    • Like people who are strongly opinionated about politics but have absolutely no idea what they are talking about?
      • It happens on both sides of aisle too!
      • And I just want to blow them up, tell them what for!
        • But you know what that would do, it would turn them away from me, and in turn, turn them away from my Christ.
    • So instead, when talking to someone spewing political nonsense I just take a big gulp, listen, and agree where I can agree.
    • The same is true with religion… when I tell people I am a pastor, for some reason some people take that as an open door for them to tell me all about how wrong the modern day church is, how wrong the Bible is, how more Christians need to do this, or less Christians need to do that.
      • Happens all the time folks.
    • And you know what, I don’t argue… I die on the inside… but I don’t argue… because what good does arguing do.
      • You know I have never meet someone who was argued to Christ!
      • I never meet someone who was like “Well I was an atheist, but them some dude berated and belittled me and my opinions… so I accepted Jesus then and there!”
      • But you know what, I have met a lot of people who have been loved to Christ.
  • Folks I was a Pro-Abortion Anti-Bible Stupid Little 16 year old when I got saved. But Pastor Matt never called me out. He loved me all the same! It was the Gospel, not an argument, that led me to Christ. Now after I got saved, He called me out on all my garbage, but not before. Because he loved me and wanted me to know the Love of Christ.
  • Can I tell y’all a secret?
    • I don’t post 95% of the stuff that I want to on Facebook,.
    • I don’t share articles that I want to share
    • I don’t post thoughts that I want to post
    • I don’t comment on things I REALLY want to comment on.
      • Sometimes I write out multi-paragraph responses to things that make me so mad on Facebook… then I promptly delete them.
  • Why? Because not everyone on my Facebook page is a Christian, and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize those peoples chances of being saved. I don’t want to be unfollowed by them, because I want them to see the love of Christ in me. And that includes my Facebook page.
  • AND DON’T GET ME WRONG FOLKS. I am not talking about denying Christ. I am talking about denying ourselves for the sake for Christ!
    • Let me say it again if you did not catch it: I am not talking about denying Christ. I am talking about denying ourselves for the sake for Christ!
  • Guy’s there is a time and a place to take a stand. But it has to be dictated by God, not our own desires. That is why sometimes, on rare occasion, you may see a controversial post on my Facebook, but know it is always done in prayer and with the permission and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  • Because the fact is, God is patient, and often times God does not take a stand where we think He ought to take a stand. Why? Because He is patiently waiting for more people to be saved.
  • Second Peter Three Nine is one of my favorite Bible verses:

2 Peter 3:9 ESV  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

  • Sometimes God let’s sinners sin before judging them in order to give them time to be saved, and if God can be patient with His judgment for the sake of the lost, can’t I be patient with my opinions for the sake of the lost?

Point Three – Do what it takes to lead people to Christ!

  • That brings me to the last point for today. Do what it takes to lead people to Christ.
    • Aside from sinning, do what it takes to lead people to Christ.
  • Now lets look at verses 22 and 23

1 Corinthians 9:22b-23 ESV   I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.  (23)  I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

  • Aside from sinning, do what it takes that some might be saved! I will give you two examples from Amanda and My mission trip to East Timor.
  • Folk’s, for the sake of the Gospel, I drank poop water.
    • That’s right, poop water.
    • Let me explain: In the mountain villages of East Timor the only source of water for many was a muddy, dirty river.
    • As such they did all of their laundry in the river and the kids all played in the river.
    • So you have this nasty river with naked kids playing all up in down it, inevitably pooping and peeing all about it.
    • Unfortunately, this same river is where the villagers get their drinking water.
    • Now we were fancy pants missionaries so we drank bottled watter, most of the time.
    • But when we would go visit houses, they would always bring us coffee, made with river water.
    • I am telling you without exaggeration, the coffee would almost always smell like Laundry Detergent, or BO.
    • And when they would bring it out I would think of all the naked toddlers and little kids peeing and pooping in this river…
    • But you know what, I drank that coffee. Shot it like it was hard alcohol, but I drank it.
      • I didn’t worry about getting sick, I didn’t think about weather I was thirsty or not, but I drank it.
      • Why? Because it would have been horribly rude not to drink it.
      • So, for the sake of the Gospel I drank poop water. And no one got offended, and the gospel was preached, and people were healed and saved.
  • Second example, Amanda and I became English Teachers.
    • One day in East Timor a man came into our village on a motorbike and came right up to us. He said in broken English “You are white! Do you speak English”
    • Turns out the guy was teaching English to the village youth, he asked us to take over his class for the week.
    • Folks I am not an English teacher. I had no idea what I was doing, Amanda was in the same boat. But we agreed, that some might be saved.
    • So for a week we taught the class English greetings and phrases, and we even taught them to sing I Love You, You Love Me, the Barny theme song.
    • Guy’s I did not want to teach English, it was hot, it was dirty, and it was not what I went to East Timor to do… but we were given an opportunity, as led by the Spirit, to connect with the community, so we took it.
    • We became English Teachers so some might get saved. And Praise God, it was the English teacher himself, the man on the motorbike, who ended up getting saved.


  • As Christians our one desire in life, our one goal in life, should be to please God, magnify Him, and love Him.
    • The best way we can do that is to lead others to Him.
      • Let everything we do be motivated by love.
      • Let every facebook post be motivated by love.
      • Let every conversation be motivated by love.
      • Let everything we do glorify God and lead others to him.
  • Next time someone does something that makes you made, consider your response “Will this response help lead them to Christ, or will it drive them farther away”.
  • If we all had the attitude of Paul “I will become all things to all men that some might get saved” I am sure that many MANY more people would come to Christ, AMEN?
  • Amen! Let’s praise God a little bit before we close!


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