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 of them.
2 Corinthians 11:24-29) - to save souls. He exposed himself constantly to danger and death - to save souls. With the Jew he banished from his mind all Gentile tendencies - to save the Jew. With the Gentile he severed himself from all Jewish partialities - to save the Gentile. He was willing to be anything or nothing, to do this or that, if by any means he might "save some." Soul saving had become a master passion of his soul. He was in the world for it. Everything must be subordinated to it.
I. WHY WAS PAUL SO DESIROUS TO SAVE SOULS? He remembered:
1. The value of the soul. Of this he had the deepest conviction. To him the soul of man was the most precious thing in the world. Whilst men were seeking to save all other things, he would seek to save this. All other gain was as loss compared to the gain of a soul.
2. The fate of the lost soul He saw the unsaved soul going down, getting further and further from God, becoming viler, ripening for hell. The fearful words of his Master rang loudly in his ears. He believed them, he did not refine them down until they meant nothing. He saw the souls "cast out;" he heard the dread "Depart;" the "weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth" sounded in his heart; and he resolved that, as an instrument in the Divine hand, he would do his utmost to "save some."
3. The future of the saved soul.
(1) In this life. Tending upwards; becoming purified; increasing in joy, peace, usefulness; indissolubly united to God.
(2) In the next life. "With Christ." The fulness of joy. Every soil of sin removed. All powers becoming developed. The "higher ministry" commenced and continuing.
4. The glory of Christ. This was supreme in the apostle's mind. The Master was first. Paul was pre-eminently a "Jesus Christ's man." Soul saving redounded to the honour and praise of his Lord. Christ had come "to seek and to save that which was lost." The purpose of the Master became the all absorbing desire of the servant. Paul saw that his Master was glorified by the victories of the cross. So in season and out of season the apostle preached "Jesus Christ and him crucified" that he might "save some." He lived, laboured, suffered, for the clay when "the multitude which no man could number" should sing to the praise of Christ the sweet stanzas of the "new song." The love of Christ constrained him.
II. NOTE SOME WAYS IN WHICH PAUL SOUGHT TO SAVE SOULS.
1. He used all means at hand.
(1) Preaching. He had a definite object in preaching.
(2) Conversation. He could preach well to a congregation of one.
(3) Writing. What a gift he had for "Epistles"! Letter writing with a view to saving souls is an excellent means, but it requires dexterous use. Paul could not "drivel," or be "goody goody," or "talk cant." Many religious letter writers can. Hence the contrast between ancient and modern epistles.
(4) Prayer. He "bowed his knees." Stiff kneed preachers often have stiff necked people.
(5) Living the truth. Here, perhaps, lay the transcendent power of Paul. He not only prayed, wrote, talked, preached, - he was. Satan is more afraid of the gospel in the concrete than of the gospel in the abstract.
2. He complied with prejudice and prepossession. It we would make others like ourselves in things essential, we must first make ourselves like them in things indifferent. Paul tells us that to the Jew he became a Jew - remembered Jewish feeling, looked at things from a Jewish standpoint, accorded with Jewish observances. To the Gentile he became a Gentile - accommodating his utterance, manner, form of thought, mode of presenting the truth, to Gentile predilection. You can talk to a man more easily if you stand on the same platform with him. To the weak Paul became as weak; not insisting upon his liberty or ruthlessly running counter to imperfect conceptions. In fact, he asserts that he became "all things to all men" in order to realize his supreme object. Personal predilections must be sacrificed, and unpleasant restraints submitted to, if we would do effectively the greatest work under heaven. An unbending preacher will preach to unbroken hearts. An insistence upon our rights and privileges is a short method, often adopted, of ruining all hopes. A spirit of holy compliance, a disposition to stand just alongside the one we would gain, - these are potent. We often bar and bolt the very door that we are trying to unfasten. Often we forget that we are speaking to very imperfect men, and that we are very imperfect ourselves. Compliance must, of course, not be unlimited.
(1) We must exercise discretion. We must abide in the realm of "the lawful," and select what will be truly "expedient." Sound judgment need be exercised. We must look to probable results.
(2) We must never sacrifice the right. Paul was most compliant in things indifferent, but most unyielding in things essential. When he yielded he not only confined himself to things indifferent, but made it to be understood that the things were indifferent. When they were regarded as essential he refused to comply. This is strikingly illustrated in his permitting the circumcision of Timothy, but resisting that of Titus.
3. He practised great self sacrifice. He did not think of himself, but of those he sought to gain. We have seen how willing he was to sacrifice his personal predilections. He went further.
(1) In some instances he sacrificed his maintenance, supporting himself by the labour of his own hands.
(2) He sacrificed his personal ease and comfort.
(3) He sacrificed much of his freedom - he made himself "servant unto all" (ver. 19). A man who is prepared for illimitable self sacrifice can do much. No sacrifice is too great for the attainment of Paul's life object. Christ laid down his life for it. He who bore the great cross spoke of crosses for his followers. His ministers often have heavy ones, but it is worth while to carry them, if by doing so we become instrumental in saving souls. Souls saved will be our "joy and crown" at last. What vast possibilities life presents, when we think that in it we may be the means of saving souls! This applies to all Christians. Every saint should toil for the salvation of men. All the sorrows endured and sacrifices made will seem like "the dust of the balance" when we see our spiritual children welcomed home. - H.
Unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews.
I. THE PLASTIC CHARACTER OF CHRISTIANITY. This is seen in —
1. Its documents.(1) The history of our Lord has been transmitted to us by four distinct authors, who evidently write from four points of view, and address distinct classes of readers.(2) Peter, Paul, James and John — men of widely different characters and circumstances — were all employed in the doctrinal writings of the New Testament, and thus Christian doctrine comes to us distilled through the alembics of four human minds. If God had desired to teach a Christian minister that he should study the age, characters, society, with which he has to deal, how could He have done it otherwise?
2. Its precepts, how broadly they are stated, and with an obvious avoidance of those particulars which might limit their application. Take, e.g. "Pray without ceasing" — evidently a principle and not a rule, and, because a principle capable of application to an infinite variety of circumstances.
3. Its doctrines. The Fatherhood of God; the Incarnation, the sacrifice of the Cross, the gift of the Spirit, the brotherhood of men in Christ's Church, and the resurrection; these are evidently doctrines whose import is as wide as the race, and which correspond to the instincts of the human heart, under whatever garb it beats.
II. HOW THIS CHARACTER SHOULD DETERMINE THE CONDUCT OF OUR CLERGY IN SETTING IT FORTH.
1. It is in vain to hope to revive any type of Christianity which has obviously had its day.(1) Let us not attempt to revive mediaevalism; all that was true, deep, and touching in that really survives still, only the fashion of it has passed away to return no more. Let us cherish its devout spirit, and endeavour to imbue with it our circle of society, while we throw off its superficial costume, which, like all mere costume, must in the nature of things become antiquated.(2) Let us not seek to revive the precise form of the Evangelicalism of seventy years ago. Here again there was much which, because it was the very truth of God, can never pass away. But while we endeavour to inhale its spirit, let us not entangle ourselves in its trammels, which are not adapted to the present day.
2. But to pass to more positive counsels. Ours is an age —(1) Of much superficial knowledge on the subject of religion. For a thousand persons who discuss religion freely in society there is not one who ever digested a spiritual truth. Now in dealing with this state of mind you must not content yourself with a few Sunday platitudes; the people will tell you that they know all that as well as you. You must oppose erudition to their flimsy knowledge, and be a man of thought as opposed to their superficiality.(2) Of latitudinarianism which is making the most insidious inroads on the faith. Now an indignant repudiation of scepticism, with but a partial insight into its real views is little likely to reclaim the sceptic. Let us seek to appreciate his difficulty, and to draw forth from the repository of Divine truth a solution of it: and in doing so it may be that we shall occasionally have to retract — not indeed one iota of Scriptural truth — but our notions of what the Scripture has said. Might it not be well too if our clergy would acquaint themselves, not merely with the general platform on which infidelity is conducting its attacks, but specially with those sciences whose progress is always attended with much danger in minds which are not well settled in the faith? But remember that our Lord bids us, as scribes, instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, to bring forth out of our treasury things new and old — old in the substance, which must always abide; new in the form, which ever changes with time and with the manners of men. Mark the emphatic word "his treasury." It is not from any repository of truth external to ourselves. No amount of learning in a Christian minister can for a moment compensate for the absence of an experimental religion. God's Word must be brought forth from our own treasury, not stolen from that of our neighbours. Prayer must go hand in hand with study.
Being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ.I. ITS NATURE.
2. Given by God.
3. Confirmed by Christ.
4. Written by the Holy Spirit on the heart.
II. ITS AUTHORITY.
1. Comprehends the whole law.
2. Extends to the heart.
3. Is enforced by love.
(J. Lyth, D. D.)
I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.1. St. Paul was a cosmopolitan in the best sense, the world was his country, mankind his brethren, truth his business, the church his family, and Christ his Lord. His catholic impartiality credited alike Jew and Greek with whatever amount of truth they severally held.
2. Love is the true expositor of the text. It is the sterling politeness which gracefully bends itself into "all things" within the perpendicular of truth and equity, "to all men" in order to their profit and salvation. Like a tender mother, lisping to her babe, reading with her boys, sympathising with the early trials of her girls, following with her wistful prayers the absent ones, nor ceasing a maternal interest in the elder branches settled in life, and so in her motherly heart is all things to all members of her family so the earnest Christian has a large-hearted family power of interestedness in whatever concerns the soul of every fellow-being. Being "all things to all men," only to gain them to Christ, implies a sacred uniformity of purpose, which —
I. SANCTIONS NOTHING INCONSISTENT WITH DIVINE CONFORMITY. "All things to all men" —
1. Sanctions no versatility which is evangelical with low church, sacramental with high church, indefinite with broad church, and indifferent with no church; though it does imply a courteous, loving, conciliatory tone of address to every church, always with a view to gaining them for the Church of Christ.
2. Implies no sinking the Christian to meet the worldling. The Christian is no chameleon, taking his hue from every incident he feeds on; but rather like the sunlight of his heavenly Father — the evil and the good are the better for his shining. Apply the rule to places of amusement. Can we imagine ourselves meeting Christ there, as He sat at the festival in Cana, &c.? We can realise His presence on occasions of innocent festivity; but there are others at which, if we could suppose His eye falling upon us, as it did on Peter in the hall of his denial, we should be ashamed to meet Him. I noticed in France pictures of the Crucifixion in streets and public galleries, in Hotel de Ville and Palais de Justice, but never one in a Cafe Chantant or the opera. As believers, you are Christ's living images, and would be as much out of place in a Casino or a playhouse. There is a rubicon between the carnal and the spiritual man which needs no Caesar to cross it from one side (that is, from the church to the world); but it requires a Christ to ford it, from the world to the church. Attempt it alone, and like Peter on the lake, you would sink in the act, unless His mighty hand bear you through.
3. Is no text for the pusillanimous concessions implied in the maxim, "When you are at Rome, do as Rome does." Paul did not; he was as much "Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ" in Caesar's household as in his own. Still he who gave Roman officers their respect, and magistrates their titles, who gathered sticks with the barbarians, and received the grateful courtesies of Publius, taught us to eschew rudeness or eccentricity in circumstantials, and to be peculiar only in essentials. In whatever shape you are gratuitously singular, you will be unpopular, and therefore the less useful. Hence, cultivate a conciliating not a litigious tone — suggest, rather than challenge. A well-oiled and tempered blade cuts deeper than a hacked or rusty one. Be as much at home with people as you can, that they may be at their ease with you. Let things indifferent be indifferent, that none of your earnestness and usefulness may be spent on trifles, but all concentrated on the main thing — saving souls and glorifying their Saviour.
II. JUSTIFIES ANYTHING BECOMING A MANLY CHRISTIANITY. By this is not meant a Christianity indigenous to man; but a robust, open-hearted, large-minded view of sinners, and of the means to be employed for their salvation. "All things to all men."
1. Means religious toleration having "proved all things, hold fast that which is good." Stand out for your own convictions. "Be strong and quit you like men." At the same time, fidelity to your own opinions is perfectly compatible with the most respectful toleration of those of others. You believe in election; another man sees only open universal salvation. Be it so. You both believe in Christ and in His Holy Spirit: then work and pray together on those grounds in which you agree, and you will get nearer to God and to each other than by incessant debate upon your points of difference,
2. Implies the use of all lawful means of "preaching the word in season and out of season," e.g., if a Romanist won't listen to our translation of the Bible, converse with him out of his own. The Douay version obscures some doctrines, but it can't extinguish Christ. On the same ground controversy is justified. Let the obvious love of souls, and loyalty to Christ so distinguish the spirit ill which you wield controversial weapons that men may see "they are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds."
3. Suggests a gentle forbearance with men's tempers, infirmities, and even sins. Much self-denial is needed for the duty of reproof, both as to the mode of doing it, and the doing it at all. "Bearing one another's burdens, and so fulfilling the law of Christ" is not the least self-denying form of taking up the cross. To bear with the magnanimity of Christian love the irritating annoyances and petty insults of an ungodly circle is no easy trial; but its effect upon those around us, though imperceptible, is real.
4. Imports the diligent use of many means, notwithstanding few results. There is a noble contentedness in expending all our means on the prospect of only "some" return.Conclusion —
1. Neither "all things to all men," nor anything to any man, is either safe or possible without God. You dare not be "all things to" some men, lest, burning incense with Korah, you be swallowed up with his company. "Evil communications corrupt good manners." Your life must be your testimony, where direct association would only compromise or quench it.
2. Make Christ your model. "Set the Lord alway before you." Let your first question be, "What would He have done?" He was in the best sense, and ever will be, "all things to all men," "the fulness of Him that filleth all in all." And He would be nothing to any man except to save him.
(J. B. Owen, M. A.)
(J. Walker, D. D.)Galatians 2:11), and so encouraged a division in the Church, and encouraged also the low notion that believers were still under the law of Moses. But this of St. Paul in the text is very different; it is an example, not a warning. And the difference may be put in one word: it is not accommodation which St. Paul encourages, but sympathy. He does not say that he practised what would please others, to win them, but he says that he always had an eye to them; he put himself into their place. He thought with himself, Were I a heathen, or a Jew, a young man or an old, an advanced or an imperfect Christian, a rich man or a poor, a master or a servant, what would my thoughts and feelings and fancies be when such and such holy truths or Divine commandments were made known to me? And according to what his wise and charitable heart, guided by the Holy Spirit, told him, of the needs and feelings of other persons, so he ordered his ways towards them, and his manner of speaking to them, and dealing with them. To take the instances which the apostle himself had been enumerating just before the text: "Unto the Jews," first, "I became," says he, "as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews." How was this? for we know how earnestly St. Paul opposed himself to the Jewish prejudice, that circumcision and keeping the ceremonies of the law were at all necessary to salvation. How, then, did he become as a Jew to the Jews? Look at that letter of his, in which he most opposes their ceremonies; look at the Epistle to the Romans, and see how he speaks of them there. "I also am an Israelite." "I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart." "I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren." Look in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 16:2; Acts 28:17; Acts 22:17) and see what trouble he took, how he went out of the way to show them that he reverenced the Mosaical ceremonies, and did not hold them wicked, though he would not have them reckoned part of the Christian law. As to the Gentiles, them also he mentions just before the text, saying, "To them which are without law I became as without law, that I might gain them that are without law." That is, he put himself in the place of the Gentiles, and said and did what their condition required; as when, writing to the Corinthians, he so greatly slighted human wisdom, which he knew they were inclined to think too much of; also as when, speaking to the Athenians, he made use of their own poets, their own altars, their own customs, and the like; whereby to bring them to attend to the truth of Christ. But towards the people of Derbe and Lystra, who were in the very act of idolising himself, he spake with all vehemence, as the case required, seeing it was the only thing which could hinder them from offering sacrifice to him. In neither case did he flatter or beguile, or at all encourage them in anything wrong, no not with a view of greater good hereafter, as we, in our short-sighted self-sufficient plans, are so often tempted to do; but he used that gift which God gave him, of entering into their minds and feelings to edify them, whether by soothing or contradiction, as might be needed. And as it was with him in respect to Jew or Gentile, so also in respect of rich and poor, and the other distinctions of life; to masters and servants, husbands and wives, in short, all sorts of people, he speaks as one who had the power, by the Divine Spirit which was in him, to feel not only with them but for them — not only what they would like, but what their condition would most require. Now St. Paul was a representative, what we may in some sense call a type, of the Church or kingdom of Christ in action and warfare. His teaching seems especially recorded as the completest standard and model of her teaching. May it then be truly said that the Church is made all things to all men? Surely it may; the mystical body of our Lord Jesus Christ, animated by His Spirit, has a word of seasonable instruction, and an aid of seasonable grace, for every one, even the meanest of His members. Surely there is no person, rich or poor, young or old, good or bad, wise or foolish, for whom the Church, as she speaks in our Prayer Book, has not a word of comfort or censure, of warning or encouragement, in their season. And as this is the temper of St. Paul himself, and of the Church which he served, so also should it be the temper of each particular Christian, among his own friends and acquaintance, and all whom the Providence of God puts in his way. He will account it a part of charity to become all things to all men; to enter into their notions and feelings, not for any vain fancy of pleasing them and obtaining their good word, hut for their profit, if haply by God's mercy he may be permitted to do something towards the salvation of a brother. And truly it is a strange power which God's Holy Spirit gives to faithful, self-denying persons, to enter into the thoughts and tempers and passions of those for whom they are concerned, even of those who are most unlike themselves; guarding them by a kind of instinct against those sins and temptations which would seem to be furthest from their own feeling and knowledge; as God and good angels guard them, knowing, and in a manner feeling for the sinner, without any sort of communion in the sin. Once more; if it be asked what is the way by which frail, imperfect men may be enabled to understand the thoughts of the wicked so as to perceive their tendency, and to pray and strive against them, the answer is, we must be very single in our aims-not looking, much less turning, back after we have once given in our names to Jesus Christ to be His soldiers and servants.
(J. H. Newman, D. D.)I. WHY IS THIS PASSION FOR SAVING OTHERS IMPLANTED IN THE BREASTS OF THE SAVED? For God's glory.(1) It is greatly to the glory of God that He should use humble instruments for the accomplishment of His grand purposes. When Quintin Matsys had executed a wonderful well-cover in iron, it was the more notable because he had little more than his hammer.(2) It brings glory to God also that He should take us sinful men and make us partakers of His compassionate and loving nature. That an angel should cleave the air to perform his message is simple enough, but that a Saul, an enemy of Christ, should live and die for the winning of souls to Jesus, is a memorable illustration of the grace of God.(3) In this way the Lord gets great glory over the Arch-enemy, for He can say to Satan, "I have defeated thee, not by the sword of Michael, but by the words and prayers of My humble servants." Then is the enemy smitten in the house of his former friends. Satan desired to sift Peter as wheat, but Peter sifted him in return on the day of Pentecost.
2. For the church's good. The passion for winning souls —(1) Expends the Church's energy in a healthy manner. There is a certain quantity of steam generated in the community, and if we do not let it off in the right way, it will blow up and do infinite mischief. Talents unused are sure to rust, and this kind of rust is a deadly poison to peace, an acrid irritant which eats into the heart of the Church.(2) Draws forth the strength of the Church, awakens her latent energies, and arouses her noblest faculties. Many a commonplace man has been rendered great by being thoroughly absorbed by a noble pursuit, and what can be nobler than turning men to Christ?(3) Knits us together. I have been blest of God to the salvation of my hearer, but that hearer was first brought here by a friend, and so we become sharers in the joy. And, moreover, when new converts are brought into the Church, the fact that they are brought in by instrumentality tends to make their fusion with the Church an easy matter.
3. For the good of the individual possessing it.(1) It makes us Godlike.(2) It provides a vent for love to God as well as to men. Loving God makes us sorrow that all men do not love Him too.(3) It revives our first love. When I see an inquirer penitent for sin, I recollect the birthday of my own soul.(4) It strengthens faith. If you begin to doubt the gospel's power, go to work among the poor and ignorant.(5) It draws forth all the faculties of a man. One strong passion will frequently bring the whole man into play, like a skilful minstrel whose hand brings music from every chord. If we love others, we shall become wise to attract them, and discover in ourselves talents which else had been hidden in the ground.(6) It gives the highest joys beneath the stars.
II. HOW DOES THIS PASSION EXERCISE ITSELF? Differently in different persons, and at different periods.
1. By tender anxiety. The moment a man is saved he begins to be anxious about his relatives, and that anxiety leads him at once to pray for them.
2. In the intense joy exhibited when news reaches us of their conversion.
3. In private efforts, sacrifices, prayers, and agonies for the spread of the gospel. A word may often bless those whom a sermon fails to reach, and a personal letter may do far more than a printed book.
4. In the more public agencies of the Church.
5. In adapting ourselves to the condition and capacity of others for their good. Paul became a Jew to the Jews. He did not preach against Judaism, but showed them Jesus as the fulfiller of its types. When he met with a heathen he did not revile the gods, but taught him the true God. He did not carry about with him one sermon for all places, but adapted his speech to his audience. If you have to talk to children, be children, and do not expect them to be men. If you have to comfort the aged, enter into their infirmities, and do not speak to them as if they were still in the full vigour of life. Are you called to labour among the educated? Then choose out excellent words. Do you work among the illiterate? Speak their mother tongue. Are you cast among people with strange prejudices? Do not unnecessarily jar with them, but take them as you find them. All men are not to be reached in the same way, or by the same means.
III. WHY IS NOT THIS PASSION MORE LARGELY DEVELOPED AMONG CHRISTIANS? Is it not that we have but very little grace? That is the fountain of all the mischief. But to come to particulars.
1. One-sided views of gospel doctrines. "God will save His own." Yes, but His own do not talk in that fashion; they do not say, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Since idleness wants an excuse, men dare to abuse this sacred truth to stultify their consciences.
2. Worldliness. Men are too fond of gain to care for saving souls.
3. Want of faith. Men do not believe that God will bless their efforts, and therefore they make none.
4. Want of sympathy with God.
IV. HOW CAN THIS PASSION BE MORE FULLY AROUSED?
1. By our obtaining a higher life. I do not believe in a man's trying to pump himself up beyond his level. The man must be up, and then all that comes out of the man will have risen. If love to God glows in your soul, it must show itself in your concern for others.
2. By full cognisance of men's misery and degradation. How differently one feels after seeing with one's own eyes the poverty, filth, and vice of this city. Your fellow-countrymen are living in neglect of your Saviour, and in jeopardy of their immortal souls; if you did but realise this it would quicken you by all means to save some.
3. By a sense of our own solemn obligations. If we are what we profess to be, we are redeemed by the heart's blood of the Son of God; do we not owe something to Christ for this?
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
I. PAUL'S GREAT OBJECT IN LIFE — "To save some."
1. Some preach with the view of amusing men. But Paul did not lay himself out to please the public and collect the crowd.
2. Others think that the object of Christian effort should be to educate men. Education is an exceedingly valuable thing, but if the Church thinks that it is sent into the world merely to train the mental faculties, it has made a very serious mistake. Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost, and on the same errand has He sent His Church.
3. Paul did not try to moralise men. Dr. Chalmers, in his first parish, preached morality, and saw no good; but as soon as he preached Christ crucified, grace prevailed. He who wishes for perfumes must grow the flowers; he who desires to promote morality must have men saved.
4. What did Paul mean by saying that he desired to save some?(1) That some should be born again; for no man is saved until he is made a new creature in Christ Jesus.(2) That some might be cleansed from their past iniquity through the merit of Christ's sacrifice. No man can be saved from his sin except by the atonement.(3) That they might also be purified and made holy; for a man is not saved while he lives in sin.
II. THE APOSTLE'S REASONS FOR ELECTING SUCH AN OBJECT.
1. The honour of God. Did you ever think over the amount of dishonour that is done to the Lord in London in any one hour of the day?
2. The extreme misery of this our human race. It would be a very dreadful thing if you could get any idea of the aggregate of the misery of London at the present moment in the hospital and the workhouse.
3. The terrible future of impenitent souls. But if they be saved, observe the contrast.
III. THE GREAT METHODS WHICH THE APOSTLE USED.
1. The simple preaching of the gospel. He did not attempt to create a sensation by startling statements, neither did he preach erroneous doctrine in order to obtain the assent of the multitude. To keep ,back any part of the gospel is not the true method for saving men. Give the people every truth baptised in holy fire, and each truth will have its own useful effect upon the mind. But the great truth is the Cross, the truth that "God so loved the world," &c.
2. Much prayer. A great painter said he mixed his colours with brains. A preacher ought to mix truth with prayer. When a man was breaking granite by the roadside, a minister passing by said, "Ah, my friend, your work is just like mine; you have to break stones, and so do I." "Yes," said the man, "and if you manage to break stony hearts, you will have to do it as I do, go down on your knees."
3. An intense sympathy which made him adapt himself to each case. He was all things to all men, that he might by all means save some. Mr. Hudson Taylor finds it helpful to dress as a Chinaman, and wear a pigtail. This seems to me to be a truly wise policy. To sink myself to save others is the idea of the apostle. Never may any whim or conventionality of ours keep a soul from considering the gospel.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
(H. O. Mackey.)
(Mrs. Oliphaut.)ipsissima verba, or his language would have lost its plainness in the one case or the other, and would either have been slang to the nobility or Greek to the crowd.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
(A. Duff, D. D.)
Hom. Monthly.(Text and 1 Corinthians 10:33). Here is the supreme secret of service to human souls; and the two passages must be taken together to get the beauty of the whole thought. It is an accommodation —
I. TO ALL MEN; to Jew, to Gentile; to weak, to strong —
1. By way of identification; as though himself just what they were. This means an Englishman becoming an Irishman to save an Irishman; a man of culture becoming an ignorant fool to save a fool — going down to the slums to save the inmates of the slums — becoming a slave to save slaves.
2. By way of self-denial and self-oblivion; not seeking one's own pleasure or even "profit," that others may be saved. A renunciation of self-gratification and even self-advancement and advantage for their sakes.
II. IN ALL THINGS — wherever it implies no wrong. The question is, What will remove a stumbling-block out of others' way? What will serve others? (1 Corinthians 9:19).
III. IN ORDER TO SAVE OTHERS. Everybody may not be benefited. "Duty is ours; results are God's." But what is offered to Him is not lost, although it may seem to be wasted. We never get to the true platform of service until what we do we do unto the Lord, and are not disturbed by its apparent unfruitfulness. He values it just as highly, without regard to obvious results.
(J. Stalker, D. D.)
(H. O. Mackey.)
I. A HIGHLY IMAGINATIVE TEMPERAMENT. The phlegmatic man, whose nature is incapable of taking fire, who moves with the creeping legs of logic rather than on the wings of moral intuition, would find it all but impossible to realise another man's experiences.
II. A KNOWLEDGE OF HUMAN LIFE. It is necessary that we should make ourselves acquainted not merely with the outward circumstances of men, but with their inner life — their modes of thought, their strongest proclivities. This requires study of men, not as they appear in books, but as they appear in their circle, and men, not in the mass, but in their individual character and idiosyncrasies.
III. A PASSIONATE LOVE FOR SOULS. Nothing but the constraining love of Christ can invest man either with the disposition or the power for such a work — a work requiring self-sacrifice, patience, tenderness, invincible determination, and hallowed devotion.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)— A little management will often avoid resistance, which a vast force will strive in vain to overcome.
Links1 Corinthians 9:22 NIV
1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT
1 Corinthians 9:22 ESV
1 Corinthians 9:22 NASB
1 Corinthians 9:22 KJV
1 Corinthians 9:22 Bible Apps
1 Corinthians 9:22 Parallel
1 Corinthians 9:22 Biblia Paralela
1 Corinthians 9:22 Chinese Bible
1 Corinthians 9:22 French Bible
1 Corinthians 9:22 German Bible
1 Corinthians 9:22 Commentaries