Witnessing in the Life of Paul
1 Corinthians 9:19-27
Many believe Paul to be the greatest soul winner and preacher ever. As we look at his life and letters, there can be no doubt that he had a balanced ministry of witnessing and teaching. What were his secrets of success?
Paul, what gave you such drive? "Though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel" (1
Corinthians 9:16)! You seem to have a great burden to witness. Yes, "I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh"
(Romans 9:2, 3). Paul, you have a great love for people. The love of Christ constrains me (2
Tell me, how did you reach so many different kinds of people? "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" (1
Corinthians 9:22). You surely stressed getting people saved. "Though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more" (v. 19).
There must be some ultimate goal that causes you to go to such lengths. "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.... Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible" (vv. 24, 25). Oh, so you are working for a reward? Indeed, "If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward" (1
Corinthians 3:14). "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus"
But, Paul, must you go at it all the time like you do? You have to live and have a little fun, don't
you? "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air; but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1
Corinthians 9:26, 27). So you fear God's disapproval of your service? Should not we all?