Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.
—I Corinthians 9:19-23, NLT).
I am free because of what Jesus has done for me, and I choose to make myself a slave for the sake of others. What does that mean? I become like others so that I might understand where they are and offer them the hope that I have received. Paul says that he had become all things to all people so that some might find Christ. That is my call, too, and it is yours. Not to force any superiority or knowledge or faith on anyone else, but to offer the grace Jesus gave me–to become like someone else so that I might understand how to share it.
What a powerful thought! If I become like Christ and offer my life for the sake of someone else, the gospel lives in me. I offer His message of redeeming grace. Jesus, who was sinless, became sin and took it to the Cross. There He sacrificed His life so I might become the righteousness of God in Christ. I am free because of Christ’s grace. I choose to be renewed by the spirit I have received and freely give away His grace. If I can identify with someone in need of receiving His grace or identity with someone who does not understand the grace they have received, I have the opportunity to become the answer to their need.
The Holy Spirit can reveal the most profound need that only He knows. He can guide me in how I listen and what I say and do. When I become less for the sake of someone else, then Christ can be much more in me. He can then use me to help someone see the freedom and potential He has for their life.
I have something to share! It is a story of Christ taking my sinful life and giving me His righteous one. It is a story of redeeming love and freedom from sin that gives power to the law. “In him was life," John writes, “and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4, NIV). The grace of Jesus is what I offer, and His light is the only light that reveals the depths of the human heart. I choose to allow His grace to flow through me and reveal His truth to those in darkness. Those in darkness are not just those who don't know Christ. Believers, who do not understand the truth of His grace, also, live in darkness. The light of His grace will always overcome the lies that live in the human heart.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free,” Paul writes. “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1, NIV). In this chapter in Galatians 5, Paul speaks of slavery to the law. He wants the Galatians to stand firm in the grace of Jesus they have received and not feel burdened by guilt and shame the law imposes.
“The death he died,” Paul writes to the Romans he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:10-11, NLT). The work on the Cross is complete. There was nothing more He could have done. “Sin is no longer your master,” Paul writes, “for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace” (Romans 6:14, NIV). The law of Christ fulfilled the standards of the law that I could never fulfill.
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, (NIV). I can never pay the debt of sin that Old Testament law created. But I can fulfill the law of Christ! I have the freedom to live and share the grace of Jesus with those who do not know Him. I also have the freedom to live and share the grace of Jesus with those who do.
Because of His precious grace, I make myself a slave for the sake of others. I follow the law of Christ. In my freedom, I live what Christ says. I share His grace, and He makes disciples.
© 2020 Lynn Lacher