The Book of 1 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 9 Part 3

A short section today: 1 Cor 9:19-23
v19: Free from all men: Paul was not in debt to any man (although forever indebted to G-d). No one had given him a substantial amount of money, so he did not feel a sense of obligation to them. Nor could he be influenced or pressured by them in any way. 
·      I have made myself a servant: Paul was free from all but he made himself a slave to all. 
·      Win the more: Not speaking about material riches but about Kingdom reward.
v20: Paul now begins to speak about different groups of people. 
·      Jews: Paul was Jewish so how could he become as a Jew? The word ‘Jew’ here should not be understood as simply a Jewish individual. It is a word that speaks about the Judeans – those who had replaced the Torah with the traditions of the elders – the oral law (Orthodox Judaism would fall into this category today). Paul followed oral tradition so that he might have the privilege of leading this category of people to Messiah. 
·      Those who are under the law: This category of people were also Jewish, but instead of following oral tradition they followed the law of Moses (the Torah). 
v21: To those who are without law: Paul is speaking of Gentiles here, or of Jews who have rejected the law of Moses as well as the oral traditions (secular Jews). Paul did not build a relationship with them through a discussion of the law. When people meet each other they try to find common ground – we both know this person, we have been to that place etc.. Here the common ground was not about the law (a conversation about the oral law would have been common ground with the Judeans etc) so it wasn’t even one of the issues broached in this conservation – not because Paul didn’t follow the law (he did – ‘Not being without law toward G-d’) but because it would have driven a premature wedge in the conversation and been a hinderance to the gospel to talk about the law straight off the bat. 
v22: Weak: Those who are far removed from spiritual things (secular people) – so far removed that any spiritual conversation overwhelms them. 
·      I have become all things to all men: This was a foundational methodology that Paul used to share the gospel with everyone in the most effective way. He met them where they were at and started the conversation/building the relationship etc from that point on. 
v23: Partaker: A joint or fellow heir. Paul did what he did so that he would be a fellow partaker with them of the gospel outcome (what he did had Kingdom implications).

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