“Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone to win as many as possible”1 Corinthians 9:19.
In the Old Testament, God provided instructions for the slave who wanted to serve his master for life. He was to go to the doorway and allow his master to pierce his ear with an awl.
Christ’s work at the cross and tomb has made us free but we are cautioned not to use our freedom to indulge the sinful nature but rather to “serve one another in love.” We are to choose to go to the doorway and allow our heavenly Master to pierce our ears.
Paul says he makes himself a slave to everyone for the gospel’s sake. Why? To win as many as possible. This is perseverance of a different kind.
This requires a person to submit himself to God, not for his own sake—self-interests and comforts have nothing to do with it—but for the salvation of others. The interests of others and their needs, especially their eternities, are all, even to the sacrifice and disregard of self.
To persevere as God’s slave is not easy. Even Paul is a realist who knows that he might only “save some,” yet there is great joy through the great challenges.
Are you a slave to win souls?