Monday, July 21, 2014

Contextualize to Evangelize (1 Cor. 9.9-27)

Scripture: I Corinthian 9.19-27
Translation: 19For example, although I’m free from all people, I enslave myself to all people, so that I could gain more people. 20And I become like a Jew to Jews, so that I could gain Jews, that is [I became] like [someone] under the law to people under the law (even though I’m not personally under the Law), so that I could gain people under the Law. 21To lawless people [I became] like a lawless person (even though I’m not lawless person before God; instead I’m a lawbound person before Christ), so that I could gain lawless people. 22I become a weak person to weak people, so that I might gain weak people. I really am becoming all things to all people, so that in all ways I could save some. 23Moreover, I do all things because of the Good News, so that I might become a co-sharer of it. 24Don’t you know that although all those running in the stadium are running, only one person gets the prize? In the same way, run, so that you might win. 25And every person who fights maintains self-discipline in all things. So, those people on the one hand [do what they do], in order that they might get a corruptible crown/trophy, but we on the other hand [do what we do] in order that we [might get] an incorruptible one. 26So, in light of the present discussion, I’m running in this way, not as though unclearly, in this way I’m boxing, not as though I’m punching at the wind. 27Instead, I’ve been wearing out my body and making it my slave, so that I personally don’t become unapproved after preaching to others.

1.      Structure
a.       Free from All, but Enslaving himself for all
                                                              i.      Principle: Free from all, Enslaving himself to all, to gain more people
                                                            ii.      Implications: Contextualization for the sake of Evangelization
1.      Becomes like a Jew to Jews, like a law-bound person to law-bound people
a.       Qualification: free from the Law
2.      Becomes like a person not-bound to the Law, to the people not bound to the law, to win those people
3.      Becomes weak to weak people
b.      Going for the Win, the Prize
                                                              i.      Only the winner gets the prize, so try to win
                                                            ii.      Wresters train, so train yourselves to get an incorruptible crown.
                                                          iii.      I (Paul) am running for the prize, I’m not boxing the air; instead, I’m beating up my body and enslaving it, so that I don’t fail to live up to what I’ve preached
2.      Themes
a.       Different types of people/cultures/socio-economic groups
b.      Gospel
c.       Gain/win
d.      Reward
e.       Freedom surrendered/slavery embraced
f.       Law
g.      Athletic competition
3.      Doctrines
a.       Christians are not under the Mosaic Law
b.      Christians are still however attached to God’s Law through Christ,
c.       Christians are called to humility
d.      Christians goal is reaching the lost with the Gospel
e.       The Gospel shapes what we do and how
1.      Outline
a.       We are Free
                                                              i.      Free from cultures
1.      Not so free that we were born without a culture
2.      But free to change what culture we live in and by to reach more people
3.      For example,
a.       if Jesus was trying to reach a Muslim, even though He drank wine for His whole life, because He knows that Muslims think that drinking alcohol is bad, Jesus would not drink wine around Muslims, and maybe even former Muslims, who are still very much holding the cultural value of wine being bad
b.      or me, because I am serving in a Korean church, I have accommodated myself to certain cultural values and traditions and expectations, and we as a community did this a couple weeks ago, when we made flowers for parents day, which is not an American holiday, but a Korean one, one that the church as a whole wanted to celebrate, so we did that, even though it may have been far more natural for us to celebrate Mother’s Day and then Father’s Day a month later. And in fact, become some of your parents are really 1.5 generation, they were not expecting a Korean expression of honoring them.
c.       Or for example, some 1st generation Koreans, don’t seem to like it when we lie around on the couches in our worship room, because they think it is somehow disrespectful to God, and for them it would be disrespectful, but for us who are not in the 1st generation, a couch is a couch, and a couch is for being comfortable on, and lying on the couch says nothing about our respect or commitment to God
                                                            ii.      Free from the Mosaic Law
1.      Free from having to obey things like Shabbat, food laws, legalistic expectations, purity regulation, Levirate marriage, etc.
2.      But not so free that the Law has no influence over us, that we are totally disconnected from God’s revelation, rather we interact with the Law through Christ, for Christ, and in light of Christ
3.      For example,
a.       Jesus was a Jew, and He ate only Kosher food His whole life, but if Jesus wanted to reach homosexuals in the Old Town area downtown, He would probably eat all kinds of non-kosher foods, like bacon or shrimp, but Jesus would not become a practicing homosexual to try and reach homosexuals, because although we are not under the Law anymore, and Jesus as the fulfiller of the Law dealt with its obligations, we are still connected to the Law through Jesus, and the Law is Jesus’ desires put to writing in the ancient times.
b.      In the same way, you might want to reach the druggies in your school for Jesus, but while it’d be fine to hang out with them, talk with them, even dress like them, if you started doing drugs with them, you will have actually given up your true freedom for a false freedom of being enslaved to drugs
                                                          iii.      Free from socio-economic status
1.      Free from socio-economic stereotypes
2.      But perhaps not so free that we can just buy a yacht on a credit card and expect that we will be free from the collectors
3.      Also, it is should be interesting to note that Paul doesn’t talk about accommodating higher status people, and that may be because in Christ we all are high status, and perhaps because Christianity calls for us to be humble, not self-inflated with our own pompous sense of importance.
b.      We freely choose to surrender our freedom at times for the sake of gaining more brothers and sisters in Christ
                                                              i.      We give up expecting people to adjust themselves to our cultural expectations, and we adjust
                                                            ii.      We don’t require people to become Korean, or White, or Kenyan, or 1st generation, or second generation to become a Christian
                                                          iii.      We don’t force others to live by legalistic expectations, even if we feel comfortable living with them
                                                          iv.      We do live like free people, we enslave ourselves, for the sake of reaching others
c.       We do all that we do because of the Gospel, to reach more people with the Gospel: we are all about reaching people, we will do whatever we have to, within reason, to reach people with the Gospel.
d.      We’re in it to win it;
                                                              i.      we want to enjoy the Gospel for ourselves
                                                            ii.      to live by the Gospel for ourselves
                                                          iii.      to get the reward contained within the Gospel: eternal life, praise from God, tons of brothers and sisters in Christ
2.      Questions
a.       Do you feel free as a Christian? Why or why not?
b.      What in our culture can we identify with, and what do we have to transform or reject?
c.       How do you think we can accommodate the first generation? How do you think they should accommodate you?
d.      How much does the gospel and reaching people with the Gospel shape all that you do?
e.       How could we become a group that embraced fully all the cultures and backgrounds of the people who join us?

f.       How hard are we as a community pushing to reach the goal of enjoying the Gospel, sharing the Gospel, and living the Gospel? Scale of 1-10, why do you say that number?

No comments:

Post a Comment