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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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By All Means Win Some

1 Cor 9.19-22

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[As we draw near to this upcoming Revival with Dr. David Wood we must continuously remind ourselves that this revival is meant primarily to reach the lost with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The word revival seems to imply a reinvigorating of our spiritual condition and this indeed is a part of what we want to do with this revival.  Our desire is that we each would renew our commitment with our Lord and would be stirred up anew by the dynamic fullness of the Holy Spirit within us.  Yet, I am always reminded that the best way, perhaps the only way, to bring a sense of revival into a Church is for the people within the Church to see lost souls accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.]

[There is no thrill as great as when a lost soul, destined for eternal condemnation in the lake of fire, repents of his sins, receives the Lord Jesus Christ, and experiences the new birth.  Jesus said,] 

[Luke 15:10 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.]

[As we move toward this revival we need to be reminded, and stirred up about what the heart of God is and what His calling to His Church is.  The text before us reveals what the heart of the Apostle Paul was.  Paul’s heart was what it was because Paul walked near to our Lord.  Paul wanted Jesus more than he wanted life itself.  It was Paul who wrote,] 

[Philippians 1:21 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.]

[It was Paul’s nearness to our Lord Jesus Christ that caused his desires to be consumed in our Lord’s desires.  Paul had many fervent desires, but his desires had been transformed and consumed by the desires of his Lord and Savior.  Paul loved God so very much, that everything that Paul knew God wanted, Paul wanted.  Paul was completely willing to be lost and consumed in the will of God.  Therefore, what Paul expressed as his desires were without any doubt the desires of God.  So, from Paul’s words in this text we see clearly the presiding desire of Paul, which is without any doubt the preeminent desire of God.] 

[Therefore, if you and I as Christians are truly as spiritual as we would like to say we are, then we ought to have, at the core of our being, the desires of God, just as the apostle Paul did.  But do we?  What were Paul’s heartfelt desires?   What are the preeminent desires of our Heavenly Father?  Consider our text,] 

Notice Paul’s, 

A.     Purpose To Win The Lost (vs 22; Rom 10.13-17; 1 Cor 1.21; 2 Pet 3.9; Rom 10.13  ) [– 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.  – Now don’t make the mistake of assuming that the apostle Paul mistakenly thought that he could save anyone.  Paul knew that there is only one savior for mankind.  Many times Paul had said things that indicated that a saving Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is mankinds only hope for eternal salvation.  But Paul took personally his commission and calling, his personal responsibility to proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and his responsibility to be a Soul Winner.] 

[Paul purposed to be a soul winner because Paul knew,] 

1.      [God's Method (Rom 10.13-17; 1 Cor 1.21) – What is God’s method for reaching lost souls?] 

[Romans 10:13-17 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ]

[1 Corinthians 1:21 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. ]

[The lost cannot and will not be saved if the redeemed do not say so!  If you and I do not develop the heart of God and herald the message of God then they will not be saved.  God’s method is that the lost will be won to Christ through the proclamation of God’s children.  Because of this eternal reality Paul found that he could not be silent.  Can you be silent?] 

2.      [God's Mission (2 Pet 3.9) – Just what is God doing in this wicked and wayward world?  What is God’s purpose?  What is God’s mission?] 

[Illustration –  I once had a lost man say to me, “What kind of God would allow all of the evil that we see in our world?  What kind of God would allow children to be violated and killed?  What kind of God would allow cancer, sickness and pain?  What kind of God would allow all of this evil?  What purpose could there possibly be in the wickedness that is all around us?”] 

[The answer to such questions is far simpler than we could ever imagine.  Our loving God endures the sinfulness of man, the sickness of a corrupt world, and the great and hideous violations of His rich and full love to fulfill His ultimate purpose.  God endures it all with long suffering in hopes that even those asking these question might be saved.] 

[2 Peter 3:9 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. ]

[How could the apostle Paul, who had endured stoning, beatings, imprisonments, and all kind of severe persecutions and hardships still say that he endured it all that he might by all means save some?  Because the heart of Paul’s Heavenly Father had become Paul’s heart, God’s mission had become Paul’s mission.]

[My friend is God’s mission your mission?  If it is then you will purpose to win souls.  Some of you might be thinking I have purposed to win souls!  Have you.  I wonder how many of us will,]

        [Spend much time watching worthless television shows this week instead of praying for the lost around us?]

        [Spend much time sitting in our houses when we could have gone and invited someone to this upcoming revival?  Someone might say, “Well preacher I just can’t get up and go right now, you know my condition.”  Indeed, I do, but has God given you a telephone?  Has God given you email and facebook?  I think if you had the kind of burden Paul had you would use all of these as tools to reach the lost.]

[Folks, my point is, if you are making excuses not to proclaim the gospel to those around you then you do not have the same purpose as Paul or God.  God’s unending desire is that all men, women, and children might be saved.  Do you have the same purpose in your heart that God has in his?]

B.     Preparation To Win The Lost (vs 19-22; Matt 4.19; Mark 1.17; 2 Tim 2.15) [– Once you have God’s purpose as your drive then there is the necessity of preparation.  If you do not prepare to win the lost then you will not share the gospel and you will not see lost souls coming to our Lord Jesus Christ.  Now it is important to note here that God does not call you to succeed in winning the lost, he calls you to witness toward winning the lost.  You will be faithful when you try to win the lost by sharing your faith.  But you must prepare if you are to succeed at any level.] 

[Through our text we learn much of what Paul must have done to prepare to reach out to and win the lost.  We learn that, ] 

1.      [A Soul-Winner Must Serve (vs 19; Matt 4.19; Mark 1.17) - For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. – Service is without any doubt an important aspect of any mature Christian’s spiritual walk.  Yet, our service must be focused service.  In other words, service without the proper purpose and focus is fruitless service.  Paul became the servant of all, but his service always had the gospel at its end.  Paul served others that he might have the opportunity to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with others.] 

[Without any doubt there are multitudes of service opportunities around us, but service opportunities without an eternal view and the gospel message are not the same as the service that Paul provided.  Paul served to win the lost.  In serving to win the lost Paul clearly studied to win them as he served them.] 

2.      [A Soul-Winner Must Study (vs 20-22; 2 Tim 2.15) -  And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 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. – In order for Paul to reach the people that he reached he studied diligently with this soul winning goal in mind.  Paul did not even begin to think that one simple approach would reach all people, but he worked and studied to reach all people.] 

[The point is simple, if you do not prepare diligently you will not win the lost.  Where did Christians come up with the idea that reaching our world for Christ was supposed to be simple and easy?  It takes and requires diligent study.  The bible says,] 

[2 Timothy 2:15 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.]

[The Apostle Paul studied to meet people where they were and to bring them to the Lord Jesus Christ.  This takes work and many diligent hours of study and preparation.] 

[Are you prepared to reach all men for our Lord Jesus Christ?  What have you done in the last week to prepare to reach the lost?  What have you done in the last month to prepare to reach the lost?] 

3.      [A Soul-Winner Must Surrender (vs 20-22 - Mark 13.9-11) - And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 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. – Paul did not just do and be who he wanted to be, Paul made himself what others needed him to be in order to win them to Christ.  Paul put his desires and all selfishness aside for the sake of the lost and the gospel.] 

[Not sinfulness – Now don’t think for a minute that Paul entered into sin for the sake of winning the lost.  Notice verse 21,] 

[1 Corinthians 9:21 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.]

[Paul is letting us know, without any doubt, that sinfulness does not lend itself to the gospel.  The lost will never be won by sinning Christians.]

[I have met many a Christian who is a convenient witness.  The will share the gospel if it is convenient and does not ever offend anyone.  Paul surrendered himself to purpose to carry the Gospel of our Lord with purpose to a lost and dying world.]

[Have you prepared to win the lost to our Lord Jesus Christ?   Have you prepared a Soul-Winning plan?  Have you prepared to answer the questions that might be asked?  Don’t say you want to or will try to win the lost to Christ if you have not made any kind of preparation.]

[By the way, if you have the Purpose of God in your heart, but have not made any preparation then the purpose is meaningless.  You need to be prepared.]

C.     Prayers To Win The Lost (Eph 6.18-20; Col 4.2-4; 2 Thess 3.1) [– Now, prayer is not immediately present in our text, but it is none-the-less an important tool for any Soul-Winning Christian.  Certainly, Paul understood the power of prayer and prayed continuously.  What should we pray for in regard to winning the lost?] 

1.      [Pray For Courage -  Pray for the courage to boldly present the Gospel.  The Apostle Paul wrote the following to the Ephesian Church,] 

[Ephesians 6:18-20 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.]

[We must continuously pray that God would use us powerfully to proclaim the Gospel message and that we might see the lost come to our Lord.] 

2.      [Pray For Contact – Pray the God would open the doors of opportunity for you to share the gospel message.  Paul wrote,] 

[Colossians 4:2-4 2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.]

[You must pray that God would open doors of opportunity for you and for your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Will you pray for God to open the doors of opportunity for you to proclaim the gospel to those around you?  Then look at those around you right now and tell them so!]

3.      [Pray For Confidence – Pray that the Word of God would flow from your life and words freely.  Paul wrote, ]  

[2 Thessalonians 3:1 1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:]

[Free Course - τρέχῃ (Gk)  -  with the metaphor of the stadium race in the background: Rom 9:16 (strive forward with great exertion); 1 Cor 9:24c, 26; Gal 2:2 (bis); 5:7; Phil 2:16 (εἰς κενόν as in Gal 2:2). 2 Thess 3:1 speaks of the swift spreading of the “word of the Lord” (cf. Ps 147:4 LXX); Heb 12:1: τρέχω τὸν ἀγῶνα, “run in the race” (→ ἀγών 5). O. Bauernfeind, TDNT VIII, 226–33; TWNT X, 1281 (bibliography); G. Ebel, DNTT III, 945–47.[1]] 

[The Word of God ought to pour out of us as Christians as the run pours out of an athlete in the Olympic Games.  This means that our purpose is fervent and our preparations are aggressive just as the athlete prepares to strive to win in the Olympic Games.] 

D.    Presentation to win the lost (Matt 28.19-20) [– The Great Commission commands that Christians go into the world carrying the gospel to every single person.  In recent years I have heard a number of preachers who have tried to change the way people think about the great commission.]   

[Matthew 28:19-20 19 Go ye [aorist, passive desponent, participle] therefore, and teach [aorist, active, imperative] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ]

[They have said that the great commission is not really written as a command but instead it suggests that “As we go through life we ought to share the gospel.”  This line of reasoning follows an incomplete study of the text of the great commission.  They base their retranslation on their study of only the first phrase of the great commission that could be translated “As you go.”  But it fails to incorporate the second phrase of the text that gives an aorist, active, imperative when it states “and teach” or “and make disciples.”] 

[When the text is kept intact and in context the great commission becomes and imperative command.  This is why most translation state, “Go ye therefore, and teach” in the language of a command.  Why?  Because the great commission is a command.] 

[The great commission is a command because the command best expresses the purpose of God to win the lost with the gospel.  The great commission is a command because it drives us to prepare to fulfill the purpose of God through our lives.  The great commission is a command because we must diligently pray that we would be given boldness to testify and opportunities to proclaim the gospel message.] 

[My Christian friends, would you call yourself a spiritual Christian?  Would you strive to walk close to your Heavenly Father?  Would you be conformed to image of our Lord Jesus Christ and master this Christian life?  Then know that the purpose of God will become your all consuming purpose, and that purpose will be to win the lost around you.  This is why God has left you in this corrupt world after your redemption.  You are the last and only hope for many around you that they might hear the gospel and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.] 

[Will you Purpose to Win the Lost?]

[Will you Prepare to Win the Lost?]

[Will you Pray to Win the Lost?]

[Will you Present to Win the Lost?] 


[1]Balz, H. R., & Schneider, G. (1990-c1993). Exegetical dictionary of the New Testament. Translation of: Exegetisches Wr̲terbuch zum Neuen Testament. (3:369). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.



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