1 Corinthians 9:23
“And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.”
A person said to me, “Bro. Domelle, it seems that my life has gotten worse since I got saved.” This person experienced the rejection of those around them for getting saved, and they thought that everyone would be happy that they got saved and were cleaning up their lives from the sins that had destroyed their life. What this person quickly found out was that everyone is not happy when you get saved.
Paul said that there were several things that he did “for the gospel’s sake…” He understood that there are things that he could do that were not sinful in themselves, but they would harm his ability to be a testimony to those who didn’t understand his Christian lifestyle. My friend, there are certainly many things you can do in your life that are not wrong, but for the Gospel’s sake, you should not do them because it won’t allow for the furtherance of the Gospel. These things that the believer must do for the Gospel’s sake are not going to be easy, in fact, you will find that it will sometimes make things harder as this person who talked to me found out; however, it will allow you to be able to get the Gospel out in a greater fashion. Let me show you these actions you need to possess for the Gospel’s sake.
First, you need to get in the race. In other words, people are not going to get saved if you sit in your house and do nothing. If there is any reason for which you ought to get involved in your church, it should be that you get involved for the Gospel’s sake. Your participation in spreading the Gospel will determine whether some people get saved.
Second, you need purpose for the Gospel’s sake. Verse 24 commands the believer to “run, that ye may obtain.” My friend, for the Gospel’s sake you need to have the purpose to live a holy life so that your testimony has a greater impact on those you want to see saved. Certainly, you can still lead people to Christ even though you may have vices in your life, but imagine how much greater your words will have on those you are witnessing to when they see your life is much different from what it used to be. For the Gospel’s sake, you need to purpose to live a holy life.
Third, you need to give effort for the Gospel’s sake. It takes effort to be a consistent soul winner. Verse 25 shows that you must strive “for the mastery.” I often tell people it takes energy to be a good soul winner. Don’t go soul winning half-heartedly, but give your full effort as you go soul winning. Anything short of your full effort results in people not getting saved.
Fourth, you need focus for the Gospel’s sake. Verse 26 shows that the believer needs to run and fight with focus. Stop getting sidetracked by outside things and stay focused on what you are doing for the LORD. The whole purpose of the Great Commission is to reach people, and you must stay focused on that purpose if you are going to be successful in leading people to Christ.
Fifth, you need discipline for the Gospel’s sake. Verse 27 shows the importance of keeping your body under control. You will never be a successful soul winner if you don’t have the discipline to go soul winning when you don’t want to go. Great soul winners don’t always want to go soul winning, but they go because its right to go. Discipline is the difference between the great soul winner and the fruitless soul winner.