Giving Up Liberty

Giving Up Liberty

statueoflibertyConsider the formula: Giving up rights = Gospel advancement

Paul’s main method of evangelistic ministry included giving up his rights. He did not fight for his liberty, but purposed to live and speak so as to give no offense to anyone. He sacrificed what was rightfully his for the interests of others because he did not think of himself more highly than he should have. The gospel he preached was wildly offensive, but his conduct was not.

Oh, and he was usually giving up money. As a laborer in the gospel he had a right to be compensated, but he chose not to use it. He worked hard at his “secular” job so that he could labor in the gospel. Ministry always costs somebody something. He preached for free and consistently relinquished his liberty. He loved the reward of costly preaching, and was able to win more Jews, Gentiles and weak believers because of it.

This ministerial strategy is consistent with the incarnation. Jesus gave up his rightful place with the Father in order to become a slave. He was born in a feed-trough, lived in a working class home and obeyed his parents, prepared for 30 years to minister for 3, and was crucified as a blasphemer. He came to serve, not to be served.

What about you? Your slavish protection of liberty to do this or that as a Christian may be the very thing that stands in the way of the gospel moving forward in your family, workplace, church, or city. Will you give it up?

“Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.” 1 Cor 9:12