I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. – 1 Corinthians 9:22
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
19 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ.
20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law.
21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.
23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.
Biohacker is a fairly new word in the English language. A biohacker seeks to find ways of extending their personal capacity and to stretch their capabilities. They experiment with ways to optimize their body and intellectual abilities. Sometimes it involves major internal and external transformations. Biohacking comes under the general category of regenerative science or regenerative medicine. Regenerative science aims to biohack the body’s natural cellular function and up-regulate it. Biohackers come from all walks of life.
Perhaps one of the first biohackers was the apostle Paul. His human limitations were continually exceeded through the power of the Holy Spirit within. He was able to become whatever he needed to be to reach people with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was in many ways a soul or spirit chameleon. He was a soulhacker.
Paul was “all in” in his service to the Lord Jesus Christ. Once he made that primary and ultimate decision, the rest was easy. He was willing to serve anyone and everyone, anywhere the Father took him. Although he had complete freedom, he chose to become a slave to others in order to win all that he could to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19).
He was willing to become all things to all people. He was able to live without partiality, prejudice, or bias. He had that rare ability to simply get along with people. He adapted his method and content as needed for different groups. He simply found common ground and was able to meet people wherever they happened to be. Yet he never compromised his integrity, his convictions, nor his doctrine. He never watered down the gospel nor the truth of the word of God.
Some people puzzle over his methodology, to the Jews he became as a Jew; to those who are under the law, he became as under the law; to those who are without law, as without law; to the weak I became weak. What exactly did he mean?
Many people overthink this. It is really quite simple. Paul identified with people. He adopted their appearance and customs when he was with them. As much as possible, he fitted in.
Timothy had a Jewish mother and a Greek father. But Timothy did not follow the Jewish faith and never became circumcised. By Jewish law the child of a Gentile father and Jewish mother was considered Jewish. As such, being uncircumcised was offensive, if not insulting. In order to work among the Jews and assist Paul, he had to be acceptable to them, he needed to be circumcised (Acts 16:3).
A simple illustration which is much closer to home is dressing appropriately for the occasion and circumstance. If you are invited to a formal occasion, dress up. If you are going to a casual situation, dress down. It is a matter of simply fitting in. Of course, there needs to be a bit of shrewd wisdom here and knowing your own limits. For some tongue piercing and colorful tattoos might be appropriate, for others not so much. The most remarkable thing about you should be your demeanor, your confidence, your discernment and the Father’s wisdom and presence.
REFLECT & PRAY
Choosing to be someone else’s spiritual slave for the sake of their eternal destiny is never easy, but when the Father asks this of you, it is the right thing to do.
Father I want to be all things to all people. Encourage me and strengthen me to be just that.
He was not bound by man-made culture, customs, or tradition. Therefore, Paul was able to set aside his own rights and expectations, and freely serve others. He simply adapted his approach to different groups . . . When he preached to Jews, he started with the Old Testament patriarchs; but when he preached to Gentiles, he began with the God of Creation. Paul did not have a “stock sermon” for all occasions (Wiersbe).
If Paul had a singular, overarching motto, it probably would have been, “For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). But Paul’s motto for practically working this out may well have been, “I do all the things I have mentioned because I want the gospel to go forward …” or “I do all these things to help the Good News about Jesus to spread” (USB).
A good ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ builds bridges not walls. “It is worth noting that our Lord followed the same approach. To the highborn Jew, Nicodemus, He talked about spiritual birth (John 3); but to the Samaritan woman, He spoke about living water (John 4). Jesus was flexible and adaptable, and Paul followed His example. Neither Jesus nor Paul had an inflexible ‘evangelistic formula’ that was used in every situation (Wiersbe).