Faithlife Sermons

Sermon Tone Analysis

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What do you think of when you think of “rights”?
Are these things worth fighting for?
When do you decide that particular rights are NOT worth fighting for?
If the scripture says something that is contrary to your current position, would you be humble enough to admit you are wrong in your belief and to ask the Lord to help you believe differently?
There are things woven within us because of the culture and country in which we exist; but we must take time to remember that our true citizenship is not in America (this country).
We have a heavenly citizenship, and we should show forth the beliefs and behaviors consistent with our heavenly citizenship.
These are found in the scriptures.
Again, if I were to tell you that there is something more important to you than your rights, as an American citizen, could you handle that?
What about your rights as a citizen of heaven - could there be anything more important than those rights?
What rights do we have as part of the family of God?
All of these rights are in Christ and they include many:
You have a right to no more trials before God for the judgment of sin.
You have a right to an inheritance incorruptible.
You have a right to live without fear of retribution or a conscience of sins.
You have a right to access the living and true God.
You have a right to live joyfully as a servant of Jesus Christ.
You have a right to enjoy life in liberty — to eat, drink, and enjoy pleasure freely.
As an individual who has these rights in Jesus Christ, could there be anything more important than these rights?
Being that these rights are in Jesus Christ, should there be anything or anyone who should cause me to NOT live within these established rights?
The answer is YES.
Paul is continuing the truth from that we affirm that there is one Lord and we have sworn allegiance to this Lord Jesus.
In that truth, we have been brought into new relationship with each other within the church and we are our brother’s keeper.
(.
Partaking in anything in a way that sends a confusing message about my allegiance to the Lord — thereby, causing a weaker brother to partake and self-condemn is to sin against Jesus Christ.
We have identified three cultural idols today that we relate to differently now that we are in Christ - EDUCATION, ECONOMIC STATUS, ENTERTAINMENT.
For most of us, our pre-Christ idolatries were not as vivid as those in Corinth; but there are nonetheless just as real.
In Corinth, the way they relate to food and sexual practices was not different.
These two things were part of their worship practices.
In Middletown, the way we relate to everything is different.
Though education, economic status, and entertainment are not things that commend us to God, we are prone to treat them as if they have saving worth.
Proposition:
This passage continues by affirming that there is a time when every Christian must be willing to give up their rights and privileges.
There is a motivation for this relinquishing.
There is a time when what you deserve [in Jesus] you willingly let go of.
Just because you deserve it does not mean that the best course of action is to do everything to get it!
It is our responsibility to understand what is worthy of an exchange for my rights!
This means that you will yield your independence.
This means that you will surrender!
This means that you will sacrifice.
This means that it’s NOT “your way or the highway.”
(*) Paul had already previously established how the ministers should be regarded (4:1 – 4) 
The apostles should be considered as servants (4:1)
The word “judged” here means “verdict” (4:3)
Paul is saying that he’s not concerned about what verdict they pronounce upon him
Paul is not even concerned with what verdict is self-pronounced
The reason we should understand this is because as we enter this passage, Paul calls again upon what he could use as leverage that he does not - his apostleship.
Message:
(1) An Examination of Paul's Rights Personally (v. 1 – 6) 
Explanation
Paul uses 4 rhetorical questions to point to the following truths (v. 1 - 2):
(1) He is free in Jesus Christ
(2) He is an apostle (sent one) - particular office
(3) He meets the criteria for this office by having seen the resurrected Lord
(4) He has fruit that validates his apostleship -
Paul uses another series of 3 rhetorical questions (v. 3 - 6)
(1) Don’t we (apostles) have the right to eat and drink freely?
(a right to physical nourishment) (whether by meat sacrificed or not - irrelevant) (see )
(2) Don’t we (apostles) have the right to be married to a believer and supply for them?
()
(3) Don’t Barnabas and I have the right to be supported for the work?
Supporting Scripture:
Application
Congregations should not think of their giving as providing a salary, however, in ways that tempt them to demand satisfaction of their personal whims.
“The church does not pay its ministers; rather, it provides them with resources so that they are able to serve freely.”
Blomberg, C. (1994). 1 Corinthians (p.
176).
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
But that authority must be used for the best interests of others, not self, and used for that which will best promote the gospel in a world quick to ridicule and reject it.
The heavy “top-down” hierarchies of many Christian organizations find no support from Paul’s (or Jesus’) models of servant ministry (recall our discussion above, pp.
92–93).
Blomberg, C. (1994). 1 Corinthians (p.
179).
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
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