Faithlife Sermons

Sincere Love -> Sacrificial Hospitality

Let's be a Christ-centered Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introductory thoughts:

- What does the work of the Lord look like?
The work of the Lord begins as we receive the grace of God and it continues as we become channels of that grace.
Having received grace, we become stewards of that grace
LOOK ONE VERSE EARLIER - Use “hospitality” without grumbling. [love of strangers] - [especially…those of the household of faith]
There is to be grace extended to brothers/sisters in other churches, who are in need, carnally-speaking
Hospitality encompasses: warm reception, friendliness, graciousness, accommodating, helpful...
It has always been the mark of true believers that they develop a love for one another that allows them to give graciously for the benefit of each other.
Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 2302 Epigram on Hospitality

The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.

—St. John Chrysostom

Good cross reference:

Proposition: Examine the sincerity of your love for Christ by examining your hospitality towards the brethren.

HOSPITALITY THAT CARES ABOUT TEMPORAL NEEDS OF OTHER BELIEVERS [There is to be grace extended to brothers/sisters in other churches, who are in need, carnally-speaking]

First day of the week (v. 2)
God hath prospered (v. 2)
Liberality (grace) (v. 3)
C.F. -
Illustration: Men’s prayer breakfast - Todd Fluegge
Psalm 144:3 KJV 1900
Lord, what is man, that thou Takest knowledge of him! Or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!
Psalm 8:5 KJV 1900
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, And hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Hebrews 2:7–9 KJV 1900
Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Application:

Does it not convict you when we eat out several times per week, while there are opportunities to give to local churches who are suffering for food?
Do not ask yourself if you’ve given your 10%, but rather ask yourself if you’ve given according to how God has prospered you.

HOSPITALITY THAT PARTNERS WITH GOSPEL-LABORERS [There was to be partnership with those in missionary labor (helping Paul)]

There was to be encouragement of faithful pastors (Timothy) - HOSPITALITY THAT SEEKS TO ENCOURAGE FAITHFUL PASTORS
that ye may bring me on my journey (v. 6)
if the Lord permit (v. 7)
adversaries [withstand] (v. 9)

HOSPITALITY THAT SEEKS TO ENCOURAGE FAITHFUL PASTORS [There was to be encouragement of faithful pastors (Timothy)]

that he may be with you without fear (v. 10)
despise - of no account (v. 11)
conduct - accompany, send forward

HOSPITALITY THAT HAS PURE MOTIVES [NO IMMEDIATE RETURN]. [Consideration, even for those who could not come immediately and immerse themselves in the local work]

Apparently, the Corinthians had requested Apollos to return by letter to Paul
An important implicit lesson is that we should take note of and care for brethren, even when they do not acquiesce to our wishes and there is no personal, immediate gain.

One stormy night an elderly couple entered the lobby of a small hotel and asked for a room. The clerk said they were filled, as were all the hotels in town. “But I can’t send a fine couple like you out in the rain,” he said. “Would you be willing to sleep in my room?” The couple hesitated, but the clerk insisted. The next morning when the man paid his bill, he said, “You’re the kind of man who should be managing the best hotel in the United States. Someday I’ll build you one.”

The clerk smiled politely. A few years later the clerk received a letter from the elderly man, recalling that stormy night and asking him to come to New York. A round-trip ticket was enclosed. When the clerk arrived, his host took him to the corner of 5th Avenue and 34th Street, where stood a magnificent new building. “That,” explained the man, “is the hotel I have built for you to manage.”

The man was William Waldorf Astor, and the hotel was the original Waldorf-Astoria.

The young clerk, George C. Boldt, became its first manager.

Application:

We are conditioned by a Return on Investment culture. We make choices based upon what I get out of my investment, but when we see Jesus Christ, we note One who willingly laid down his life for his brethren.
What must be in the contract for you to be part of an event to get to know your church family better?
What must the youth ministry be like for you to actually consider this place the place to be?
What’s the charge that you subconsciously put on the church leadership for your giving or your attendance…?
How many of your ideas do they need to listen to or do?
How many visits from the pastoral staff do you feel you have paid for?

HOSPITALITY THAT IS PREPARED TO SERVE. [General commands relative to being ready to care for those who are serving the Lord, wherever they are located.]

These commands, nestled in this passage, must be a reference to the Corinthian preparation for hospitality towards those who are devoted to the work of the Lord. Not knowing when Apollos was going to show up, the Corinthian people needed to be prepared.
- Be alert
- Stand firm in the faith
- Be courageous
- Be strong
- Do all things by charity (agape)

HOSPITALITY THAT HUMBLY ACKNOWLEDGES THOSE WHO ARE DEVOTED TO THE LORD'S SERVICE (IN THEIR OWN BODY) [Acknowledging & submitting to those of the local body who are devoted to the service of the body.]

(v. 15) “addicted” - to place in order, arrange, set themselves
“addicted” - to place in order, arrange, set themselves
(v. 16) “submit” - military term; put yourself under the rank of another
Used of Christ
(v. 18) “acknowledge” - to take note of, to know thoroughly
(v. 18) - This is clearly one of the benefits of serving the brethren. It refreshes those who are in the work of the Lord.
Why such an exhortation? Why tell the body of Christians to subject themselves to servants? It would seem to be a way for Paul to tell them to all be servants. It is reminiscent of Jesus serving his disciples by washing their feet or by the conversation he had with them about being the servant of all.

HOSPITALITY THAT GUIDES INTERPERSONAL GREETINGS [Salutation from other churches/workers and exhortation to kindly greet one another]

The qualification of loving Christ and personal expression of Paul's love in Christ Jesus. - HOSPITALITY THAT IS CONNECTED TO THE GREATEST COMMAND OF ALL.
(v. 20) “holy kiss” - important considering division in Corinth
This kiss is more than an extension of social custom, since it is identified as “holy.” It was a distinctive practice that served as “a sign of mutual fellowship among persons of mixed social background, nationality, race, and gender who are joined together as a new family in Christ. For those who came from differing ethnic and national backgrounds it was means to express their unity” (Garland 1999: 554– 55).
Garland, David E.. 1 Corinthians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) (Kindle Locations 17677-17679). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Garland, David E.. 1 Corinthians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) (Kindle Locations 17676-17677). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Garland, David E.. 1 Corinthians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) (Kindle Locations 17676-17677). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

HOSPITALITY THAT CONCLUSIVELY REVEALS THE LOVE OF CHRIST. [The qualification of loving Christ and personal expression of Paul's love in Christ Jesus.]

(v. 22) Cursed at the Lord’s Coming
(v. 23) Grace of Christ begins and concludes
, ,

Conclusion:

What “REASONS” would you give for a lack of sacrificial hospitality?
Too busy?
Too much on your plate?
Don’t feel like it?
Unaware?
Too distracted?
Totally different idea of hospitality and love...
“My love is sincere because I attend church”
“My love is sincere because I sing in choir”
“My love is sincere because I teach”
Sincere love leads to sincere hospitality for the brethren
2 Corinthians 8:8 KJV 1900
I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
Questions:
Will you allow the Spirit of God to be the controlling influence in your life today?
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