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surrender

1 Corinthians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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surrendering our rights

Through the Bible Day by Day: A Devotional Commentary, Volumes I–VII $16. Rights and Their Surrender (1 Corinthians 9:1–15)

Paul’s claim to an equality with Peter and the other Apostles was violently disputed by his enemies at Corinth, because in several matters he differed from them. Unlike Peter, he had no wife to support, and he worked for his livelihood, instead of being supported by the churches. In this chapter he strongly asserts his rights in this particular; but he is equally strong in saying that he had refused to avail himself of his right, that he might influence a wider circle of men. He was a soldier, a vineyard-keeper, a shepherd, and could claim his maintenance. But he desired to be free from the slightest imputation of self-seeking. He knew that jealous critics were watching his every action and seeking to weigh his secret motives. These were the very men he desired to win, and for their sakes he voluntarily surrendered his undoubted rights.

What a lesson for all of us and especially for those who are called to be ministers of Christ’s gospel! We must be above suspicion. If we do or permit anything that might prove a hindrance to the acceptance of Christ by others, we must forego it, though reasonable in itself, that we may win them to our Saviour.

17. “Under Bondage to All”

1 Corinthians 9:16–27. Paul’s one aim was to gain men. He uses the words repeatedly. To gain one more for his Lord, he would forego comfort, emolument, and well-earned repose. He would allow no competitor for an earthly prize to supersede himself in his sacrifices for this crown of rejoicing. He points to the denials, the hard training, and the severe discipline to which men who took part in the games subjected themselves. No one thought it strange that they should sacrifice so much for the chance of winning; why, then, should he be counted eccentric, who sought the certain reward of gaining new lovers of his Master’s cross?

You know we go through life concerned about our rights over one thing or another. I have a right to be heard, to be treated with respect, to not be enslaved, a right to freedom, freedom of speech, to not be upset by your values. We want to know what our rights are in all spheres of life. Some are good & important, they help set laws, deal with people who would do us harm. Some although were mainly brought, so they thought with good intentions maybe, discriminate against people & their beliefs & some are just crazy.
Some rights we have but are incapable of achieving, You have the right to be silent but what you lack is the capacity to do so.
What Paul is saying here is when we follow Christ, we should surrender our rights, our entitlements.
When we live a life constantly worrying what our rights are we are then focused on ourselves & not on others, iv’e said it before we do need to be people that put ourselves aside & put others first.
Paul’s aim in everything he did was to reach others with the Gospel, the good news of Jesus. He would allow nothing to be a stumbling block in people coming to faith in Jesus, helping depopulate hell & populate Heaven.
A)
Paul’s claim to an equality with Peter and the other Apostles was violently disputed by his enemies at Corinth, because in several matters he differed from them. Unlike Peter, he had no wife to support, and he worked for his livelihood, instead of being supported by the churches. In this chapter he strongly asserts his rights in this particular; but he is equally strong in saying that he had refused to avail himself of his right, that he might influence a wider circle of men. He was a soldier, a vineyard-keeper, a shepherd, and could claim his maintenance. But he desired to be free from the slightest insinuation of self-seeking. He knew that jealous critics were watching his every action and seeking to weigh his secret motives. These were the very men he desired to win, and for their sakes he voluntarily surrendered his undoubted rights.
What a lesson for all of us, We must be above suspicion. If we do or permit anything that might prove a hindrance to the acceptance of Christ by others, we must let it go, though it may be a reasonable thing to do, that we may win them for Jesus.
Paul’s one aim was to gain men. He uses the words repeatedly. To gain one more for his Lord, he would forego comfort, expenses, and well-earned rest. He would allow no competitor for an earthly prize to supersede himself in his sacrifices for this crown of rejoicing. He points to the denials, the hard training, and the severe discipline to which men who took part in the games subjected themselves. No one thought it strange that they should sacrifice so much for the chance of winning; why, then, should he be counted eccentric, someone who wanted to win souls for Jesus?
Do you want to win people for Jesus, winning people for Jesus is ultimately about loving people or a term i really like is loving on people, that means loving people even at a cost to you, yourself. I don’t mean just buying someone a cup of tea, financial cost which is great but actually loving on someone, maybe loving on someone who you feel may have wronged you, that can be hard or the unloved, unwashed, what about loving on them.
Maybe people will see you & have a lower thought of you, maybe we will be wrongly accused, gossiped about, slandered & it casts a shadow over that reputation & your reputation takes a hit but didn’t Jesus do that.
Philippians 2:7 ESV
but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
NIV. rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[a] of a servant, being made in human likeness.
NKV. but [a]made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men.
Jesus knew when he left the throne room of Heaven to come down to earth as a man, His exalted reputation wouldn’t follow him, His rights to be worshiped, adored & praised had to be set aside in order to accomplish God’s higher goal.
So he left his reputation behind & entered a world where he would be misunderstood, mocked & lied about.
Matthew 26:59–60 ESV
Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward
But Jesus was willing to entrust his reputation to his Father & whenever we are wrongly accused we can do the same.
1 Peter 2:22–23 ESV
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
The love poured out for us stains the world instead because of the lives we live, Loving on people because we have been loved on by God.
Romans 12:18 ESV
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Romans 1
We live peaceably when we make the kinds of choices that lead to good reputations, we seek ways to do good, proving ourselves people of a godly character because of the way we live & love & people begin to tryst us.
In that way we avoid being stained by the world
James 1:27 ESV
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 1
Instead the love poured out for us should stain the world through how we live, simply loving on people.
There are times when our reputation can become tainted due to the dishonesty of others but God wants us to live in such a way that those who know us & know of us won’t believe the lies.
1 Peter 2:15–17 ESV
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
1 Peter
Love people, put others before you, here’s a thought, live life like times up.
here’s a story:
Pastor Chris Hodges Dad had been given a time when he was going to die & over his last days on this Earth 300 people came to visit him.
What did this man do with his last days, did he concentrate on himself? NO, He gave each person who came to see him his time, He loved on each person, prayed with each person, spoke into their lives, gave of himself even when he didn’t have that long to live.
What would you do with your last 30 days or even your last day, would it be making sure your rights were met, your needs or would it be others.
verse 19-23
Paul didn’t compromise himself or his beliefs, he simply put others above himself so that he didn’t become a stumbling block to anyone & to end this chapter Paul says.
verse 24-27
Focus on your walk with God, if we focus on our walk, living right, loving on others then wow, this world will change.
Matthew 6:33 ESV
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6
Live life for the one who came to give us freedom by surrendering himself to God’s plans, let us be the same
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