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Disciplines that Qualify a Man for Ministry

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Intro

Text -
1 Corinthians 9:24–27 NKJV
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Title - Ministry Rights, Responsibilities and Self-Discipline

Background

Paul was defending himself against certain individuals who were finding fault in his apostleship and in their rights and privileges as servants of God.
Like everyone who work for an organization or a government, the ministers of the gospel have rights and privileges as well.
Paul begins to explain that ministry is more than earthly rights and privileges
he narrates how he conducted himself in this ministry
he reveals what is the motivating factor in his missionary work
he also shows what he did to himself in order to become worthy of his calling and the rewards of it.

The Main Point

True servants of God “qualify” themselves into the ministry by means of self-discipline.
Sermon Points
Paul said, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection…
Again Paul said, “I labored more abundantly than they all...”

Sermon Points

The Rights and Privileges of the Gospel Minister

Paul identifies himself and his rights
1 Corinthians 9:1–6 NKJV
Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. My defense to those who examine me is this: Do we have no right to eat and drink? Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?
1 Cor 9.1-
The apostles do have rights and privileges associated with their ministry
ALL servants of God have similar rights and privileges
Paul supports his claim with facts
1 Corinthians 9:6–10 NKJV
Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working? Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock? Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.
1 Cor 9.6-
1.) universal law of human work
the soldier goes to war full funded by the government
the farmer is the first to eat th fruits of his vineyard
the shepherd is the first to drink of the mil of his flock
2.) the law of God
the ox is allowed to eat from the grain it is threshing
He who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.
1 Corinthians 9:11–12 NKJV
If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.
3.) the law of reason
we sow spiritual things to you, we reap materials things from you
.
1 Corinthians 9:13–14 NKJV
Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
1 Corinthians 9.13-1
4.) the priestly ordinance
1 Corinthians 9.
the priesthood
the priests are allowed to eat of the things of the temple, and partake from the offerings of the altar.
The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
Paul supports his claim with practical logic.
1 Corinthians 9:11–12 NKJV
If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.
1 Cor 9.11
PAUL TEACHES THAT PREACHERS SHOULD “HONORED” BY PROVIDING THEM WITH LIVING ALLOWANCES.
1 Timothy 5:17–18 NKJV
Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

The true aim of the Servant of God

Paul gives up his rights to financial gain for more important reasons
He did not want to hinder the gospel of Christ
1 Corinthians 9:12 NKJV
If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.
1 Cor 9.1
He did not want for anyone to make his boasting void
1 Corinthians 9:15 NKJV
But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.
1 Cor 9.1
Paul takes pride in the fact he preached the gospel truthfully and faithfully, without pretense, and not for gain.
His goal in the ministry is to accomplish what is “required” of him
1 Corinthians 9:16–17 NKJV
For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.
1 Cor 9.16
necessity
1 Corinthians 9:18 NKJV
What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.
1 Corinthians 9.
His goal in the ministry is to be “rewarded” with this accolade or praise:
Here is the man who preached the gospel without charge!
Here is the man who was given great authority in the gospel but did not abuse it!
1 Corinthians 9:24–25 NKJV
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
1 Cor 9.24-25
this is what Paul called the “imperishable crown”
His goal prompts to discipline his own body and bring it to subjection!
1 Corinthians 9:26–27 NKJV
Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

The Qualifying marks of a True Servant of God

How did Paul discipline himself with regards to the ministry?
1.) He gave up his rights and privileges
1 Corinthians 9:12 NKJV
If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.
Paul worked
1 Corinthians 9.12
- as tentmakers with Aquila and Priscilla
Acts 18.3
A true servant of God does not preach for the sake material gain.
A true servant of God is willing to let go of his rights if it will hinder the preaching of the gospel
2.) He focused on his accountability
Paul focused on the work of bringing the gospel to the Gentiles.
A true servant of God will work hard to remain faithful to his stewardship.
3.) He made himself a servant of all
1 Corinthians 9:19–23 NKJV
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
1 Cor 9.19-
Paul “made himself a servant” to all
A true servant of God will find ways to minister to those he is called to serve the gospel with.

Conclusion

Ministry has its rewards. But success in ministry requires self-discipline in many areas of life.
Ephesians 4:1 NKJV
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
Self-discipline qualifies us to the ministry.
Questions to Ask Ourselves
Am I truly called to preach the gospel? Or is this merely something I want to do for myself?
If so, what am I doing to “qualify myself” to the work and to the reward?
What kind of self-discipline must I learn and exercise in order to qualify to the ministry?
Song
Make Me A Servant
Here I Am
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