Faithlife Sermons

1 Corinthians 9

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LAST WEEK

We took a break from 1st Corinthians
We looked at the Sanctity of Life and the Unmatched Value of Life.
We looked at what the Bible declares about Life and Godliness.
If you were not here, I highly suggest you check it out.

THIS WEEK

We will look at one of my favorite chapters of 1st Corinthians.
A chapter that has shaped how I see Ministry.
THIS WEEK
How I see people
How I see servanthood
How I see money

THOUGHTS

As I prepared for this sermon, so much of who I am was both challenged and affirmed.
What I realized is that:
There is a tension between what is glorified and what is reality.
What people desire and what people have in the moment.
My prayer is that this text would awaken us to the value of our calling
That we would all be awakened to the necessity of being a Christian in this world.

TURN TO 1ST CORINTHIANS 9

1 Corinthians 9 NKJV
1 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? 2 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. 3 My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Do we have no right to eat and drink? 5 Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working? 7 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? 8 Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? 9 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? 10 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. 11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? 12 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. 13 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? 14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. 15 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. 16 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! 17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 18 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. 19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 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; 21 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; 22 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. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you. 24 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. 25 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. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
PRAY
1 Corinthians 9:1–2 NKJV
1 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? 2 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.
1 Cor 9
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN QUESTIONED, CRITICIZED, MAYBE EVEN COUNTED OUT, DEVALUED?
PAUL’S APOSTLESHIP WAS BEING QUESTIONED BY SOME CORINTHIANS
They questioned his apostleship, his freedom in Christ, and even his Salvation
After pouring into this community
After being faithful to them in every way
After putting everything on the line for the sake of this Church
It was almost as if Paul still had something to prove
PAUL TAKES THE ACCUSATIONS, AND TURNS THE QUESTION BACK ONTO THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH
He says
If you are questioning my apostleship
If you are questioning the validity of my calling
Then you must also question your salvation
You must also put into question your faith
WHY?
Paul says:
And they are considering Paul to be illegitimate, then so is their faith.
I have worked endlessly for your sake
I have put my life on the line for your glory
I have endured much in order to see you grow in the Lord
If you are questioning the legitimacy of my ministry
You must also question the fruit of my ministry
Which by the way, is your growth.
PAUL LOVED THIS CHURCH
HE CONSIDERED THEM THE SEAL OF HIS APOSTLESHIP
THE PROOF THAT GOD WAS USING HIM
So I consider you
The fact that you are still here
I may have other sources of affirmation
The fact that you show up
However, the three greatest sources of confirmation for me are these:
The fact that people are willing to come early and setup
My Savior
My Wife and Kids
Stay late and tear down
My Church
What happens outside of those three things is a bonus.
THE INTERESTING PART OF THIS WHOLE THING, IS THE REASONING BEHIND THE QUESTIONING.
:3-
1 Corinthians 9:3–7 NKJV
3 My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Do we have no right to eat and drink? 5 Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working? 7 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?
PAUL IS BEING QUESTIONED BECAUSE HE WASN’T TAKING MONEY FROM THE CHURCH
PAUL IS BEING QUESTIONED BECAUSE HE WASN’T TAKING MONEY FROM THE CHURCH
The Church was trying to guilt trip him
Questioning his legitimacy
Because he wouldn’t allow the church to pay him
PAUL WASN’T PHASED BY THESE ACCUSATIONS
Instead, he brings up a great point
“Do we deserve to be paid?”
“Do we have no right to eat or drink?”
“Aren’t we allowed to take a wife?”
“Or because Barnabas and I are leaders, we must be full time and stop working outside of the church?”
The Corinthian Church valued leadership
They valued teaching
They had good intents
But Paul had a global vision
He knew that if he was Bivocational, it would effect the greater body of Christ
Though Paul was worthy of compensation and a wife
He chose to refrain in order for the Gospel to go forward.
Now this wasn’t always the case with Paul
In some cases he did receive money
But as Paul was focused on the ministry at Corinth
He knew what would be most fruitful in this setting.
For Paul, the advancement of the Gospel was more important
Yes, it is good for Pastors to receive some kind of income.
But one of the lessons I have learned is how to be flexible.
How to be led of the Spirit.
Understanding that God knows our situation better than we do.
God knows what is ahead of us financially speaking
We must also understand that you can never out give the Lord.
Just this Christmas
A family that loves us and has always been there for us felt compelled to give us money this christmas
Though we didn’t really need it
We were encouraged to receive it
Minutes after receiving the money, I received a text that a financial situation changed for a family we love.
Though we couldn’t fix the long term effect of this change
We could be a blessing to them in the moment
Wouldn’t you know, that the same amount that was needed was the same amount that was given to us by our friends.
Funny thing was, that minutes after we sent that money over to the family
I received a larger gift through Venmo from a friend.
Friends, one thing I have learned is this:
GOD KNOWS OUR EVERY NEED BETTER THAN WE DO.
He can use the church to supply the need for the Christian
Or He can use _________________ to supply the need for the Christian
I’ve been reading through the One Year Bible Plan
Last week I finished Genesis and started Exodus
One thing that came to mind while studying is this:
Joseph was sold into slavery because his brother’s saw him as a threat
If it w
Joseph, innocent to his situation, stayed faithful to the Lord
Worked for Pharoah
Was thrown in jail for false accusations made against him
Was led of God in interpretting dreams for Pharoah
Was hired back into Pharoah’s executive team
Got paid!
Used his resources to bless his brothers who had put him in this situation to begin with.
This is what the Bible means by
All things work for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
PAUL WANTS TO MAKE ONE THING CLEAR
YES, HE HAS BEEN WORKING HARD FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHURCH
YES, HE HAS BEEN WORKING HARD FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHURCH
YES, HE DESERVES AN INCOME
BUT HIS FREEDOM, AND HIS PRIVILEGE, SHOULD NEVER ACT IN AN ABUSIVE MANNER
:8-
1 Corinthians 9:8–18 NKJV
8 Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? 9 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? 10 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. 11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? 12 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. 13 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? 14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. 15 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. 16 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! 17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 18 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.
THE BIBLE SAYS:
:8-
WE SHOULD NEVER MUSSLE AN OX WHILE IT TREADS OUT THE GRAIN
AKA
Someone working a field shouldn’t starve while it works
We that plow, should plow in hope
6 years we have plowed
Putting others before our needs
Sowing and Plowing the hearts of many
Though we deserve some compensation
We have not used this right in an abusive manner.
We as a family are ready to endure whatever season the Lord has for us
That we may not hinder the Gospel from going forward.
PAUL IS JUSTIFYING HIS CALLING BY BRINGING CLARIFICATION TO WHY HE DOESN’T TAKE AN INCOME FROM THE CHURCH/
Paul’s life was centered around the Gospel
He knew that one thing could undo all he had done for the Gospel
One mistake, one sin, one fleshly behavior, one misunderstanding may cause many to fall away
As a pastor, I must be more careful.
For it would be better for me to die, than anyone bring a charge against me and make my boasting void.
In order for Paul to maintain his ministry
He had to remain above reproach.
His message needed to be backed by his every day decisions
His will to do so was rewarding
Sometimes against his will because of his stewardship with which he had been entrusted.
The reward of a pastor is not immediate
It comes in the fullness of life
When one has not only preached to the captives, but has experienced the power of the message he preaches.
The reward of the pastor is not financial
That he would not abuse the authority he holds in the gospel.
FOR PAUL, SERVING PEOPLE AND PREACHING THE GOSPEL WAS NOT BINARY
IT WAS BOTH AND
:
1 Corinthians 9:19–23 NKJV
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 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; 21 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; 22 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. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
1 Corinthians 9:24–27 NKJV
24 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. 25 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. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
1 cor 9:24-
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