Faithlife Sermons

Gospel Motivation

1 Corinthians: The Gospel in Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Chapter 8 - What CAN I do?
Chapter 10 - What SHOULD I do?
Chapter 9 - Why should I do it? The issue of motivation.
Chap 8 - Paul describes freedom in the gospel.
ILLUST - Entitled Teens
22 Signs Your Children Are Way Too Spoiled
1. They can't stand hearing "no."
2. They don't hide their disdain for gifts they don't want.
3. They refuse to follow rules.
4. They have frequent tantrums.
5. They never offer help.
6. They don't play well with their peers.
Signs of a spoiled church member:
1. They can't stand hearing "no."
2. They don't hide their disdain for gifts they don't want.
They don’t hide disdain when they aren’t served they way they envision.
3. They refuse to follow rules.
They refuse to submit to godly authority.
4. They have frequent tantrums.
They frequently cause drama.
5. They never offer help.
They expect to be served not to serve.
6. They don't play well with their peers.
They don’t play well with others in the church.
6 Consequences of an Entitlement Mentality in Your Church
— ByThom Rainer
1. Generates More Conflicts and Church Fights.
When church members have an entitlement mentality, they get angry when they don’t get their way. It thus leads to conflict and even church fights.
2. Drives the Perception of the Pastor and Staff Being Hired Hands.
Forget the idea of the pastor/teacher equipping the saints to do the work of ministry. Entitled members view them to be workers paid to all or most of the ministry. “After all, that’s what we pay them for.”
3. Keeps the Focus off the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Entitlement is self-focused. The Great Commission and the Great Commandment are other-focused. 4. Creates Unhealthy Alliances. Entitled church members often form alliances with other church members of similar unhealthy mindsets. They are called cliques and power groups. They can be members of an extended family, or they can be a diverse group of members simply determined to get their own way.
5. Turns Giving Into Dues. The money given to the church is not done so with open hands. It has strings attached, and those strings will jerk the money back the moment entitled church members do not get their way. (See my earlier post on giving versus dues.) 6. Turns the Church Facility Into a Shrine. When members insist on getting their way, the church facility becomes an object of their own desires. The fight could be over a color of paint or carpet, a parlor or bride’s room, chairs versus pews, or the pulpit itself. The sad possibilities are endless.
Remember, we are hearing a one-sided phone call.
Paul is answering a list of questions and objections that the Corinthians sent to him.
They are asking Paul if they have the “right” to eat meat, if he really has any authority over them, they are irritated that others in the church aren’t seeing things their way so they may be comfortable.
Why do we exist?
Safe haven until Christ returns?
Country club for those who’ve “made it?”
The church exists to glorify God by living like Jesus.
Famous quote attributed to William Temple:
“The Church exists primarily for the sake of those who are still outside it”
- William Temple.
Mostly right. Church (people) exists to glorify God, and it does so by living like Jesus.
How did Jesus live? Not for himself but to make disciples:
Matthew 28:19–20 (ESV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus modeled discipleship so his disciples would go make disciples.
He fulfilled what he said he would do with them.
Matthew 4:19 (ESV)
19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
If that command was only for the 12+ on the hillside that day then they failed at their job because the ends of the earth were not reached for Christ in their day; in fact, it was just the beginning.
If you sit here today and you know Jesus as your Savior, then you are the product of someone taking that command personally and seriously. (parent, friend, etc.)
This is why you often here at Granger MC that we walk together to take the next step in a Jesus-first life.
Who we are: Fully Devoted to Christ /Neighbors / Nations
What we do: Walk together. . .
We follow the Great Commission to lead others to the Great Commandment.
I want to give us three things we can do keep us from being spoiled Christians:
1 Corinthians 9:1–2 (ESV)
1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

1. Remember what you are truly entitled to.

Paul starts by pointing out to the (entitled) Corinthians that
Paul is legitimately entitled to some things as an apostle
1 Corinthians 9:3 (ESV)
3 This is my defense to those who would examine me.
notice the number of times the word “right” (have the right) is used He has the right to take along a wife
(often Jewish disciples who travelled far to be with their teacher left their wife behind) He has the right to receive material provisions
1 Corinthians 9:6–7 (ESV)
6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?
1 Corinthians 9:8–12 (ESV)
8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
Paul passionately lays aside his ‘rights’ because of the gospel
1 Corinthians 9:12b
12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
1 Corinthians 9:15a
15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision.
Philippians 3:7–9 (ESV)
7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—
Paul could do this because he understood the value of the gospel far outweighs what he knows the only thing he is truly entitled to
We live in an individualistic society that reminds us of our ‘rights.’
— right to my body
— gun rights
— right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness
While we are truly blessed to live in this country, we must never confuse national freedom with gospel freedom.
— national freedom gives us individual rights.
— gospel freedom reminds us we had no rights.
What is the only thing we are truly entitled to? God’s wrath.
eternal death.
Just like the Corinthians, I fear that sometimes our national privilege of personal freedom grows twisted in our hearts and churches to become personal entitlement.
Jesus is the end of entitlement
Entitlement and Christianity do not mix!
You can’t be self-promoting and gospel-preaching at the same time.
You can’t promote Jesus and consistently promote your own rights at the same time.
not a doormat humility + love attitude of Jesus
If you grumble more than you are grateful then you don’t understand grace.

2. Submit your freedoms for the sake of the gospel.

If the first step away from entitlement is HUMILITY, the second is LOVE
1 Corinthians 9:19 (ESV)
19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.
Paul’s motivation - others coming to know and follow Jesus
Paul submits all his freedoms for order to win people to Jesus
— “made myself a servant” is actually a verb which means ‘to bind’ but with the idea of a bondservant - doing so willingly
1 Corinthians 9:20 (ESV)
20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.
Paul was a Jew, but he understood that in Christ he was free from Jewish law, yet he ‘became a Jew’ to win Jews
v21 - became as one outside the law
v22 - became weak
1 Corinthians 9:22–23 (ESV)
22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
Who are you willing to identify with in order to lead them to Jesus?
— identify doesn’t mean to sin with or to be insincere
— Would you be willing to sit with?
— Discipleship is not always neat and tidy
*This one really got me — Am I only identifying with church?
Paul does not identify with others to make himself look more religious or better, he identifies with others to win them to Christ.
God is not looking for the all-stars; he is looking for the fully devoted.
Do we have this kind of passion as a church as a whole?
— How many are new within a year?
— How many knew Jesus before you stepped in?
— Are we really wining people?

3. Do ALL things to win some for Jesus.

1 Corinthians 9:24 (ESV)
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
ILLUST - Who wants to race?
1st race - GO - I stop after 2 steps - ‘I don’t really want to race’ - ‘It’s not really that important to me’ - I’ll never win - motivation is important.
2nd race - GO - I turn a completely different direction and claim I won - I never told the other person the goal - direction is important to win a race.
Two things are critical to win a race: motivation and direction and that requires discipline.
Do we lack motivation or direction? Because not all are saved.
1 Corinthians 9:25–27 (ESV)
25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

KIDS: I will race to tell others about Jesus.

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How motivated are you to see someone come to know Jesus? How much to do you really care? Are you aimed in the right direction? Or are you more concerned with racing toward your own ‘rights’ and privileges?
What are you willing to change - what freedoms are you willing to submit so people could come to know Jesus?
— What are you willing to change in the church to reach the lost?
Are you motivated by the Christ or an entitled Christian?
Communion is a time we remember and celebrate Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.
Fitting for Memorial Day - day we remember those who gave their lives for our freedom. It is a whisper of the deeper reality of Jesus who gave his life for us as a sacrifice for our freedom.
Bible tells us that Jesus taught his disciples to celebrate communion as a way to remember and worship Jesus for dying on the cross for our sins.
The Bible tells us that anyone who has trusted in Jesus as their Savior and are following him can be a part of the communion.
If you haven’t made that decision to follow Jesus — that’s ok. We want you to understand and be ready to follow Jesus — we hope that it is very soon — maybe even today.
Your parents know you better than I do. If you are not sure if you should be a part of communion, ask them. If they say you are not ready yet, that’s ok.
Now is the time to disciple your children. Take this time to explain what the death of Jesus means in your life and what it can mean for their life.
If you or your child has questions or needs prayer and you’d like someone to walk with you simply slip up your hand and we’ll be there. Maybe today is the day for salvation.

KIDS: I will race to tell others about Jesus.

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KIDS: walk with others to lead them to Jesus.
KIDS: raise your hands if you know of someone at school who needs to hear that Jesus loves them?
KIDS: raise your hands if you’d like the big church to pray for you that you would have the courage and the opportunity to tell someone at school that Jesus loves them and wants to give them eternal life?
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