Sacrificing Self on the Altar of the Christ (1 Cor 9:12-23)

Growing Together in Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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What does it cost to follow Christ?

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For the Corinthian church, they are only exhibiting the timeless human tendency to be self-seeking. So, Paul is arguing against the libertarian who just thinks everything is about his own freedom, and against the legalist who is really concerned about his own orthodoxy…but has no genuine concern about his brother or his neighbor. In chapter 9, wedged in Pauls defense against idolotry...Paul made is making a personal defense of his own example in that sometimes, he set aside his personal rights for the sake of the Gospel.
He had legitimate rights as an apostle - but sometimes he set those aside,
he had a legal rights as a laborer - and sometimes he set that aside…
As we saw last week: To Paul, The Message of Christ is more important than:
the honor I could demand
the freedoms i could indulge in
the benefits I shouldexpect

“There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough-a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice-which costs nothing, and is worth nothing.” J. C. Ryle

Does serving Christ cost you anything?

1. Has it cost you hardships?

1 Cor 9:12 “I endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel.”
Personal right: people in the temple get to partake, I am entitled to make a living.
Obstacle: that which holds back the progress of someth., hindrance. He if eating meat in an idols temple will be a stumbling block for my brother, I wont do it. In Romans 14, he said if eating meat or drinking wine cause my brother to stumble, i wont eat meat or drink wine.
Endure: in the sense of covering or enclosing in such a way as to keep someth. undesirable from coming in, as water into a ship) to bear up against difficulties, bear, stand, endure. “Love springs no leaks”… Love endures all things...
What will Paul endure? anything… That does not mean he will neglect his calling...That does not mean he will compromise truth.
“It is our duty and our privilege to exhaust our lives for Jesus. We are not to be living specimens of men in fine preservation, but living sacrifices, whose lot is to be consumed.” — Charles Spurgeon
The counsel of Scripture:
2 Cor 11:23-28 “[I am a servant of Christ]...Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.”
Yet He would still tell young Timothy...2 Tim 2:2-4 “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”
Heb 12:2-3 “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”

2. Has it cost your life?

9:15 “I would rather die than anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting.”
What is the ground of his boasting? The Gospel
2 Corinthians 12:5 ...on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Gal 6:14 “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
“The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
The counsel of Scripture:
Heb 12:3-4 “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
Isaiah says the messiah — Is 53:12 “... he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.”

3. Has it costed Exhaustion?

9:19 “I am free from all but made a servant to all”
I am a slave to all: doulao: to enslave… doulos: slave. figurative make one subservient to someone else’s interests, cause to be like a slave.
To the Jews…Acts 16:1-3 “Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.”
<<ILL: Negro Communed at St. Paul's Church, Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 16, 1905, p. 5. Colonel T. L. Broun, of Charleston, W. Va., just after the war, when a negro marched to the communion table ahead of the congregation. Colonel Broun, in speaking of the matter on yesterday, said:
“Discipline, for the Christian, begins with the body. We have only one. It is this body that is the primary material given to us for sacrifice. We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies for ourselves.” — Elisabeth Elliot
The value of your labor for Christ is never measured by the size of your task, or your gifting, or talents… but by the size of your sacrifice.
Counsel of God’s Word:
Steven Lee: “In Matthew 20:20–28, the mother of James and John, in typical motherly fashion, asks Jesus whether her nice, upstanding sons can sit beside Jesus in his kingdom. James and John, through their mother, are seeking prominence. They want to be great.Jesus answers, in atypical fashion, with a question: “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” (Matthew 20:22). This is not a rebuke as we might expect. It’s a simple question to which the brothers reply, “Yes, we are able to drink the cup.” They don’t understand what Jesus is saying. He then turns to his other disciples, [who] desired the same prime placement at Jesus’s right hand. But Jesus sets them straight, and us. Greatness in the kingdom of God is obtained along the path of love — the path of sacrifice, service, suffering. This is God’s economy, after all. Having more isn’t winning. Being served isn’t best. Being honored isn’t greatness. The people of Jesus are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus — who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
Fireplace ashes…
Here is what i concluded: Fire wood will give off warmth, but only while it burns… but it’s not just the warmth of the wood while it burns… Sometimes the greatest uses come after something is all burned up.
2 Cor 5:14-15 “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”
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