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Running the Race (17 of 30)
Series: THE BOOK OF I CORINTHIANS
I Corinthians 9:19-27
December 1, 2004
1. Our last lesson had to do with Paul's defense of his
ministry. In the first six verses he defends his apostleship, and then in (vv. 7-18), he defends his livelihood--his right to receive an income from his preaching (vs. 14).
2. In our lesson this evening, we pick up our study in (vs.
19) with Paul's overwhelming burden to reach the lost and his unwavering commitment to the ministry. I would like to give you two main points:
I. His Willingness to Sacrifice for the Ministry
II. His Determination to Strive for the Mastery
I. HIS WILLINGNESS TO SACRIFICE FOR
THE MINISTRY (VV. 19-23)
"Sacrifice" was a key word in the life of Paul. Regardless of the cost, he was willing to do what was necessary in order to further the cause of Christ and help the ministry. He wrote in Philip. 3:7, "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ."
As we consider Paul's willingness to sacrifice for the ministry, let us consider first of all...
A. The people for whom he sacrificed
1. As we read (vv. 19-22), we see that it was for the
Jew and Gentile, alike. It was for those under the Law and those outside of the Law; it was also for the weak--those with little understanding of spiritual matters. Paul was willing to do whatever was necessary (within the confines of Scripture) in order to win these people to Christ.
2. Let's define Paul's approach:
a. He was unwilling to compromise his Christian
1) Many attempt to use this passage in order to
support lax standards in the church. Churches today have the idea that the "end justifies the means." In other words, "We are willing to change all standards; we'll pull out all the stops in order to bring people into the church, even if that means compromising what we know to be right."
ILLUS: In his book, Ashamed ...
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