Events Give

Waiving Your Rights for the Gospel

1 Corinthians 9:1–18

Posted by Dan Jarms on October 1, 2023
Waiving Your Rights for the Gospel
00:00 00:00

Main idea: Be quick to waive your rights for the privilege of proclaiming the gospel

  1. Status
    • John 13:12-15
  2. Natural Rights
  3. Scriptural Rights
  4. Ministry Rights
  5. Earthly Rewards

Treasuring the free grace of God in the gospel

  • Automated Transcription
  • 0:13
    I want to have my welcome to welcome everyone. It is so good to be gathering with God's people. On on Sunday. If you're visiting with us, I just want to add a warm welcome and glad that you're with us. I'd love to talk to you after the service is over. Make sure you don't leave without getting a cup of coffee or talking to somebody at the Information Center, we would like to get you connected into the life of the church. We are in First Corinthians nine we're back into our first Corinthians series. And First Corinthians nine is is where we pick up please stand with me for the reading of God's Word. First Corinthians chapter nine carries from chapter eight, in that there was some teaching that needed to be done about Christian freedoms. People were eating meat sacrificed to idols, which gave new believers the idea that it's okay to worship Jesus and another god and Paul's really firmed. Don't Don't make anybody stumble. Chapter Nine, we have legitimate rights. And I want you to notice how many legitimate rights the Apostle Paul was willing to waive in order to preach the gospel of free grace. So that's what you're going to look for today. So that we would understand what we give up gladly and proclaiming the gospel. Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship and the Lord? If to others, I'm not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship and the Lord? This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and see if this works it only Barnabas and I have no right to refrain from working for a living. 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? Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the law say the same? 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? Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake because the plowman should plow in hope and thresher Thresh and hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If we share it with 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. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings. In the same way the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. For I preach the gospel that gives me no ground for boasting for necessity is laid upon me, flow to me if I do not preach the gospel. For if I do this with my own will I have a reward but if not, of my own will i am entrusted with a stewardship. Full What then is my reward, that in my preaching, I may present the gospel FREE of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the Gospel. This is the word of the Lord. God in heaven, our Heavenly Father, we thank you for giving us the great gift of your Son, Lord Jesus, you paid it all and offer it freely to us that is salvation by grace through faith in your atoning work. Thank you for the gift of salvation. We were thirsty and you said come and drink freely without price and we have and what the Apostle Paul shows us here is how to be ready and willing to give up our rights to make the gospel trumpet out and trumpet fourth. Father I pray that you would give us insight. Some of this is different than our culture help us understand what is deeply rooted in Roman and Greek culture so that we can relate it properly to ours, I pray that You would also help us walk away, continually thinking about where we use your gospel of grace in the church and outside the church. Because we have been given so much a pray for churches around our city, I pray for Christ, the Redeemer pray for Carrie Hughes as he preaches the congregation as they hear that you would be at work in all of them, so that they would be a sound testimony to the gospel of Jesus Christ. And we pray that You would give us compassion toward any kind of sufferer. Whether they are enslaved to sin and addiction, whether they are guilty and weighed down, help us have compassion to bring this gospel of grace to them. It's in Christ's name we pray, amen. You may be seated. What daily choices are you willing to make? So that you can declare the gospel of grace and Jesus? Maybe I'd ask it another way, what rights are you willing to waive? So that you can declare the gospel freely. One of the stories I've heard often about Linda's dad Carlo missionary church, just north of Rome. He lived a life he lived a life of waiving his rights of ministering to the poor and needy. At one point he had befriended a man named Carlito. Carlito just means little Carlo Carlo to battle with mental illness. I mean, he was kind of too classic. He was smelly. He was creepy he he was all the things that you might imagine if somebody who is homeless and mentally ill, and Carlo had a huge compassion for him, reached out to him, befriended him. And at one point Carlotto needed to be readmitted to psychiatric hospital in Rome. And so Linda's dad wanted to help Carlito and he said, I'll spend the first night with you in the psychiatric ward, just to help ease you in. So he goes in middle of the night, the charge nurse comes, opens the door, and needs to give meds to Carlito, whose proper name is Carlo. So the charge nurse asks, so which one of you is Carlo and who needs the medicine? Linda's dad was sound asleep and he jolts awake. And he says, I'm Carlo. And I'm not here. Well, Carla toe, the one who needs to be there says I'm Carlo the medicines for me. Very cool. Here are the crazy guy is saying, and the same guy is crazy. Carlo? Very Auntie continually waived his rights his whole life. In this case, the rights to a comfortable night's sleep. The right to not be confused with somebody who needs to be in the psych ward. He did it to reach the poorest, the most socially Outcast sinners that was his whole life well into his retirement. That was the biggest burden of his heart. But it doesn't always turn out how you want. But this, this willingness to suffer this willingness to waive your rights is the means that God uses to bear the message of the gospel of free grace. A willingness to suffer in meekness has always been the medium that gives the most credibility to the gospel. A willingness to suffer and meekness has always been the medium that gives the most credibility to the gospel. Those who have all in Christ, find it small a small matter to suffer all for Christ. We John just read us this passage about being called children of God. And you notice there's a little line in it provided we suffer with Him. I mean, if the son suffered that brothers and sisters will suffer gladly to those who have all in Christ find it a small matter to suffer all for Christ. The apostle Paul exemplified the spirit. It was a small matter for him to give up freedoms, rights comforts, to keep any unnecessary barrier yours to the gospel.

    So what are you willing to forsake for the advancement of the gospel? What are you willing to forsake in Corinth, which were back in to this book studying it today the people were willing to give up very little actually, it was the opposite many jockeyed for status and influence. Just as a review of the book, it opens with factions forming around who the most popular and influential apostle there was, I'm of Paulus, I'm a Paul I am of Sisyphus, and there was division factions. one bidder belittle the other to get as much as they could for themselves. And that sounds like the modern podcaster, the Christian podcaster blitting, belittling others, so that they could get as much status for themselves as they could. Of all the churches in the New Testament. Corinth is most like the US. It's prosperous, highly competitive, individualistic. Americans, and now especially American Christians are far more likely to set aside their calling to evangelize and build up the saints than they are to waive their rights for the gospel. American Christian seemed obsessed about their religious rights. And I'm all for religious rights I like him. But we're going to find in the Apostle Paul is that his first concern was always the progress of the gospel, his second or third, or 50th, might have been his rights. Chapter Eight, many in Corinth were justifying eating of meat sacrificed to idols, and that might seem strange to you. But remember, most meat in Corinth had gone through a temple system of sacrifice, and then it was brought to the meat market. And very often banquets were held, and they would be sacrificed idols and those who claimed that they were mature and in the know, would say, look, meat is meat, food is food. I don't care what it was sacrificed to the idols don't even exist anyway, we can just eat it. But the problem was, many people worshipped the gods. As the meat was being sacrificed, and young Christians, immature Christians would think, well, I guess it's okay to worship Jesus and this other God at the same time, leading them back into hell. The apostle Paul says I would rather I would rather never eat meat, I would rather be a vegan. That's what he just said, I'd rather be a vegan than caused somebody else to stumble. Okay, maybe just a vegetarian. According to Acts 15, it was to be the common practices of all the churches across the Roman Empire, to avoid practices that gave appearance to supporting idols. It's just common practice. Here's a few things we don't do where you want to live by a lot of laws, we live by the law of Christ. It's more about how to love. We don't we don't live a lot of laws, but one of the things we pay careful attention to is to not give the appearance of supporting idol worship. So here, Paul sets forth the most powerful example that a materialistic rights conscious culture could ever imagine. He showed how he willingly set aside his rights and privileges of major things, to show how to give up rights and privileges to small things, to small things. So you give up a meal with meat in it, it's not the end of the world. What drove Paul was the privilege of presenting the gospel FREE of charge. The reverse question is asked is how precious to you is the gospel? How precious is it? Here's the big idea. Be quick to waive your rights and freedoms for the Ready Advance of the gospel of grace, be quick to waive your rights and freedoms for the Ready Advance of the gospel of grace. If you total them up, it's something like 12 or 13 rights that Paul was willing to SET set aside to put them in five categories, five categories of the rights that Paul waived as he brought the Gospel to Corinth, and gave them example, and us an example number one, he gave away his right or he he waived the right, of status of status. Instead of using his status as an apostle to command he used his status as an apostle to serve. This is what he said back in chapter four, I mean, who are a polish and I I'm an apostle, no, we're we're servants of Christ. We're slaves. of Christ. We have a stewardship. So he starts with this. Am I not free? I mean, looking back to chapter eight and chapter seven, he's saying, Am I not free from rules about food? Because I'm free in Christ. I mean, because of what Christ has done. I'm no longer bound to Jewish food laws, I'm free. This is what many Corinthians thought, Well, Paul then gives them the ultimate spiritual status example apostleship. He says, Am I not an apostle? Now, if you're new in the last couple of weeks, we haven't talked about what apostles are. An apostle was a person, hand selected by Christ, to represent him with authority in the world. And if Paul said or did something as an apostle, it had the stamp of approval of Christ. It was actually to say, if the Apostle said it in his role as apostle Jesus was saying it, that's powerful authority. And so at this time, the apostles were the highest living authorities in the church. He amplifies it with a brief statement, have I not seen are Jesus our Lord and have I not seen as is said in this past action with a powerful current results. And it's the picture of Jesus appearing to an apostle, it happened for the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, Acts chapter nine, he was on his way to Damascus to arrest Christians, bring them back to Jerusalem, kill as many as necessary. And Jesus met him on the road in a blaze of glory, driving Paul to his knees, calling him to repent and securing his salvation and commissioning him as an apostle, he saw the risen Christ. This is the chief qualification of an apostle, hand selected and commissioned by Christ.

    When we get to chapter 15, we'll get time to look at the full qualifications. And he says this, are you not my workmanship in the Lord? I mean, as an apostle, Aren't you my workmanship? Aren't you a proof of what I've done? The very fact that you exist as a church is because Christ used his gospel through me. So if to others I am not an apostle, because there were critics, at least I am to you. You this this church in Corinth is undeniable proof of the power of Paul's ministry of my ministry, he's saying to them, for you are the seal of my apostleship and the Lord you remember the the king would or the emperor or the governor would wear this huge signet ring with a carved seal unique to him. And when he sent an official document or letter, it was rolled, waxed and stamped. And that was the proof of authentication. Corinthians, aren't you the proof of authentication of my apostleship. But if anyone could claim special status with special treatment, it's Paul. If anyone could have special privileges and freedoms, it could be Paul. But for the sake of Corinthians, hearing the gospel of grace so that all of them could hear it and all of them could believe he didn't use it. He didn't use it. He didn't use his right to status. All right, well, I'm not all that important. Very few of us are going to be able to say, none of us, none of you, none of me, none of us are ever going to say I'm an apostle. Don't I deserve status? How do we connect with this? I think at a really practical level, I'm always encouraged when I watch our youth serve and children's ministry I'm because I tend to know something about youth having had some of my own, that they'd often want to be with the cool kids. Or they often just want to be with their friends, but to give up time with your friends or being with the cool kids to do the glorious job of serving in the four year olds, singing the cute little songs doing the cute hand motions, and the absolutely illustrious job of walking a fine line of four year olds to the bathroom. I mean, if there is something cool to do in the church, it's marching kids to the bathroom. It's course that's tongue in cheek, they give up so often the writer have the privilege, the freedom to hang with the cool kids to hang with their friends and they serve. They do the silly hand motions, and they help kids. I mean, could you be a person who gives up time with the cool kids? Could you be that person? Sometimes the cool kids are the people who are intellectually stimulating, you know, I feel my gifts would be wasted on children. I should serve somewhere else, I just don't do kids. I'm not able I can handle the not able one. It's really easy. Can you stand beside a fine line of four year olds and walk them to the bathroom? The bar is not high for your qualifications. You have to be safe. It's a background check. But can you do that? Can you reach the least of these? Could you be it God's calling a person to reach to a fentanyl addict, somebody who's homeless, somebody who can't give you anything back. I watched another example and a half for decades. moms who have great abilities to earn an income, choose to give up work or work at their Christian school or volunteer at the Christian school or volunteer at the public school just to be with their kids, when they could be in a workplace earning a lot more receiving better status in the workplace, and yet they give it up. So they can make sure that children are being raised in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord. See lots of dads choose jobs that keep them local versus higher paying jobs that take them away. I see all kinds of decisions that Christians make they waive their rights. So they can bring the Gospel to their home. How could you waive your rights to status or importance in the service of the king? Paul did that waive the rights of his status? Second, he waived his natural rights. He had natural rights. And this is where he argues next. It's natural to earn a living from the work you do. It's natural to have marital companionship. Notice this, he says this is my defense to those who would examine me we're not sure who the critics were, if they were the same kind of critics as the kind that he hadn't Thessalonica there were people saying that Paul and his companions were in it for the money. That was in testimonials. Paul made sure he told the Thessalonians and worked with my own hands. So what did Paul do? Paul probably had skills as a leather worker. And he and a handful of his companions, which would travel from place to place had similar skills, and they would go down to the market and they would either put up a stall or they would find Christians who worked in that trade. And they said can we work for you help earn a little bit of money, and they would earn their keep, so that they could preach the gospel in the city that they had free of charge. And if and if another church like the sending church sent an offering to support them, they could stop working, and they could devote them more to full time ministry. But over and over and over the presentation of Paul and missionaries ever since is to walk into a situation and not ask for money until credibility or until time because they wanted to make sure that nobody ever thought they were in it for the money

    do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have that right? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife? Paul gives another example here as the other apostles and the brothers of our of the Lord and sofas seems like all the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord would be the brothers of Jesus. We know James and Jude. They were married Peter was married and they all had wives that traveled with them. Paul's not throwing them under the bus. Like I'm superior. He's saying that that's a normal right to have marital companionship to have another set of hands to work at the leather shop so that we could provide a few more dollars so we don't have to ask for money from the people we're bringing the Gospel to. Priscilla and Aquila both worked in the leather tray to earn a living and they to ministered as missionaries. On top of it, they would have had all the joys of marital physical intimacy. Like we gave up a lot. I have a right to all of those things, he says or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to reprint refrain from working for a living? Barnabas must have been the only other ministry friend who kept a regular job throughout his missionary career. And he might to have been a lifelong bachelor. He uses three common sense illustrations here for seven who serves as a soldier at his own expense. No one No one does. Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit. Nobody does that everybody plants a vineyard to harvest the grapes to eat them, to turn them into juice and wine to sell them. I mean, that's that's why you plant it, who who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? impulsing Should I not have that right to? The Am I willing to give up that right? It's the question, are we willing to give up rights, one of the massive shifts among American evangelicals? And I'm trying to think of ways to kind of drive this home as a thought question for us. We have all kinds of rights or freedoms, one of the massive shifts in American evangelicals is to move out of politically liberal states or politically liberal areas and to move to politically conservative states. It's a natural right it's a natural freedom. But can I ask this who remains to bring the gospel to the politically liberal who remains? Or is it well liberal You should have thought of that before he went to hell. The typical E or conservative evangelical so fond of saying it's getting so bad out there. It's getting so bad out there. We should move to Idaho. If you live in Idaho, praise God you commute here. I know the Oregon's they do it. I'm not asking that anyone sacrifice their children on the altar of evangelism. But could some bring the Gospel to their children and stay in Spokane for a while? I know there's real reasoning that goes on. But could it be that you first think? Where does God want us to preach the gospel? And where is it needed? Could you first think? Where does God want us to preach the gospel and where needs it? Now I know a whole bunch of non Christian political conservatives in North Idaho and you might be an effective missionary to them great.

    But how I admire so many of my friends, so many of my fellow faculty at masters seminary, who toughed it out, and liberal Southern California preaching the gospel. Paul gave up status he gave up natural rights. Third, he gave up scriptural writes, Paul is saying the same thing about earning a living. Now he's using scriptural Scripture as the examples. The scriptures even show that those who minister to spiritual needs of people should expect their daily physical needs to be met from what they do. Verse eight, he says, Do I say these things on human authority? I mean, yes, he does. It's common sense logic. If you work at something, you should be able to make your living from it. He says, but does not the law say the same? He's saying, Am I just arguing, arguing from common logic? Where am I am I arguing from Scripture to he says, I'm arguing from Scripture to verse nine, for it is written in the Law of Moses, you shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain. Now, you could read that and go, Hmm, I don't get it. We don't have time to go to back to Deuteronomy 25. Four, where there's the context, but it's sandwiched between two issues. There's a justice issue and a need issue and this one sits in between. And here is this pithy example that everybody knows to apply from the less to the greater it would be unjust. To borrow a neighbor's ox make it thresher wheat, not feed it and return it to your neighbor, weak and less able, it would be unjust for you to expect the same workout of your ox if you did the same thing. Your ox gets hungry and has need I mean, that sandwich there is really powerful to look at. And the point that every Israelite on understood is that people who work hard should earn their living from what they get just like an ox. So Paul says, Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Not ultimately, he's ultimately concerned about humans. Does he not certainly speak for our sake. It was written for our sake because the ploughman should plow in hope and the thresher in hope of sharing the crop. Paul uses this verse in this, this quote from Isaiah, or from Deuteronomy 25, for in First Timothy 518 through 22, talking about who among elders gets double honor or gets a stipend or a salary, so that they're freed up for leading preaching and teaching. Who does that those who excel in those things, and then he quotes the ox and the quotes and words of Jesus, which I'll get to in a minute. Paul tells them you should support your pastures your elders you don't starve your ox, do you? Why would you starve the people who feed your spirits? So he says this in verse 11? For if we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we read material things from you, if others share this rightful claim on you? Do not we even more apparently, the Corinthians were financially supporting ministers who served them? How much more should Paul and his companions be supported by the church in Corinth. And here's the punch, here's the punch line of the whole thing, it's going to be repeated twice. 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. If Paul gives up these rights, if he willingly suffers or waives his rights, if he willingly suffers or waives his freedoms should not the Corinthians give up little things? Like what they think they are free to eat and drink.

    Paul was motivated by the advance of the gospel of free grace, the gospel is that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone. So Paul uses leatherworking skills when necessary. When it was available, he took the support from Antioch or Philippi or Thessalonica. Other churches like a supported missionary, like we support our missionaries, so as to not show up in a city start preaching the gospel, and making the gospel sound like it's something you have to buy.

    Paul always wanted to prove Christian character first, and be self supporting. And let me let me draw your attention to a really important cultural context. That's not it still exists. But it's nothing like it was then there was a patronage culture. In all of the Roman Empire, especially in Corinth, what do I mean by a patronage, patronage culture, wealthy and upper class people would give clients or pay clients money for their services, clients, like artisans, priests, or wise sages, and it was not unusual for an orator to come into town. And without standing logic and reason and philosophy, start speaking and a patron, a wealthy upper class businessman or noblemen, to make an arrangement to have this very famous speaker show up at his house to give an address, patronage patron client relationship. Now, what is the client likely never to do in his next address? Throw the patron under the bus. Paul never wanted the temptation to hold back anything God would say for fear of his patron. He wanted to be able to speak accurately. Even more importantly, if Paul accepted patronage it would look like the people who get into heaven are rich. It would have been a barrier to the poor, to the weak to the those wrecked and guilt and sin to those who are not righteous and not have high standing to the slave. Remember the Apostle Paul's heart. The Book of Galatians is about the gospel of justification by faith alone, Paul had a mission to go to the Gentiles. He goes to Jerusalem, he visits Peter and James and the notable apostles and they say, your a gospel is accurate. We love that you're going to the Gentiles, we asked you to do one thing that you would remember the poor. And it's not just compassionate to give them money. It was God's God's mysteries are meant for the poor. The gospels meant for the poor, and pauses, that's the very thing I was eager to do. Paul had a heart for the poor and spirit for the needy, for the outcast. And what would have happened, if he would have got patronage if he would have gotten paid for his gospel ministry, from those who are wealthy and could afford it. And so he emphasizes his rights again, to say this, look at this, he comes back from this, he says, Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, those who serve at the altar share and sharing the sacrificial offerings, he's going back to the Old Testament pattern of the priests and Levites, who earn their living from their ministry.

    We think of many kinds of rights, the apostle Paul was willing to give up scriptural rights, the Bible supports the scriptural rights of individuals who have who have had injustice is done to them. We have legal justice systems, and it's a right to use those but I heard a story this week where an employee who was taken advantage of by an employer refused to sue the employer so that he could maintain genuine access to the gospel to this employer, he wanted to be able to share the gospel with the employer, he didn't want to put any barrier in. That's saying you can't use the legal system. But Paul was perpetually thinking about this. If we track through Acts, one of the things in the in the modern era is many Christians are saying, We Americans have to take advantage of our rights. Just like the apostle Paul took advantage of his rights, his legal rights in the gospel out I want to say the Apostle Paul used his legal rights to his advantage. But I want to think of two specific examples that throw this upside down or turn this upside down. Paul goes to Philippi and in Philippi, he and Silas start preaching the gospel, he casts out a demon from a girl he gets brought into the town center the marketplace in front of the magistrates, who say that he and Silas are disturbing the peace. The mob rips their clothes off, they grab rods and they start wailing, wailing on Paul and Silas, beating them. Paul and Silas go to prison. They're put in stocks stretched out, and very painful situations preaching the gods are singing and praising God. There's an earthquake, they're released. A jailer comes to Christ. And the next day the magistrates come to Paul and Silas and say, You need to leave our town and you need to leave quietly. And Paul at that point says we're Roman citizens. How could you treat us like this? Why did he say it then? Because they were terrified because any magistrate that treats a Roman citizen like this would lose his job, and maybe publicly beaten. They were supposed to uphold the civil rights of Roman citizens. Why didn't Paul while the clothes are being ripped off of him say, Hey, I'm a Roman citizen. Can I get a trial here?

    Because he's saw an opportunity to suffer for Christ and get a hearing for the gospel from a suffering servant. Just like Jesus, and the reason why he held his rights the next day, was to protect the legitimacy of the church so the church could have freedom. He used his Roman rights not at his benefit, but at the benefit of others. The end of the acts He's in jail waiting trial by various Roman and Jewish leaders. And when he could finally gain access when he could finally be on trial, and he's found innocent, he says, I appeal to Caesar, the Roman rulers gathered together says if he didn't appeal to Caesar, he could have been set free today. Why did he choose prison to stay in prison when he could have been free. Because in his trial, he could stand before Caesar or Caesars tribunal, the highest powers in the Roman Empire would hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. And for a person who has been saved by the gospel of Jesus Christ, the chance just the opportunity to bring the gospel to the highest powers in the world was something he could not give up and he would suffer anything for the privilege.

    To Paul gave up his rights, legal rights, scriptural rights.

    He gives up ministry rights, number four gives up ministry rights. It doesn't make a good outline, but really, it's he gives up the rights Jesus gave him. Jesus gave him rights. The Gospel of Luke the apostles were sent out to buy to. And Jesus says, Go out, don't take anything with you because the worker is worthy of his wages, you'll get paid as you go. Here, he says it this way, in the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel, and he's referring to that passage in Luke nine. And the follow up in Luke 10. Paul actually quotes that Luke passage in First Timothy 518, through 22, saying, This is why you should get a salary to your pastors. He's going to need to live off that and virtually every pastor I know, gave up a career where they could have made more money than in their career in ministry. I have one pastoral friend who made millions before seminary, genius made millions before seminary, went to seminary, paid his way, and has been ministering as a pastor for 15 or 16 years and never taken a salary. Five millions I could do the same. But I don't, and I'm not very good with leather either.

    Jesus says you can make your living from the gospel. The Paul gave it up. Finally, he gave up his earthly rewards, his earthly rewards. He couldn't even take them really. Now you need to follow this one closely. Just stick with me. But I have made no use of any of these rights and see that whole catalog you total it up to about 12 or 13 writes that the apostle Paul had, he says, I have not made use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any provision. I'm not saying this after the fact to make you feel guilty and say I need some money now. He's, that's I'm not asking you for money. I'm trying to give you an example so that you would willingly waive your rights and your status and your privileges and your freedoms. He said I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. Paul, that's pretty intense. I thought boasting was bad and proud not if you see what he means by it. For if I preach the gospel that gives me no ground for boasting, for necessity is laid upon me. It's a double phrase in Greek to emphasize a requirement is necessitated. Here's what he's saying. He was an enemy of Christ. He was an enemy of the gospel. Jesus met him on the road to Damascus. He saved him called him into his kingdom as a beloved child and service of God. But he was at the same time pressed the service like a soldier is drafted into the army. There's no choice. This wasn't a volunteer ministry, which he says if I do it on my own will I have no reward? Paul is a child The of Christ of God the Father, he's a child of God. But remember, every child of a king is still a servant to the king. And he's a slave of Christ. So he says, Woe to me, if I do not preach the gospel. I mean, to hell with me. It's Whoa, it's the strongest possible language, if I do not preach the gospel, this was the same kind of attitude and call that the prophets of the Old Testament God is reading through Ezekiel 33, this week, where Ezekiel was called to be the watchman to call unbelieving Israel to repentance, saying that judgment is coming. And he said, If you warn them, and they don't listen, it's on them. And if you don't warn them, and they perish, it's on you Ezekiel. For some gets saved. Praise the Lord. It's by compulsion. Super. If I do this, on my own, will I have a reward? If I volunteered for this, it would have been like volunteering as a soldier and I should get paid. That's not what happened. It was not my own Well, I wasn't made an apostle because I volunteered. Or I proved my worthiness. I was killing Christians when I was called. And I have been entrusted with a stewardship. I have to preach the gospel. What then is my reward? That's what we're asking, right, Paul? What's your reward? Like? Why are you doing all this? The apostle Paul saw it as a privilege. He saw it as a privilege. He says that in my preaching, what's my reward, that in my preaching, I may present the gospel FREE of charge, so as to make no full use of my right in the Gospel. Here's the privilege about the call of saving faith, you were offered forgiveness, I want to say this, if you're just with us in the last several weeks, you're hearing the Bible and you're hearing long sermons, and you're enduring praise the Lord during during long sermons. I just want to be crystal clear about the message of the gospel. If you have not yet yet embraced it.

    You are a guilty rebel against God, the King who's made all things from Adam to today, mankind has said I'd rather have my own glory and be apart from God, I'd rather do my own thing and not have God bossing me around, I would, I would rather have my sin. And that makes you guilty before God. Since this is God's, and you are stealing from it, God has the right to judge. And that is part of the story of the story of the whole Bible that God is unleashing judgment and will unleash a final judgment and friend, if you if you are still trying to be your own god or still worshiping your own gods, are you still worshiping yourself? If you're breaking God's laws, you are under that just wrath of God. But here's the story of the Scripture. Here's the story of the gospel. God resolved his own problem of justice, by Jesus coming to us, For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that so whoever would believe in Him might not perish. What is that perish go into everlasting torment in the hell away from the presence of God. He sent His only Son to do that Jesus, at the right hand of God, with all the rights and privileges of God chose to waive those rights and privileges by taking on meager and weak human flesh. How should he have been treated? Well, he should have been treated as the king because he's king David son. But he was not he was treated with contempt by his people, by the leaders by the Jewish rulers by the Gentile rulers and he was betrayed by his own. Bullies should have earned the right to get a citizens execution. He did not get that right. He waived that right. And he was arrested and stripped naked and flogged and nailed to a shameful Roman cross. God should have rescued him. He was innocent. And Jesus waived that right. Instead, darkness came upon the land as the wrath of God, all of the justice that you deserved was poured out on Jesus Christ. And Jesus waived all of the rights, to kingship to life, to service from others, to dignity, to justice, and to life itself. And he died to pay for your sins. His gospel call says it's going to cost you everything and it's going to cost you nothing. It's going to cost you EVERYTHING in this. You can't trust what your sin gets you anymore. You can't trust any other Savior. You can't trust your good works to offset your bad works. You can't trust in anything. But Jesus, it will cost the entire faith. But entrance of the kingdom will cost you nothing. Because Jesus has paid the full price for your sins. And if you cry out to Him in repentance and faith, and trust Him, you will get forgiveness. Forgiveness means that all your debts are paid, all your sin debts, all your justice debts, they're all paid. The gospel is a free gift, friend, take the free gift, it's offered to you freely.

    Trust him today.

    Jesus gave up his status, his legal rights, his scriptural rights, his ministry rites, and even an earthly reward. To take your shame, your guilt and your debt and pay it all. By his stripes his whip marks you can be healed. This is the wonder that every authentic Christian embraces every one of us who has received Christ as Lord and Savior have received a free gift of God and we cannot boast we have been called and pressed into service what is our boast now it is to do whatever we can to proclaim Christ as Savior. Remember this the medium, the medium of the message, the medium of the message for a biblical Christian has always been suffering. It is a suffering Proclaimer of God's word that gives the greatest credibility to the truth of the gospel. Because it shows everybody who is watching that there is a satisfaction that is far beyond anything this world has to offer. And it's in relationship with the God who made all and the God who will bring a new heavens and a new earth. And the finish of his plan. The most credible medium is a life that routinely waives its rights. Naturally, we don't employ all 12 or 13 at the same time. Paul had a unique situation. The other apostles other people who received financial resources they were thrown under the bus Paul simply trying to drive home the point Every Christian Needs to be ready to waive their rights to various pleasures and comforts and treatments here that might be natural and might be legal and might even be scriptural, in order to make sure that the gospel of Christ is clearly free of charge to anybody who believes. My father in law his whole life exemplified this. He and his wife died panelists. They had nothing to show. They had to sell off everything to pay their final medical bills so they could just live on Social Security. Nothing but some boxes of old worn out things and some memories. The way he lived his life's full of funny stories. Linda remembers one night in her childhood in Italy hearing her family van being started in the middle of the night driven off now she's a little kid so she doesn't know exactly what's going on. When she awoke she heard that someone had stolen the family van also heard that the person who stole the van went off the edge of the road and crashed into a pole and totaled the van and was in the hospital. And Carlos first impulse was to say, I'm going to the hospitals to share the gospel with him. He makes his way to the to the hospital it borrows a car he gets there, he tells the charge nurse I want to see this person. And the charge nurse went back and said, hey, the guy that you stole the van from is coming to see you. Too, which he ripped off his all his medical stuff, all his IVs any any fled out the window. Because in Italy, when the guy comes in, visit you in the hospital and you just stole his car. Something was gonna happen and it wasn't going to be pleasant. doesn't always turn out like you think. But that attitude is fundamental to the Christian, I will waive my rights for the privilege of presenting the free gospel of grace. Will we be that people faith Bible Church? Will we be that people? Let's pray that we are. Father, thank You for this mercy. The mercy of being given the gospel to believe the gospel, to proclaim the gospel and to suffer for the gospel. And so in the daily routines of life, when there are little things that we can give up. Help that be much easier than what Paul gave up or our other Christian heroes have given up. May we do that on a day by day basis? Christ's name we pray, amen.

Available Downloads

Download MP3
Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

View Resources by Dan Jarms
Resource Tags
More From This Series