Summary: Our labors for the Lord are not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58) and we do not have to do our work for the Lord in our own strength. There is a grace available that will see us through victoriously in every work the Lord gives us, and that work will not b
Turn your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 15:10
Title: By God’s Grace Go We
Theme: Living By Grace
Series: Living in the Aroma of God’s Grace
Listen as I read 1 Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10) Pray!
Introduction: This powerful truth was written by the Apostle Paul. Before his conversion this great laborer for the Lord was named Saul. He persecuted the church and oversaw the killing of Christians. (Acts 7:58; 9:1) He achieved a high position, had good personal morality and a righteousness that had the approval of the church of his day. (2 Corinthians 11:22; Philippians 3:4-6) Paul called himself the chief of sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15)
Out of love for Jesus and after considering all that Christ had done for him, Paul was driven to work hard for the church. The word “work” (kopiao) means to labor to the point of being weary and exhausted.
It is not uncommon to see mankind put in many hours of labor for the gods of this world. Working from early in the morning to late at night, to exhaustion to see their dreams come true or enjoy what motivates their hearts. Men of this world think nothing of staying up late at night making the proper preparations for something they enjoying doing. It does not bother them to get up before daylight so they can get an early start on their day of enjoying some hobby, working in their careers and jobs, or just enjoying the pleasures of this world.
A child of God who is illuminated with the truth of Christ’s sacrificial love for him works late into the night to make the proper preparations to get done what God has called him to do. He is up early so that he can get the most out of his day in his labors for the Lord. Working to exhaustion and being weary seems like only a small cost compared to the price Jesus paid on the Cross of Calvary to cover his many sins.
Proposition: I would propose to you that our labors for the Lord are not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58) and we do not have to do our work for the Lord in our own strength. There is a grace available that will see us through victoriously in every work the Lord gives us, and that work will not be without an effect of some kind. Holy Spirit led Christians will face many battles for the Lord just as the Apostle Paul did and they will be able to say as he did, “…we [faced] hardships… far beyond our ability to endure… But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God… On Him, we… set our hope…” (2 Corinthians 1:8-10)
Interrogative Sentence: Just what are some powerful truths to living by grace?
Transitional Sentence: The first key to living by grace requires that Christians not forget that they secure God’s acceptance or do great things for the Lord not by their own efforts, but by the grace of God. God does great things through common men who are sold out for the cause of Christ. The Lord will always have a faithful church serving Him. Romans 11:5-6 says, “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” (Romans 11:6)
In the passages of Scripture just before Romans 11:5 and 6, Paul gives proof of God’s faithfulness to reserve for Himself a faithful church who has not surrendered their hearts to the gods of this world. Paul writes, “God did not reject His people, whom He foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah--how he appealed to God against Israel: ‘Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me?’ And what was God’s answer to him? ‘I have reserved for Myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’" (Romans 11:2-4)
The worship of Baal all through Israel’s history was a major sin problem for the Israelites. Baal was the name given to many different gods that drew people away from the true worship of the one true God. The name Baal almost always represents that which pulls faith and worship toward anything that draws attention away from God, Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. When we see people who live in this world worship their manmade gods, we begin to question, “Lord are we the only ones who hunger for your righteousness, who hunger for your Word and desire to see Your will done?”