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Summary: In this message a contrast is drawn between involvement and commitment. Special attention is given to the need for commitment to be a part of God's plan.

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INTRODUCTION

* Difference between involvement and commitment

- involvement = to include as a condition; to engage or employ; to include

- commitment = to give in trust; to pledge oneself to a position; to bind or obligate

- involvement is partial; commitment is total

- involvement means I take part when circumstances permit; commitment leave no room for excuses

- I can back out if I’m involved; true commitment means there is no turning back

- involvement means I don’t have to give it my all; commitment requires 100% effort

- picture a plate of ham and eggs: the chicken was involved, but the pig was committed

* Involvement has vastly different consequences than commitment:

- in sports: involvement can lead to a loss; commitment can lead to a trophy

- in war: involvement can lead to defeat; commitment can lead to victory

- in marriage: involvement leaves room to give up and back out; commitment means perseverance through difficulty

- in the cause of Christ: involvement can mean that others die and go to hell; commitment means we do our very best to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience the love, grace, and forgiveness of God

* We live in terms of commitment more than involvement:

- “I’m committed to this job” vs. “I want to be involved in this job”

- “I’ll commit to the terms of this loan” vs. “I’ll be involved with this loan”

* Our issue isn’t so much an issue with commitment itself, but an issue of what or who we are committed to

* Irony: We’re content to just be involved with the most-needed aspect of our lives that requires the most intense commitment = our relationship with God

* Would we be comfortable if God said to us, “I’d like to be involved with you” verses “I’m committed to you”

* The example of God is commitment, not mere involvement (2 Tim. 2:13 = the very nature of God is commitment)

* The expectation God has for us is commitment (Prov. 16:3)

* The fundamental difference between involvement and commitment in our relationship with God: When we are involved, God is a part of our lives. When we are committed, God is our lives.

* Text: introduced to Apollos; he becomes an important part of the church in Corinth (see 1 Cor. 3:6)

* Apollos moved beyond involvement and became totally committed to the Gospel. Using his life as an example, we can learn some of what is required in order for us to move to commitment.

1. Moving to commitment requires the Word of God (v. 24-26)

* In order to be committed we must utilize the object that calls us to commitment and sets the standard for our commitment

* We must move beyond just being involved with the Word to having the proper relationship with the Word

* The example of Apollos for our lives today as it relates to the Word of God:

A. We need to know the Word of God (v. 24)

- he possessed a powerful knowledge/understanding of the Word

- commitment to the Word is impossible unless we know the Word

- the Word calls us to commitment, explains what commitment is, and reveals what commitment will do

B. We need to live the Word of God (v. 25)

- Apollos was passionate (“spoke with great fervor”) and he explained the truth about Jesus

- someone took the Word and explained to Apollos how the Word said he should live; he then responded by living it

- living the Word of God boils down to obedience (see 1 Sam. 5:22)

C. We need to share the Word of God (v. 26)

- sharing the Word is the natural outcome of knowing it and living it

- commitment to God and the Gospel demands that we not keep the Word to ourselves

- the greatest act of commitment is sharing what we have experienced in our relationship with God

2. Moving to commitment requires growth (v. 25-26)

* Being involved doesn’t necessarily demand growth, but being committed does

* Defining spiritual growth (2 Peter 3:18) = our relationship with God “increases” in depth

* Spiritual growth does not come naturally or easily...

A. Spiritual growth requires humility (v. 25: Apollos didn’t know it all)

B. Spiritual growth requires others (v. 26: the role of Priscilla and Aquilla)

- Proverbs 27:17

- Colossians 3:16

C. Spiritual growth requires desire

3. Moving to requirement requires a willingness to serve God (v. 27-28)

* Commitment is solidified in service

* What we learn from Apollos’ service...

A. He wanted God to use him (v. 27a)

- he wasn’t concerned with what others could do for him, but what we could do for others

B. He wanted to minister to believers (v. 27b)

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