Summary: Paul did NOT believe we should stand on ceremony or ritual when it comes to sharing Christ, but that we should have an attitude of being willing to do ANYTHING to win people to Christ!
Date Written: July 17, 2014
Date Preached: July 20, 2014
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Series in 1 Corinthians
Sermon Title: Paul’s FOCUS –Souls Won not How it is done
Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 [NLT]
19Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. 22When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.
Essence of the Text: Paul understood the important thing…that was that Message over Method was his focus! His focus was souls won to Christ!
Essence of the Sermon: We must understand that our focus must be on souls won. Our method can and will change but the message we present will NOT!
Main Question(s) of the Sermon: Where is OUR focus today? What is our attitude? Is it focused on sharing the Gospel or is it more worried about HOW we do it?
Applicable Objective of the Sermon: You will hear the:
WORD PROCLAIMED: Paul attitude was to share the Gospel with all people God placed in his path.
WORD EXPLAINED: Paul understood he must focus his efforts on sharing God’s message, and not worry HOW he does it…
WORD MADE PERSONAL: We must understand that it is your responsibility to share the Gospel! HOW you do it is NOT as important as THAT you do it…
When the British came to the Americas in the late 1700s to put down what they believed to be a petty rebellion by inadequate forces… they came with a battle plan that had worked for hundreds of years and had won MANY MANY battles!
The British were eventually defeated by this ‘inadequate’ foe and they were pressed to surrender by a force that they believed simply could NOT defeat them…
What happened? Why did the British army… supposedly the most well trained and most well equipped army in the world at that time fall to such an inadequate force?
Well it was because they approached the battle the way they had ALWAYS done it and the landscape had changed. The enemy did not ‘meet’ them on the battlefield but engaged them in guerilla warfare… and raids… and surprise attacks.
Ultimately the British lost because they were not able to adapt to what needed to be done to win the war. Now I see what happened there in direct correlation to our passage of Scripture this morning AND to our situation here at Oak Park…
You see Paul knew that the battle ground with Satan and those outside of God’s grace was a changing battleground and that he would have to adapt his methods for each battle… and because he was willing to do this, his victories were many!
However, in contrast to this our church, as is the case with MANY churches in America. We have NOT been willing to adjust our approach to the battle we are in… and we must understand that we ARE in a spritiual war for the souls of the people in our community!
If we don’t understand that basic premise, then we are lost as a church. We must be willing to fight the battle with any method available to us so that we see people come to Christ.
Now I don’t want to say that this fellowship is totally against different methods because we have seen many changes over the past 2-3yrs… but we must continue to seek ways to reach our community…ways that we MAY not see just yet, but ways that are ‘out of the box’ thinking so that we can reach some for Christ.
This is what we find Paul saying in this particular section of Scripture in 1 Cor 9:19-23. His focus has diverted from the false teaching to a focus on what the people SHOULD be doing and that is reaching their city for Christ! That they should be willing to have the attitude of a servant and serve God to see people won to Christ!