Summary: Paul KNEW he was rightfully THE called Apostle of Christ to the Gentiles. However, Paul did not stand on HIS rights but deferred to God's calling in his life! We must not focus on what we believe is our RIGHT, but we must DO what is right in God's plan.
Date Written: July 05, 2014
Date Preached: July 06, 2014
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Series in 1 Corinthians
Sermon Title: Paul’s Rights vs What is Right
Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 [ESV]
Essence of the Text: Paul knew what was rightfully his but his focus was on doing what was right in God’s eyes.
Essence of the Sermon: We know what we believe to be rightfully ours but we MUST be willing to do what is right in God’s eyes.
Main Question(s) of the Sermon: What is your FOCUS? Your rights OR What is right by God?
Applicable Objective of the Sermon: You will hear the:
WORD PROCLAIMED: Paul knew his rights, but refused to let them distract him from doing WHAT was right!
WORD EXPLAINED: As believers we have rights or freedoms ‘In Christ’ but we cannot allow them to cloud our judgment from doing what is right in our walk with God!
WORD MADE PERSONAL: What is there in my life that I know I have a right to…but it is keeping me from doing what I know to be right in my walk with Christ!
In our passage this morning Paul continues in his reply to the letter he had rec’d from the Corinthian church. He is answering the questions they had sent to him… in this passage he addresses the question of his authority as an apostle or a more basic view is he addresses his ‘rights’…
Paul had a position in the kingdom, a God appointed position…
Paul had power in the kingdom as God was using him in a mighty way…
Paul had experienced prosperity in seeing God work thru Him, but he had also seen God provide for him time and time again…
Here in this passage Paul implies are his by RIGHT because God had called him and because he had been obedient to the call of God on his life…
But there were many who felt Paul was NOT in authority because he had NOT been with Peter and the disciples WITH Jesus. They believed that because Paul had persecuted the church that God would have NEVER chosen him to be his servant… SO they condemned Paul’s reputation as a Pharisee and as the man who stood and approved of the stoning of Stephen.
But Paul poses a few questions of his own…these questions in v1 seek to clarify an understanding of WHO he is based on the believers personal knowledge and experience WITH Paul when he was there with them…
His 1st question was…
Am I not as free as anyone else?
Paul had taught them that ‘in Christ’ ALL are free, but these teachers turned the tables & they perverted that message of freedom. They taught that freedom meant they could live how they wanted without consequence—but there are ALWAYS consequences!
Paul asked the simple question “Am I not as free as anyone else?” In other words, you grant grace to these men around you, but you hold me and Barnabas to a different standard? Why is that? They had convinced the believers in Corinth that Paul was out for himself and that he did not care about them!
Paul wanted the believers to know that his actions were NOT his own, but that he was doing this out of his love for Christ…Paul then asks a 2nd question…
Am I not an apostle?
Here he establishes his link to Christ by defending his God called position in the kingdom! This is a position he knew he did NOT deserve but knew it to be true and it was one he did not take lightly…
Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes?
Many believed that only those who actually ‘walked’ with Jesus in ministry were actually apostles, but Paul told he had seen Jesus. But it was NOT Paul’s visual sight of Jesus that made him an apostle! It was God’s calling that did! Paul wanted the believers in Corinth to understand that he was there because of God’s calling!
Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord?”
Paul informed them that he as was free as anyone else in Christ…
He informed them that His was a calling directly from God…
But here he wanted them to understand that even if they doubted his words that they could look at his actions! He tells them, “Are you NOT here because of what I have done?”
In fact in v2 he tells them that even if these men teach that he wasn’t an apostle, that they should KNOW better because he had been with them and they had experienced his heart and had seen him in action… in other words, my dear brothers, of ALL people YOU should know that my heart & actions are focused on God, not myself