Summary: Sermon on sacrifice
THE LAW OF SACRIFICE
I wish to begin today’s sermon by telling you the story of a man by the name of Abraham Bininger. Born in Switzerland in the 17 hundreds he and his parents left their homeland and bordered a ship for America. During the journey both his father and mother died and were buried at sea. While just a boy he found himself in a strange land were he knew absolutely no one. However he never let his misfortunes hold him back. As a young man he professed Christ as his saviour. After hearing of the great misery and poverty among the blacks on the St. Thomas he sought to travel there to preach the gospel.
Upon his arrival he discovered the it was against the law for any person but a slave to preach to the slaves. It was the policy of the plantation owners to keep the blacks in ignorance and superstition.
Shortly after this the governor received a letter from the Bininger. In the letter Bininger pleaded with the governor to allow himself to be made a slave for the rest for his life. Bininger promised that he would serve as a slave faithfully, providing he could give his leisure tine to preaching to his fellow slaves.
The governor in turn sent the letter to the King of Denmark who was so touched by the willingness of Bininger to sacrifice his freedom for the gospel that he sent an order the allowed Abraham Bininger to preach the gospel whenever and where ever he choose, to black or white, to slave of freeman.
I use the story of Abraham Bininger to illustrate for us the sacrifice that some will make in order to see the gospel of Jesus Christ goes out to those who have never heard it. Here was man willing to give up his very freedom for the true freedom of preaching the gospel. Yet we live in society of where we have great freedom in preaching the gospel of Christ, yet we rarely exercise that freedom.
All Christian need to realize that the Christian faith is a faith of sacrifice. Christianity as we know has it’s roots in the Old Testament. A book full of laws and commands that deal with sacrifices. In the New Testament we see the fulfillment of those sacrifices, and the call of the people of God to make sacrifices not of animals but of themselves.
Let us look at our passage for today, as we continue our series in the book of Philippians. Our passage today in Philippians chapter 2 verses 17-18, which is page 1017 in your pew Bibles;
"Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me."
Here Paul mentions his willingness to be "poured out as drink offering" on the sacrifice of the Philippian people. Paul is referring to his willingness to be martyred for the cause of Christ. He is willing to sacrifice his life along with the sacrifice of these people.
Paul here is looking to the Old Testament sacrifices. Looking at a couple passage in Numbers chapter 15 we can see what Paul is alluding to;
Numbers 15:5-7 "and one-fourth of a HIN of wine as a drink offering you shall prepare with the burnt offering or the sacrifice, for each lamb. Or for a ram you shall prepare as a grain offering two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one-third of a HIN of oil; and as a drink offering you shall offer one-third of a HIN of wine as a sweet aroma to the LORD."
In the Old Testament we see that at times a drink offering was to be made along with the offering of a lame, ram, or bull. So what Paul is saying is that he is willing to be that drink offering to go along with the sacrifice of service of faith, which the Philippian people were offering up.
That sacrifice of the Philippian people is mentioned in the previous verses. Their sacrifice of working out their own salvation, the sacrifice of allowing God to work in them, sacrificing self-control live for a spirit controlled life. They sacrifice of shining as stars into a dark world, their sacrifice of holding fast to the word of life. There are the sacrifices that Paul’s life were as the scripture states "prepared with".
And they are all prepared with joy and rejoicing. And there is the law of sacrifice. That sacrifices need to and should produce joy and rejoicing. Giving something unto the Lord should cause our hearts to be filled with joy to the point that we rejoice in our sacrifices. The point of Paul’s word here are just that, sacrifice equals joy.