Summary: Message 12 in our exposition of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. This message dives a bit deeper into the subject of rewards commented on in his letter.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“The Reward Factor”
The church is not about location but relationships.
"We love nothing better than to erect buildings and develop sprawling ecclesiastical campuses. The church is not about locationships: It's about vocation¬ships and relationships. Christianity is at its core an itinerant and a relational gospel. Jesus walked and talked - "Can you hear me now?" - and the early church did its evangelizing in the marketplace." Unknown author
Paul understood that and appeals for the church to take seriously the command of Jesus to love one another as He loves us. God established that one characteristic as the irrefutable evidence of a people connected to Him and evidence that God sent Him to earth to restore fellowship with God and each other.
I. Reproof for fleshly behavior 1-6
A. Reproof concerning divisions 1-4
1. Opening appeal for unity 1:10-17
2. The Biblical foundation for Unity 1:18-4:5
a) Focus on the priority of Christ and the cross 1:18-31
b) Depend on the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit 2:1-3:4
c) Faithfully serve as partners for the Kingdom of God 3:6-4:5
In the course of his teaching on individual responsibility, Paul also instructed them about rewards for faithful service. The truths about reward deserve a further hearing.
In human families there are certain privileges and blessings that are granted at conception birth and especially at birth.
Given a name - Become part of the family - We become partakers of our parents nature (good and the bad) - Daily provisions - General care and love - Training - Recognition and Gifts (birthdays, holidays, just because gifts and demonstrations of love)
These are granted on the basis of whatever belongs to the parents. There is also the promise that everything that belonged to the parents will one day be passed to the children. There even may be some things determined before conception.
“When we have children they are going to have…”
Obviously all these things are granted apart from merit on the part of the child. They are granted merely on the fact that they are FAMILY.
But also, during our life there are gifts and reward for things that we do and earn.
Allowance for faithfully completing chores - Praise for a job well done - Awards and recognition for outstanding achievement - Recognition and reinforcement for good behavior
The family of God works in a similar way.
God drew us to Himself and predetermined to bless us even before we were his children.
At birth, He gave us a new name - We became sons of the living God - We become partakers of the divine nature through the indwelling Holy Spirit - He promised daily provision - He demonstrates His abundant love and care - He continual trains us and disciplines us - He gifts us and recognizes us and blesses us just because.
These are granted purely on the basis of grace by faith in Christ without any connection to works or merit or effort on our part. These are only a down payment of what is to come. He has granted us a secure inheritance with all the other members of that family All that belongs to God also belongs to His children. He has promised even that we will be just like Him. Imagine, God granted ALL this apart from any merit on our part.
Blessing for faithfully completing chores - Praise for a job well done - Awards and recognition for outstanding achievement - Recognition and reinforcement for good behavior - Increased responsibility and opportunity to serve the Lord
Today we will briefly touch on some of those specific unearned privileges and rewards and then spend the bulk of our time together unpacking the various issues surrounding rewards for faithful service. Some feel that reward should not be a basis for serving God.
We should not serve God just for what we can receive from Him. We should be good for goodness sake.
We should serve God for God’s sake.
“I wish I could quench with water the fires of hell and burn with fire the joys of heaven so I could serve Christ out of pure motives.” Unknown author
Reward should not be the ONLY reason we serve Him but He would not have promised reward and called us to trust a God who REWARDS if it did not play some part in our motivation. Look at Moses.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. Hebrews 11:24-26