This past Sunday, we finished up our sermon series Faithful Church by looking at the final aspect of a faithful church – that a faithful church loves ministry. Ministry is any work that helps to execute the Great Commission. What we are challenged by is: The chief aim of ministry is the proclamation and exultation of Jesus.
- Ministry Aims to Make the Gospel Accessible: v.15-18
While Paul is making an argument about his rights as an apostle, what becomes clear is that he is highly concerned with making the gospel accessible to all people. He’s so determined to do this, that he is willing to forego rights of his own to make this happen. The true reward that Paul finds is being able to offer the gospel freely to others. This should challenge us to consider how we present the gospel to those around us. Are there any unnecessary barriers or obstacles that we are placing in front of people? Have we made the gospel more about behavior modification and externals than about loving and following Jesus? Ministry aims to make the gospel accessible because it has been God’s intent for all of time. Are we willing to forego rights in order to make the gospel accessible? Are we aware of the commission that God has for us and our role in making the gospel available to others?
- Ministry Aims to Make the Gospel Clear: v.19-23
Not only does Paul want to make the gospel accessible, but he wants to make it clear. He is willing to go to great lengths in order to do this. Paul makes himself a slave to the gospel, in hopes that it will be clear to those he shares with. Further, he goes to great sacrificial lengths in order to make the gospel clear. When we read about Paul becoming all things to all men, our tendency is to think of that as a free pass. Yet, we should consider the cost and sacrifice that Paul endured in order to make the gospel clear to those in these various groups. Are we willing to make the gospel clear? Are we willing to be moved out of what is comfortable or easy in order that others can understand what Jesus has done?
- Ministry Aims to Make the Gospel Eternal: v.24-27
Paul finishes this section by using an athletic illustration to drive home his point. He speaks of those who train and compete for a prize. Similar to the Olympic games that would have been hosted in Athens, Corinth also had a series of athletic competitions. Paul equates the effort that these athletes would go to and the perishable wreath they would win with the eternal realities of ministry. He speaks to ministry demanding our best. He tells us it will require discipline. But he points us to the fact that it will bear an eternal reward. Am I willing to invest myself into ministry with an eternal perspective in mind?
- How We Minister to One Another:
We closed by talking about a handful of ways that we can minister to one another. I won’t expand on them here, but would encourage you to go back and listen to the message if you’d like an expanded take on these items.
We Share the Gospel
We Disciple Others
We Pray for One Another
We Use our Spiritual Gifts to Edify the Church
We Study and Engage with Culture
God help us that we would be a people that would faithfully minister to one another and to those around us.
As a reminder, this upcoming Sunday will be our first week in Daniel and will be our first week of 2 services! The services will be identical and will start at 9 and 11.