Text: 1 Corinthians (Chapter 9-10)
OBSERVE: In these two chapters we read about the following:
INTERPRET: When Jesus rescued Paul from the angry and restless life that Paul had established for himself, it was to commission him to announce the good news. Paul was set free in order to serve the gospel. Paul talks about being a servant to the gospel and explains that in this role we are truly free. It is the messenger who must swallow their pride, who must give up their rights, who must change their freedom to serve the gospel. Woe to those who trim the message so that they don’t have to trim themselves. We have the freedom to decide whether we will serve the gospel. It takes a servant’s heart and self-discipline to experience this true freedom.
In chapter 10, Paul is attempting to get the Corinthians to realize where they are on God’s timetable. To do so, Paul tells them the story of the exodus from Egypt and implies that they are in the same position now. The first exodus established Israel as God’s people, but Israel’s story led to the decisive, unique events concerning the Messiah. Now Jesus’s people are God’s renewed Israel, and all those previous events are coming true in a new way in and through them. But nothing comes automatically in the Christian life; we must continue to strive to bring glory to God through our lives and worship.
APPLICATION: Freedom is important, but in Christian terms this always means freedom to serve Jesus, to serve God’s people and to serve those who need the gospel. Christian freedom is not freedom to do what you like, but freedom from all things that stop you from being the person that God wants you to be.
We are to be servants of the gospel. Paul knew that this was the one and only right that mattered. All other rights that prevent us from serving the gospel need to be left behind. Our lives and worship are to bring Glory to God in all we do. Anything that is preventing us from being a good witness and serving the gospel is not freedom at all.
We all have things in our life that we are clinging to that are preventing us from serving the gospel. We need to open our hearts and let Jesus access these obstacles. We need to sit down and dine with Jesus while leaving all of our own rights and freedoms at the door. He will then gently help us understand what we need to do; to better serve the gospel. So…………let’s all sit down with Jesus and be set free. (See Song)
REFLECTION: Is serving the gospel your top priority? Does your life and worship display this to your church family and to those who desperately need the gospel?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus; thank you for all that you are and all that you have done for me. I ask that you help me understand more clearly what it means to be truly free. May my service to the gospel; free me from all my other rights that have put chains on me. May I faithfully serve you and the gospel; with all of my worship for all the days of my life. AMEN.
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.