Joshua and Judges: The allotment of the land, part 42 - Predestination - Liberty of God's glory.
length: 61:08 - taught on Oct, 27 2016
Title: Joshua and Judges: The allotment of the land, part 42 - Predestination - Liberty of God's glory.
Announcements / opening prayer:
1CO 9:12 If others share the right over you, do we not more? [We ministered to your conversion and established your church] Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ.
Endure: stego = to protect or preserve by covering. We do no open for public view what we endure. Christian liberty is the freedom from all earthly burdens which makes the gospel unburdened.
Our freedom is from the chains of this world which make men fight passionately for what is owed them. Being chained to this world means that one has to demand earthly rights, but the heavenly creature cares nothing for such rights. We are owed nothing from this earth. Our Lord has overcome the world and has set us free from it. We are heavenly creatures who have no ties to the rights of men. Our rights are in Christ alone, and we will forego anything that is our due that we may cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ.
1CO 9:13 Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share with the altar?
1CO 9:14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.
Paul had the authority (right) to receive material support, but being a mature Christian, he balanced his authority with discipline.
Paul did not give up his liberty in Christ but he used his liberty to give up his earthly rights. Stronger saints should set aside their earthly rights for the sake of the weaker saints.
Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.
Food and drink and money are earthly things, which by right, the minister of the gospel and word should receive. The minister is giving the words of life, light, insight into God's glory, divine wisdom for every facet of personal and family life, hope, Christ, God's plan, etc. and it is far more valuable than anything he receives. But he cares not for what he receives and cares all for the souls that he serves. This applies to every Christian and not only the ministers.
Paul gave the Corinthian believers a living example of the very principles he was writing about. Should not the stronger believers in the church be able to set aside their rights for the sake of the weaker saints? Was eating meat more important than edifying the church? Was their jealousy and strife more important than the souls of their fellow believers? Was their lust for rich food and wine more important than building unity in the church through the celebration of the Lord's supper? To answer in the affirmative is not freedom but slavery since virtue is absent.
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
1CO 9:15 But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things that it may be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one.
In that day, the Greek cities were filled with all kinds of wandering teachers and preachers, most of whom were out to make money. Paul is in no way making an argument for back-payment on 18 months of work in Corinth.
Paul would literally want to die rather than communicate all of this to them for the purpose that they might give him something. He is writing it to open up their hearts to true liberty.
He would rather say nothing of this, but he has to in order to show them the heart that they must have but do not have. His boast is not empty. He is in no way writing these things that it may be done so in his case.
Yet notice that he does boast, but not in himself, but in the gospel. Though the Corinthians and others like them insult Paul and demonize him, he still speaks boldly and strongly. He is not hesitant, but stands on the truth knowing that the defense against his accusers and judgers comes from the Lord.
"But he is the free man, whom the truth makes free. He who has grace in his heart is free; he cares for [afraid of] no one; he has the right upon his side; he has God within him—the indwelling Spirit of the Holy Ghost; he is a prince of the blood royal of heaven; he is a noble, having the true patent of nobility; he is one of God's elect, distinguished, chosen children, and he is not the man to bend, or meanly cringe. No!—sooner would he walk the burning furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—sooner would he be cast into the lion's den with Daniel, than yield a point of principle." [Charles Spurgeon]
1CO 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.