2021-01-17 – 1 Corinthians 16:1-12 – Doing the Lord’s Work
2021-01-17 – 1 Corinthians 16:1-12 – Doing the Lord’s Work
Good morning everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.
We are on the last chapter of the letter-book of First Corinthians written by the apostle Paul. Last week we went through the whole of chapter 15 and we talked about Christ’s resurrection, but more specifically about living The Resurrected Life. Being a Christ follower, our faith should be apparent in our lifestyle. It is because of Jesus’s resurrection that we now have a hope that surpasses all understanding, Amen? That hope we now have about heaven and our eternal future with Jesus being secure, should carry us through the struggles and challenges of the day, and boy we got a lot of them right now that is for sure. Today we are going to talk about some of the dynamics of Doing the Lord’s Work. The business of the church, which coincidently comes on the day we are having our quarterly business meeting. This year, despite Covid19 we had some significant achievements.. 2020 Reflections of Orion First Baptist:
During this Covid19 lockdown, for several weeks we were restricted to 10 people. We held service both upstairs, downstairs and online via live-stream. We also delivered the Lord’s Supper to members homes and virtually shared together.
4 Baptisms, 9 new members, 50+ visitors
Our dear member and friend Cleora Calkins is now with the Lord.
Conducted a Men’s study and a ‘Ladies Night Out with the Lord’ study group
Put on a Yard Sale for Youth Activities. The SBC Bible Camp at Streator, IL was cancelled due to Covid19.
Conducted a Vacation Bible School Campout. FBC Palestine Texas sponsored it.
Put on a Night of Praise concert with Tom Golly & Craig Bruckman
Sent Care packages to the shut-ins at Cambridge Rest Home (Hillcrest)
The Girl Scouts and CFA are meeting in our basement bi-weekly
Decorated the Church for Christmas
Went Christmas Caroling and had a special Christmas-Eve service.
Installed new flooring in the basement fellowship hall, foyer and kitchen. Replaced the lights in the kitchen. Purchased and installed a new sound system for the sanctuary.
Had one Youth Picnic event (High-Noon Showdown) and one NISBY quarterly youth program. Also had a New Years Eve Youth event at the church.
Started the Women on Mission (WOM) group lead by Lisa Sieghartner. Sent out care packages to college, military and Nursing home residents.
Jeremiah Bullock was voted in as our Associate Pastor after completing the Pastor Apprentice training program. Ryan Orlowski assumed the Treasurer roll. Bridget and Keli accepted the new roll as Kitchen Stewarts. Heidi Elkins is now our church representative for the Food Pantry.
God is surely orchestrating our steps, with you we are surely Doing the Lord’s Work here, Praise the Lord!
Please turn now to 1 Corinthians 16:1, page 1022 in your pew Bibles, which is the Inspired, Infallible and Living Word of God. Prayer..
This first collection of verses in our bibles is entitled Collection for the Jerusalem Church. As one might imagine, the Jerusalem Christian church, being in the belly of the beast if you will, had many challenges. Recall Jerusalem is the capitol of the Old-Testament Jewish nation where Jesus was crucified. It was the center of where the new Christians first came together to worship the Lord. The members of the Christian churches there were ostracized, persecuted, and were left to their own. They depended upon the offerings from the other churches, especially while they were also carrying out the Great Commission and sending people to proclaim the Gospel. [MAP] Starting at verse 1 of chapter 16, Paul wrote: [SLIDE]
1 Now about the collection for the saints: Do the same as I instructed the Galatian churches. 2 On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he is prospering, so that no collections will need to be made when I come. 3 When I arrive, I will send with letters those you recommend to carry your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it is suitable for me to go as well, they will travel with me.
You can see a lot in these first few verses if you slow down to consider. First of all, if you take the view it from an organizational standpoint, we see that Paul was an apostle and he helped setup a network of churches. The title and position of apostle means a person who is chosen by God to be ‘sent-out’, to be the messengers or ambassadors of Jesus Christ to the world. Paul is not only serving as a missionary or evangelist, but more in keeping with what we call a church planter in today’s lingo. After Jesus ascended into heaven and the Holy Spirit came upon them, the twelve apostles hit the road and travel the world setting up many new churches. And Paul, although not one of the original twelve, was uniquely chosen by Jesus Himself on the road to Damascus after He ascended into heaven. Paul, who was ‘sent-out’ by Jesus, started this church in Corinth as well as the other Gentile churches we now read about in the New Testament.
Paul both recognized and fell under the authority of the Jerusalem church. He, being a Jew and a Roman himself, was concerned about the welfare of the sending church back in Jerusalem. He instructed each of the churches to set aside some missionary money for the struggling saints in Jerusalem church, who were no longer receiving any support from the Jewish church or government. Notice Paul instructs them to collect this offering on the ‘First day of the week’, that being Sunday. Many people ask why we meet on Sunday instead of Saturday as the Jewish churches traditional did. Well here is evidence of what the first Christian believers practiced. The reason we meet on Sunday instead of Saturday is because Jesus rose from the grave (as we talked about last week) on Resurrection Sunday. We now traditionally worship on Sunday in honor of Jesus.
Paul wrote that “each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he is prospering”. That is what the Corinth believers did and that is what we also practice here today. In the Old-Testament they enforced the “Tithe” which actually means “a tenth” of your wages or earnings to be given to the temple as a tax. But for the Christian, the temple of the Holy Spirit now resides in our hearts, so that Tithe enforcement is no longer a requirement. However, as Paul points out here, and as reflected in the words of Christ Himself, we recognize that everything we own belongs to God. Therefore, the spirit of our giving now is solely based upon our trust and love for the work God is doing through the local church. In 2 Corinthians 9:6 Paul wrote, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”. Generally, for the Christian, the Tithe or ‘tenth’ is still used as a reference and guide as a starting point in our participation with the church in carrying out the Great Commandment and Great Commission that Jesus charges us now to do.
Paul is instructing them (and us today) to give regularly to the church for the purposes of what the Holy Spirit is leading them to do for the cause of Christ. As we will see in the Business Meeting today following this service, God is working in this church and through this church. Your tithes and offerings are instrumental to her good and Godly function. I thank you all for the trust and the caretaking of your resources for God’s glory and purpose. And I assure you, that we are doing everything we can to ensure that your gifts are managed with excellence, with all the care, accountability and competence we can muster.
This is your church, ladies and gentlemen. And like Paul instructs the Corinthians here, we too support the purposes of other associated missions and churches. Although each church in our association of churches are independent, we choose to align to capitalize on resources, training and good works. I have always believed that a healthy church ‘tithes’ just like each of its members do. We give as a church body to many local, national and international godly efforts. We have also been the recipient of gifts from other churches that are all working together for the glory and purpose of saving lost souls. All that we do in this regard is transparently expressed at the Business meeting and I would encourage your attendance. In these next verses, Paul talks about his forthcoming missionary travels and concerns. Continuing at verse five he wrote: [SLIDE]
5 I will come to you after I pass through Macedonia—for I will be traveling through Macedonia— 6 and perhaps I will remain with you or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I go. 7 I don’t want to see you now just in passing, since I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord allows. 8 But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 because a wide door for effective ministry has opened for me—yet many oppose me. [SLIDE]
10 If Timothy comes, see that he has nothing to fear while with you, because he is doing the Lord’s work, just as I am. 11 So let no one look down on him. Send him on his way in peace so that he can come to me, because I am expecting him with the brothers. 12 Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to come to you with the brothers, but he was not at all willing to come now. However, he will come when he has an opportunity.
Paul and his contemporaries are Doing the Lord’s Work, and that is the title of today’s sermon message. I hope you can see the network of saints that the first Christian Churches knitted together. I was talking with a perspective church planter earlier this week, and I tried to convey to him the importance of churches and saints coming together for the purposes of creating a strong and capable union. That is what caused Amy and I to join this thing we call the Southern Baptist Convention. Many may not know that the SBC has adopted another title name about ten years ago called The Great Commission Baptist association. I find that title so appropriate as that is our Godly calling and purpose.
In these last verses, Paul conveys well some of the dynamics of working together for a greater calling, and the importance and value of our association with one another. These different church bodies are praying for one another. They are encouraging one another and they are holding each other accountable to that greater cause. When I first started serving in the military, I quickly discovered that we had a most powerful network of soldiers. An Army of people working together for a greater cause. From my assigned squad, which was only a few soldiers that came together with other squads to make a platoon. Then several platoons would assemble to make a company. Several companies would assemble to make a Battalion, then Divisions, then a Core or Army, all focused on a cause given to them by the Commander and Chief being the President of the United States. We thought we were invincible, and for the most part we were. It was great to be part of such a great fighting force.
Now we here are just a small group of believers in a small church in the small town of Orion, Illinois. However, we are part of the Quad Cities Area Baptist Association of 10 churches. The QCABA is part of the Illinois Baptist association of almost 1,000 churches. And all together we make up almost 50,000 churches across the United States along with almost 4,000 employed International missionaries. We all choose to come together for the purposes of carrying out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. And what a wonderful cause that is.
That Great Commission is mentioned in each Gospel, but in Matthew 28:18-20
[SLIDE] 18 Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
That is our charge brothers and sisters. As Christians, may I be so bold to say that is why we exist now. And in that regard, just like the apostle Paul, we are to support one another in that holy cause. We are to encourage each other, stand up for one another, link arms with one another, live life with one another. Taking smart and prudent risks for the purposes of sharing the Gospel. That is why you are here today and that is why we struggle and march on, especially in the face of adversity. This is a war brothers and sisters, a battle between good and evil. As we are reaching out to save souls, satan is on the prowl and will do anything to trip us up. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”.
Like me, I just know that you have to be feeling that same struggle between good and evil all around us these days. That is why we need each other now more than ever. With God being our Commander and Chief, the Holy Spirit guiding us and His Holy Word as a light onto our path, we cannot fail. Stand firm dear Christian. Do not be swayed by the schemes of man or satan. Stand firm in the foundation of your faith. God is still on His thrown and we have nothing to fear. Now let us get busy Doing The Lord’s Work, Amen?
As long as God has work for us to do, we should be about doing just that. Are you with me?
Please stand with me now and let us sing together, one verse of Amazing Grace.
Business Meeting at Noon.
Tomorrow we celebrate MLK jr. Birthday – Born Michael King Jr. 1929. He would be 92 today. His father was a pastor visited Germany. He saw where Martin Luther went up against the church establishment and subsequently made the Bible available to everyone. So he renamed himself and his son in honor of Martin Luther, and likewise stood up for a most worthy cause. Let us Celebrate our Diversity brothers and sisters. And may God be with us in that endeavor.