INTRO: It is true that the system of sacrifices known to Israel and so often mentioned in the Old Testament ended with the greatest of all offerings ... that of Jesus, the Son of God. One can only wonder in awe at the number of goats, lambs, doves and calves which had been offered on Israels altars. Any binding of that sacrificial system - or any other formal system of offerings - is a grave injustice to Christianity. Yet, the idea of sacrifice has not ended. Certainly the word and idea of sacrifice continue to be heard in the discipleship explained in the New Testament. For just a little while I want to consider in the verse I read A Gift That Is A Sacrifice.
I. A GIFT THAT MAKES PAUL FULL
A. His fulness is in part result of their gift
1. have all, and abound: I am full ...
2. there is no doubt about the specialness of this gift - he is deeply moved, touched
B. A closer look at the fulness
1. certainly some of his needs were met by this gift
2. gift was love expressed across many difficult miles (Prov 25:25)
3. gift was friendship which neither miles, prison bars, trials, privation nor poverty could diminish (Prov 17:17)
4. gift was support in time of greatest need
5. gift was testimony to all of the spirit of Christ in that church - that special church, but ...
II. A GIFT ALSO REACHING TO GOD ... A SACRIFICE!
A. A new element introduced here - an important element
1. heretofore, gift has been to Paul .. satisfaction of his need; expression of concern for him
2. now Paul introduces idea that the gift (and others) is considered a sacrifice to God
3. the terminology of sacrifice is used (Lev 26:31)
B. Giving is worship to God ... it is sacrifice
1. perhaps weve become too defensive about the subject of giving - we arent crazy about giving sermons all they ever talk about is money ... is that really true?
2. 2 Cor 9:12 administration - a priest offering sacrifice ... this in connection with weekly collection mentioned in 1 Cor 16:1,2!
3. Heb 13:16 sacrifices - note v.15 .. to God
4. our giving to God, to others is the worship of sacrifice - Mt 25:40
C. The acceptable sacrifice (Prov 15:8a)
1. qualities which look toward God
a. 1 Sam 15:22 obedience of life ... mere act of sacrifice - isolated from ones total life and relationship to God - is empty of meaning and is useless ritual
b. Ps 4:5 heart of faith and trust in God
c. Ps 51:16,17 a spirit controlled by the Lord ... broken refers to one who has come under Gods control
d. Eccl 5:1 a hearing heart
2. qualities which look toward others
a. Prov 21:3 judgment and justice in relationships - right, proper, fair conduct toward others
b. Hos 6:6 mercy toward others
c. (remember Mt 5:23,24)
3. and qualities noted in 2 Cor?
a. 2 Cor 8:5 gift of self
b. 2 Cor 8:8 loving offerings
c. 2 Cor 8:12 a willing mind
d. 2 Cor 9:7 cheerfulness in the offering
CLOSE: Of course, Rom 12:1 is ever on our minds as we think or talk of sacrifice. The Philippian Christians personified all of the things which make our sacrifices acceptable to the Lord. Is your giving a mechanical act ... or has it truly become worship?
Cecil A. Hutson
17 December 2000
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)