This week, Pastor Chris continued in our Healthy Church sermon series, diving into the mission and purpose of each Christian believer on this side of heaven. Chris likened the Christian life to a long-distance run that requires training, focus, discipline, and self-control. We are each ambassadors of Christ, designed to live with intention as we share the Gospel with a lost and dying world. Our purpose is to seek opportunities to share Christ and partner with God in redeeming our spheres of influence for the Kingdom.
Run To Win
1 Corinthians 9:19–20 (ESV)
19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.
• It was a covenant between the servant and the master.
• The master would take care of the servant.
• The servant became a part of the master’s house and household.
• It was adoption of the servant by the master.
• The servant agreed to serve the master forever.
Romans 1:1 (NKJV)
1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God
Titus 1:1 (NKJV)
1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness,
Luke 19:10 (ESV)
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
1 Corinthians 9:21–23 (ESV)
21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
Romans 7:22 (ESV)
22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
Galatians 6:2 (ESV)
2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Mark 12:32–33 (ESV)
32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Principles for Ministry and Sharing the Gospel:
- Find common ground with those you contact.
- Avoid an arrogant “know it all” attitude.
- Make others feel heard.
- Be sensitive to their needs and concerns.
- Look for opportunities to tell them about Christ.
“Paul had an astonishing elasticity of mind, and a flexibility in dealing with situations requiring delicate and ingenious treatment.” H. Chadwick
When dealing with our culture, we can…
Run With Purpose
1 Corinthians 9:24 (ESV)
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
Run With Self-Control and Self-Discipline
1 Corinthians 9:25–27 (ESV)
25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
|Selfish Christians||Self-Disciplined Christians|
|I’m not being fed|
Not meeting my needs
Die to self
When you have self-discipline…
• You know that bad company ruins good character.
• You save intimacy and sex for marriage.
• You say “I will, and I can” regularly.
• You surrender to Jesus regularly.
• You realize your life is not your own.
- What does it mean to be a bondservant of Christ? Are you living as one?
- Look at Pastor Chris’s principles for ministry. Which principle do you find the easiest to pursue? Which do you find the most difficult?
- Think about your sphere of influence (your workplace, your school, your family, your home). How can you seek to find common ground with nonbelievers and begin to redeem that space for Christ?
- How self-disciplined are you in your walk with Christ? What is one practical way you can change your lifestyle in order to discipline yourself?
- Are you struggling due to running the race in your own strength? Share your struggle with a mentor or discipler this week and pray for the spirit of striving to break off of you.
- Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to tell others about Christ this week. Walk throughout your days with open eyes to see who needs to hear the good news of the Gospel.