This week we will begin chapter 9 of 1st Corinthians where we remember that we are not entitled to anything, but compelled to love because of the transforming work of the gospel. Please RSVP for the in-person service on Sunday or join us on the livestream. If you are tuning in from home, be sure to read through the Home Worship Guide and say hello in the YouTube comments so we know you are joining us!
Here’s how you can prepare your heart for the Sunday gathering at mDF:
1. Read the Passage: 1 Corinthians 9:1-18
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?
Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.
But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
2. Read, Sing, and Pray Through the Service
Call to Worship: O Come O Come Emmanuel
Advent Reading & Hope Candle Lighting
Leader: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; the one who follows me will not walk in the darkness but have the light of life.”
Congregation: We light this candle as a sign of the coming light of Christ.
Leader: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” -Isaiah 9:2 (ESV)
Leader: Come, Lord Jesus, our light and our salvation.
Congregation: Let us walk in the light of the Lord.
Song of Adoration: King of Kings
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 8:8-13
Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
Sermon: Entitled or Compelled?
- 1: Who does Paul think he is? (1 Cor. 9:1-3)
- 2: What does Paul think he deserves? (1 Cor. 9:4-12a, 13-14)
- 3: Why does Paul not take advantage of his rights? (1 Cor. 9:12b, 15-18)
- How can you tell if you are feeling entitled? How might those entitlements hinder your desire to share the Gospel?
- When have you felt most compelled to share the Gospel? What was driving that compulsion? How did you feel?
- Family Question: What can our family give up this Christmas so others can hear about Jesus’ love?
Communion: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Benediction: Romans 8:38-39
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.