The Necessities of the Preacher
I Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
Intro: This is a message about the unique life of a God-called preacher.
The context of the chapter is the obligation of the church to take care of the preacher. Vs. 1-14
- Then Paul turned the conversation from his prerogatives as an apostle to his prayer.
- Paul was more concerned about his reputation than he was his rights.
- Paul didn’t want to jeopardize his influence by focusing on his income.
- Paul was more interested in his reward than in his revenue.
- Paul was writing – not about his needs as a man of God, but his necessities as a minister of the Gospel.
Paul is talking about his life, his testimony and his effectiveness as a preacher of the gospel.
He used the phrase – necessity is laid upon me.
A. The Source of the Necessity – it came from God.
Paul told Timothy:
- 2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
- 1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
B. The Seat of the Necessity – it has been laid UPON ME.
You have a unique calling.
This will require a unique life.
You will have to bear burdens nobody else has to bear.
You will have to have a thought life that others will not understand.
You will have to have a prayer life that others will not have.
You have a Divine Commission that others will not have.
You can delegate responsibilities, but you cannot delegate the call. It is on you.
Remember this: Others can – you cannot.
Others can shirk their duty – you cannot.
Others can take it or leave it – you cannot.
You will have deal with people that live in disobedience; but they shouldn’t have to deal with a preacher that does.
There will be many days where you are frustrated over the weight of the call; but it is on you.
The necessity is laid upon YOU.
C. The Seriousness of the Necessity – vs. 16
Paul’s awareness of the seriousness of his calling is very obvious in these verses.
His life’s motto was “Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel!”
Upon you is laid the necessity to:
I. Portray a Life of Devotion – vs. 16-23
- Vs. 17 “If I do this thing willingly…”
- Vs. 19 “…I made myself servant unto all…”
- Vs. 22 “…I am made all things to all al men, that I might by all means save some.”
- Vs. 23 “…and this I do for the gospel’s sake…”
Paul said he’d rather die than that any man should misunderstand him. – vs. 15
Paul’s burden for the lost had no bounds; no limits.
He did whatever was necessary to reach them.
The importance of relating to the ones you are trying to reach is clear in these verses.
ILLUSTRATION: Hudson Taylor went to China and became a Chinese in all practical ways.
He wore their clothing; learned their language, cut his hair to match theirs; ate their food.
Ultimate Example: God sent Jesus to become man in order to save man.
- 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
- 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
- 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
- 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Upon you is laid the necessity to:
II. Pursue a Life of Discipline – vs. 24-26
One of the most important necessities that is laid upon you is the need for self-control and discipline.
Notice Paul’s analogy in these verses.
- 24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
- 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
- 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
“Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things…”
TEMPERATE: to be self-controlled, continent; to exhibit self-government, conduct, one’s self temperately; in a figure drawn from athletes, who in preparing themselves for the games abstained from unwholesome food, wine, and
You are a preacher. That is your identity.
You are not a golfer that preaches; or a hunter that preaches; or a fisher that preaches.
You are a preacher.
You will be labeled by whatever you spend all your time doing.
Paul compared the discipline in his life to that of the runner or the prize boxer.
It’s not a hobby, or a pastime, or a side-gig – it is who you are.
You must pursue a life of self-control, discipline and temperance in all things.
We do this in order to win the incorruptible crown.
There is multiple mentions of the heavenly reward for the earthly sacrifices.
- Vs. 19 – that I might gain the more
- Vs. 20 – that I might gain the Jews; that I might gain them that are under the law.
- Vs. 21 – that I might gain them that are without law.
- Vs. 24 – So run that we may obtain.
- Vs. 25 – we do it to obtain an incorruptible crown
Upon you is laid the necessity to:
III. Prevent a Life of Distraction – vs. 27
The Apostle Paul had a major concern – that while he was preaching to others, he himself would become a castaway.
The word CASTAWAY means not standing the test, not approved; properly used of metals and coins; that which does not prove itself such as it ought; unfit for, unproved, spurious,
Paul was concerned about his message being rejected because of a life that didn’t match his message.
Paul knew that his life; his testimony; his body could distract and detract from his message.
Paul acknowledged that he – a preacher of the gospel could become unfit; a reject; a castaway.
NOTE: Paul was not concerned about being rejected by God.
That cannot happen to a born-again believer, a child of God.
- Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Our works, our labor and our efforts can be rejected; but not us.
The child of God will never and can never be rejected by God.
Our position in Christ is secure.
Our position as a preacher is NOT secure.
You cannot lose your salvation; but you can lose the opportunity to preach the Gospel.
Preacher must – it is a necessity – that he presents his body a living sacrifice. (Romans 1:2)
I find it fascinating that Paul didn’t talk about his spirit, or his attitude, but his body.
Paul said it in another place like this:
- Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
In order for God to be magnified in our body, we need to bring it into subjection.
Our body is not on our side.
Our bodies are at enmity with God.
So many people fail to understand the importance of their body’s role in their testimony.
From the top of your head to the bottom of you feet – your body is His.
He dictates how you look, how you live, how you portray yourself as an ambassador of Christ.
You must represent him with your life, and it must match the Jesus you preach with your lips!
You can have weights and sin in your life that would easily beset you. (Hebrews 12:1)
Those can also beset others that are listening to you.
We are commanded to glorify God in our body.
I Corinthians 6
- 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
- 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
If you are saved it is not your body.
If you are indwelt by the Holy Ghost, and your body is His temple, it is not your body.
If you are a God-called preacher with His hand of anointing on your, it is not your body; It is Gods!
I’ve heard it all my life; “It’s my body, I can do what I want to.”
Their favorite verse is:
- 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
The problem with misunderstanding this verse is missing the part about man looketh on the outward appearance.
The context of that verse was man’s propensity to make a man a king because of his stature or looks.
God wasn’t interested in David because of his size, stature, strength or substance.
God wanted David to be king because of his heart; his spirit; his relationship with God.
To take that verse and use it as a blank check to live or look contrary to God’s word is error.
But make no mistake; man DOES look on the outward appearance.
Paul knew that his life could be a distraction from the message if they didn’t match up!
He knew that his body could counteract and negate his message.
He knew that even though he was preaching to others, his flesh and his body could hinder them.
He knew that if he didn’t bring his body into subjection, that his message and testimony would be rejected.
Paul knew that his message and his life could send mixed signals.
We are judged by others based on our outward appearance.
None of it is yours. Not one square inch of it is ours to do with as we please.
God has clear guidelines for how a child of God should keep under their body, especially a preacher.
He had guidelines and principles for you from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet.
- From the length of your hair – I Corinthians 11:14
- Your thoughts and meditations – Philippians 4:8
- Your eyes – wine, women, wealth (covetous of filthy lucre)
- Your ears – Give ear; let him hear…
- Your mouth – let thy speech be always with grace
- Your tongue – James 2
- Your heart – keep thy heart with all diligence for out of are the issues of life
- Your look – God hates a proud look
- Your hands – Cleanse your hands; Elisha poured water on the hands of Elisha to keep them clean
- Your feet – Psalm 1:1 walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly
- Your body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost.
If you don’t keep it under subjection, you yourself can become a castaway.