"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Addicted To The Ministry Of The Saints (16:15) INTRODUCTION 1. Many people have addictions to one thing or another... a. Some are negative addictions: drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, etc. b. Some are positive addictions, such as exercise 2. In the KJV translation of 1Co 16:15, we read of a family with a very positive addiction... a. "...ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia" b. "...and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints" 3. The Greek word translated by the KJV as "addicted" is tasso... a. Which literally means "to arrange in an orderly manner" - Strong b. Most other translations render it as "devoted" (NKJV, NASB, NIV, etc.) 4. Playing on the word "addicted" (for the sake of illustration)... a. If we are addicted to something, what a more noble habit? b. Would it not be wonderful if we were all "addicted" to serving one another? [In this lesson, we shall see why everyone should have such an addiction, and offer some suggestions on how to get hooked...!] I. WHY BE ADDICTED TO THE MINISTRY OF THE SAINTS? A. TO FULFILL THE LAW OF CHRIST... 1. When we bear one another's burdens, we fulfill the law of Christ - Ga 6:1-2 2. Thus we are encouraged to do good to another as we have opportunity - Ga 6:10 -- If addicted to the ministry of the saints, we are more likely to utilize our opportunities to fulfill the law of Christ! B. TO PROVE THAT WE HAVE THE LOVE OF GOD IN US... 1. We cannot have the love of God in us if we do not love one another - 1Jn 4:20-21 2. Loving the brethren indicates that we have passed from death to life - 1Jn 3:14-20 -- If addicted to the ministry of the saints, it is a positive sign that we are truly the children of God! C. TO FULFILL OUR PART IN THE BODY OF CHRIST... 1. God intends for members of the body to be concerned for one another - 1Co 12:24-27 2. For the body to grow as it should, every member must do its part - Ep 4:15-16 -- If addicted to the ministry of the saints, we will do our part in the body of Christ! [There are both personal and altruistic motives to becoming "addicted" to serving one another as brethren. That being so, here are some thoughts on...] II. BECOMING ADDICTED TO THE MINISTRY OF THE SAINTS A. GETTING ACQUAINTED IS REQUIRED... 1. Will Rogers once said, "I never met a man I didn't like" 2. Allow me to rephrase that: "I never loved a person I never met" 3. Unless we know each other, there is little hope to becoming addicted to serving one another 4. Getting acquainted requires some effort; how much? a. More than just seeing each other for a few moments, once or twice a week b. Whatever it takes so that when one is absent from one assembly, others are concerned 5. It requires being given to hospitality - cf. Ro 12:13 a. What I knew growing up as "southern hospitality" b. Not the cold, hands off, keep your distance, attitude so prevalent in some circles c. But the love of strangers that opens heart and home, and turns them into friends d. A willingness to visit, and be visited e. Truly believing in the phrase "mi casa, su casa" (my house is your house) -- We must know each other well enough to like one another if we are going to be truly concerned about each other B. PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS FOR BECOMING ADDICTED... 1. For addictions to be developed, habits must be formed 2. Make it a habit to learn the names of the members and others who visit frequently a. Learn a new name each week b. Greet those you know by name each week - cf. 3Jn 14 c. Continue until you know everyone by name 3. Make it a habit to practice hospitality with one another - cf. 1Pe 4:9 a. Invite people into your home, or out for dinner b. Accept invitations when offered, for hospitality is a two-way street! 4. Whatever abilities you have, use them in service to your brethren - cf. 1Pe 4:10-11 a. For the goal is to become addicted to serving our brethren b. Whether it be serving through teaching, helping, etc. -- The more we know one another, and the more we grow in our abilities to serve, the easier it is to become addicted to the ministry of the saints CONCLUSION 1. The family of Stephanas left behind a wonderful reputation... a. They were devoted to the ministry of the saints - 1Co 16:15 b. They made Paul glad and refreshed his spirit when they came to him - 1Co 16:17-18 2. What kind of reputation will we leave behind...? a. Devoted to serving our brethren with love and zeal? b. Or unwilling to render loving service because we were too busy or disinterested? May we all become "Addicted To The Ministry Of The Saints"...!
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016