Motivation for Ministry

2 Corinthians 5:11-16

This may come as a surprise to those of you not
living in Las Vegas but there are more Catholic
churches than casinos.

Not surprisingly, some worshipers at Sunday
services will give casino chips rather than cash
when the basket is passed.

Since they get chips from many different casinos,
the churches have devised a method to collect the
offerings.

The churches send all their collected chips to a
nearby Franciscan monastery for sorting and then
the chips are taken to the casinos of origin and
cashed in.

This is done by the chip monks.

Last week we talked about our earthly bodies and how
even though outwardly they are wasting away, inwardly
they are being renewed day by day. And we talked about
our glorified bodies that God has promised us one day.
And finally we talked about walking by faith not by sight.

Today we are going to answer the question
What is our Motivation for Ministry?

Let’s pray and ask God to give us spiritual ears to hear
from Him this morning.

2 Corinthians 5:11-13

Paul’s answer to this question of what is his motivation
for ministry is the;

Fear of the Lord is our Motivation for Ministry.

Did you know there are over 200 verses about the Fear of
the Lord in the Bible?
Most of us are familiar with this one.
Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the
beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have
a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”

Fear of the Lord is complicated.
It’s an
acknowledgment of God’s greatness and glory.
It’s also the
dread of the discipline we deserve for our
disobedience.

It’s the knowledge that God can and should take us out
for our sin, but the truth that He didn’t because of His
great love for us. Instead Jesus stood in our place and
took our punishment and suffered God’s wrath.

John MacArthur writes that.”To fear God is to have
reverence, awe, and respect for Him resulting in
worship, adoration, and service.

Paul mentioned in vv.9-10 that they make it their aim to
Please God. Because he understands that we will all
appear before the judgment seat of Christ.

Even though we don’t face the Great White Throne
Judgment that unbelievers face, we still have to come
face to face with the holy God and watch as all of our
deeds on earth are displayed and the ones that are not
worth anything will burn up like wood, hay and stubble,
while only what has eternal value will last.

So, Paul’s response is to please Him.

He does this by persuading others.

I believe Paul is persuading others to turn from their
sin and receive God’s grace by faith as well as
persuading them of his integrity and character as an
apostle.

The first part we know because Paul spent a lot of time
urging people to come to faith in Christ.

Just read the latter portion of Acts.

The second part we see by the context of what he writes
in the next part of the verses.

He knows the church knows Paul’s character.
He was their pastor for 18 months.
He writes that he hopes what they are is known to them,
because it is known to God for sure.

The false teachers can say anything they want to about
him, but at the end of the day Paul honored God and
preached the truth.
He takes the time to respond to their allegations because
he wanted the church to know how important it is for
them to remain steadfast to the word of God.

The false teachers only care about what is external, God
cares about the heart. This is clearly a reference to God’s
words to Samuel, “man looks on the outward
appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

Paul had also been accused by the false teachers of being
out of his mind or crazy for Christ.
Aren’t we called to be set apart? Different from the world.

Wouldn’t you rather be called a holy roller, Bible thumper
or a Jesus freak than be seen as apathetic towards God
or indifferent towards Him?

Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:33 “but
whoever denies me before men, I also will deny
before my Father who is in heaven.”

G. Campbell Morgan told about a Christian woman
who was struggling with being “beside herself” for
Jesus.

The woman said to Morgan, “I know I will have to
do all the things I most dislike, but I am
determined to be a real Christian.”
A year later, Morgan was visiting in her town and
spoke with her again. “Do you recall,” she inquired,
“What I said to you when I dedicated my life to
Christ?”
He told her he did. As she looked at him, the light
of God appeared to be on her face. She exclaimed,
“But it’s been so different, Dr. Morgan! I began to
follow Christ, feeling that I would have to do all the
things that were contrary to my desires, but now I
do what I want every day because God has made
me pleased with the things that please Him!”

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

God’s Love Motivates our Ministry

Paul explains the second motivation for his ministry is the
love of Christ.

Paul writes the love of Christ controls us.
It’s not our love for Christ, it’s His love for us.

Remember we didn’t love God first, He loved us first and
then we love Him as a response to His love for us.

How did God show His love for us?

Jesus showed it by being obedient to the Father by going
to the cross and taking on our punishment and bearing
our sin.

It’s that kind of sacrificial, agape love that God loves us
with and it’s that kind of love that he compels us to love
others with.

The first and greatest commandment is to love the LORD
your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all
your strength.

Jesus told His disciples “By this all people will know
that you are my disciples, if you have love for one
another.” John 13:35

Then Paul goes on to explain the consequences of Christ’s
death.
One has died for all so all have died.
For a full explanation of this you can refer to Romans
5:12-21.
We don’t have time to read it today, but the point is that
just as sin came into the world through the first Adam,
Sin was vanquished by the death of the second Adam.

So how did we die when it was actually Christ who died in
our place?
Because we die to our old self. Because of His death and
resurrection we no longer live for ourselves, but for God.

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It
is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in
the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for
me.”

We are almost out of time, but there is one more thing I
need to make sure we understand.

Did you notice how Paul wrote that one has died for all?
That doesn’t mean that God saves everyone.
There are actually people out there who will tell you that.
It’s simply not true.

I believe that Christ died for all, but not all will receive
that gift through faith.

Look at John 3:18 “Whoever believes in him is not
condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned
already, because he has not believed in the name of the
only Son of God.”

Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.
Sadly, people will reject Jesus and His grace.

APPLICATION

For our application I thought I would give you a little
alliteration to help you remember it.

Please Him – while we are in the body we should be
doing what we can to bring glory to His name. Only what
we do for the kingdom will last.

Persuade Others – we all have a mission from God to
share the good news with others. Who can you share
your faith with or invite to church?

Practice Love – only when we have received the love of
Christ will we be able to love others in that same way.
Think of some tangible ways you can show love this
week. I’d love to hear about it next week.