Points Covered: Being a Christian covers all areas of our life. the past, the present and the future. This sermon covers three amazing benefits of a Christian.
Now if you’ve come this morning looking to find out the benefits of a Christian. This is a divine presentation of why you should be a Christian. Being a Christian covers all areas of our life. the past, the present and the future. That’s what Christianity offers. If you want all that, you need to be a saint, a child of God. You say right. How do I be a saint? By believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This letter was written by Apostle Paul to the Corinthian church. Paul is starting off his writing by calling them saints, sanctified by the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus.
Today when you think of the word saint you think of some person long dead who has been officially declared as a saint. Unfortunately, this is not the biblical perspective on what a saint is. Paul uses the word saint to refer to Christians, not dead ones but living ones, not a few but all. We who know the Lord Jesus Christ are saints. 1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: So, a saint is someone who calls upon the name of Christ, a Christian who knows the Lord Jesus Christ is a saint.
In the first 9 verses of this chapter, Paul is exhorting that since we are saints, since we have been made holy, we are to behave in a holy manner. We are holy because of what Christ is; therefore, we ought to be like him. Our lives ought to conform to him. In John 8, do you know what Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery, “Go and sin no more.” And I think that’s an interesting because Jesus was commanding a woman who was a prostitute, who had been caught in the very act of adultery to go and stop doing it.
Now I believe something happened when the people caught her in adultery and Jesus forgave her. I believe she was saved, she had been forgiven. She had been granted a new life and Jesus, “Go and sin no more.” In other words from now on I hold no sin against you. You are holy in my eyes; therefore, live holy. As a Christian you are not condemned, you are holy. Your sin is forgiven, your sin is set aside; therefore, you ought to behave in consistency with your own nature.
Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Colossians 3:8-10 8But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
You are holy in Christ before God so behave like Christ. Since I’m in Christ, I would never do anything that He would not do. I don’t lie because He won’t. I don’t steal because He doesn’t. I don’t commit adultery because that’s totally foreign to the life of Christ. All of the things in my life are to conform to His life because I am in Him. We are saints, we are made holy
I. Benefits of a Christian – Grace.
Someone said grace as “God’s riches at Christ’s expense.”
1 Corinthians 1:4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. When did you receive grace? 1 Corinthians 1:6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Paul says to the Corinthians, the moment you received Christ, grace was given to you. It’s what happened to you when received salvation, you received grace.
Now what is this grace? Grace literally means undeserved kindness. It means mercy. It cannot be paid back. Grace always in Scripture is a free gift, unearned.
1. Grace is a free gift. God’s grace does not demand human obligation. Grace is not something you have to pay back. Grace is a free gift. Can you pay a gift back? No. It’s not a gift if you do.
In other words when the month is over and you get your salary you don’t say to the boss, “Oh my boss, how gracious you are. I thank you for the gift.” No. If the check doesn’t come you go and say, “Where’s the money?” Why? It isn’t grace. You earned that money, you want that money.
One of the wonderful things about salvation is God just gives it to you and you don’t have to pay Him back. You owe God nothing. God gave you salvation as grace. It’s one thing to love Him, it’s one thing to serve Him out of a heart of gratitude, but we cannot pay God back for His gift.
2. Grace says you are forgiven. Once you receive Christ God says you are forgiven. God does not say I am gracious and I give you salvation and one false move and I’ll take it away. You can run away from God’s grace, but God does not take it away. It is like a spotlight where we have God’s grace, we may choose to go out of the light but the moment we return we find grace.
I talked to a believer who is so absolutely distraught with guilt that he cannot even cope with life. He cannot accept forgiveness, he continues to hold himself guilty for things. He does not understand what grace is. Today every one of you stands forgiven in the presence of God.
3. Grace is given to the undeserved. Grace cannot coexist with any recognition of human merit. That is it does not come to the best people.
In other words, God didn’t save the good ones. You know who thought that they are good for centuries? Israel. They thought that God chose them because they were better than everybody else. Paul says in Romans 3:9 Are we any better? Not at all!
Romans 3:10 There is no one righteous, not even one. All men are sinners before God. Grace is the free loving forgiveness of God independent of your deserving it. You did not earn your salvation. It was only God’s grace.
I as a child of God receive grace in my spiritual life as well as my physical life. When I look at my family, I thank God for my wife, my children, good health, the food on the table and everything else, it is all undeserved grace of God.
Why would God give us grace?
1. To produce good works.
Titus 2:14 ..who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Titus 3:8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. Good works could touch the lives of the people. Good works can touch the world.
2. Bless believers in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:7 In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
God saved us, not only to do good works for the world’s sake, but He saved us and gave us grace to pour blessing on us for our sake, to pour out His riches on us forever.
3. Grace is to glorify God.
God saved us to be to the praise of His glory. When we do what is right God is honored.
Ephesians 3:2-6 2Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
When did God give us grace and how did the grace become ours? 1 Corinthians 1:4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:6 KJV Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you. When you believed Jesus Christ as your savior you have been given the free grace. So you have in verse 4 the divine side and in verse 6 the human response.
All sin totally forgiven forever; no guilt ever if you are in God’s grace.
II. Benefits of a Christian – Gifts.
The first benefit is past tense. You received grace. Present tense, you receive gifts. 1 Corinthians 1:5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech (utterance) and with all knowledge.
1 Corinthians 1:7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
When you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ, you have been enriched with gifts.
1 Corinthians 4:8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! He says you are rich and you have everything. It doesn’t mean you have everything. It means you have everything that you need.
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Colossians 2:10 In Christ you have been brought to fullness.
1 Corinthians 3:21 All things are yours.
And then to pull out two general benefits: 1 Corinthians 1:5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech (utterance) and with all knowledge. Utterance and knowledge.”
1. Gift of utterance.
Why would God give us the gift of utterance?
a. To proclaim the gospel. Do you know that God has given you the capability and the capacity to speak the truth? Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
b. To speak in tongues. Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
c. To preach the word boldly. Acts 4:31 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
Ephesians 6:19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.
Every believer has been given this utterance. In order for the utterance to work you’ve got to open your mouth. That’s the hard part. Most Christians are like the Artic River in Alaska, frozen over at the mouth. The hardest thing seems to be to open your mouth.
Matthew 10:19-20 19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
2. Gift of Knowledge.
1 Corinthians 1:5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge. If I’ve got all the utterance and if I haven’t got anything to say, it is a waste, so God gave me all knowledge. But in order for God to give us utterance, we need knowledge from the word. 1 Peter 3:15 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
That doesn’t mean that I know everything 1 Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. The word is here and God has given me enough revelation to speak the truth to the world.
Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
Ephesians 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Colossians 1:9-10 9We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
Now Paul goes from the general area of utterance and knowledge to the specific that he has given in verse 7. 1 Corinthians 1:7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. Grace in the past; gifts for the present.
3. Spiritual Gifts.
The Corinthian believers were the most corrupt bunch of Christians in all the New Testament and yet they didn’t lack anything. They had utterance and knowledge, then they had spiritual girts. That’s where we get the word charismatic.
You’ve got spiritual gifts, every single one of you to minister and they are adequate to build this church. And that’s why this church is growing because so many of you are ministering those gifts. You need to know what your spiritual gifts are which we will learn in 1 Corinthians 12.
1 Corinthians 12:1 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. They were good, solid, growing Christians. Yes, people were in terribly shape spiritually but notice what he said. “It isn’t because you lack spiritual resource.” You have all utterance to reach the world and all knowledge and “You come behind and no gift.” Listen people, you’ve got everything you need to be what you ought to be.
When we talk about spiritual maturity you don’t grow up to get something you didn’t have when you were little. Take a baby, when a baby is born it isn’t born with no arms and then it gets its arm at five. When that baby’s born it’s got all it’ll every have, right? It’s made whole. And when you were born in Christ you were made whole with all the parts. It’s only a matter of exercising those parts until they can function in a mature and holy way.
Colossians 2:10 KJV And ye are complete in him. Listen, God has stocked your shelf. You don’t need anything. You have everything for health, vitality, growth, and reproduction. You have all things pertaining to life and godliness, said Peter. The issue is your commitment to be faithful to what you have.
Just listen to this: What is the benefit of being a Christian? Grace, which means absolute forgiveness forever and blessings for today. Gifts so that you can speak the truth to the world and so that you can minister to the believers. You have everything you need in this life.
III. Benefits of a Christian – Hope.
1 Corinthians 15:7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. We have a hope.
1. We have hope for today. Today, if you are going through trials, pain, sickness etc, we have hope that God will take care of us. He will take us out of our miry clay. He will heal us and restore us in this world
2. We have hope for tomorrow. We have a glorious hope beyond this world. We are eagerly waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not like sitting on a corner waiting for a bus. It’s like waiting eagerly while you’re working and involved in God’s work. I’m waiting for Jesus to come and I believe He’s coming.
What is the hope for us when Jesus returns?
a. Jesus Christ will be exalted.
I want Jesus to come because He’ll be exalted when He comes. Revelation 6:2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
Revelation 19:14-15 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. Listen, I want Jesus to come because He’ll be exalted.
b. Satan will be defeated.
When Jesus comes He’s going to defeat Satan. He’s going to bind him for a thousand years. At the end of the thousand years He’s going to let him loose for a little while, then He’s going to chain him and throw him into the lake of fire forever.
c. Justice for believers and martyrs.
2 Thessalonians 1:4-5 4Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. 5All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.
Revelation 6:11 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”
2 Thessalonians 1:6-8 6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
I feel just like John the apostle in Revelation 10:10 I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Do you know what that meant? That meant that his view of the coming of Christ was sweet because of what it would mean for Jesus and what it would mean for him and it was bitter because of what it would mean for the world. Yes it’s sweet and yes it’s bitter but we hope for His coming, we look for it.
Now want to see a marvelous promise or hope for being a Christian: 1 Corinthians 1:8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
d. Jesus will take me to heaven.
John 14:1-3 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.”
e. We will be confirmed blameless.
At the time of Christ’s return, you will be confirmed blameless. I’m going to wind up at the judgment throne of the Lord absolutely holy and spend eternity with Him in His holy presence. Do you know now why Paul said at the beginning of verse 4, “I thank my God?”
Those are the benefits of being a Christian. They’re offered to you. When the testimony of Christ is settled in your heart by faith, they become yours.
In the past there’s grace, for the present there are gifts and the future there are guarantees. In other words you past is forgiven, your present is taken care of, and your future is guaranteed. This takes care of all the past mistakes, gives you all you need to live in the present, and secures absolutely your future.
Friends, there is a lot of benefit for a Christian. Grace, gift, and hope. Let’s Pray.