The Job Description
Community Group Questions (Net Groups)

1. Should our work life and our faith life be totally separate things or should our faith be a part of all aspects of our life? Why or why not?

2. Paul gave the Corinthian Church a job description to follow. The first item on that job description mentioned being on guard. Looking back over Paul’s letter to the church we discover many reasons to be on guard, three of which were mentioned in Sunday’s sermon: Unity with one another, our conduct, and our morality. Take the time to discuss why each of these three have very important application even today.
A) UNITY 1 Corinthians 1:10 (NIV) I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

B) CONDUCT 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 and 1 Corinthians 10:31-33
23 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.
24Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others...
31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God —
33even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

C) MORALITY 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

3. We are instructed to stand firm in the faith! The ability to stand firm is strictly tied to the source and object of our faith! Use the following passage from the Bible to explain.
Romans 5:1-2
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

4. Paul list courage and strength in the job description. Where do you find your strength and your courage?
Psalm 28:6-9 Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
8The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
9Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.

5.After mentioning being on guard, standing firm in the faith, being courageous and strong, Paul says to do everything in love. Love may seem like a strange thing to put in such a list, but it in fact plays a vital role in being able to accomplish all of the others. Why? Hint: Motives are important!
1 Corinthians 13:3-8a
3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8aLove never fails...


FULL SERMON NOTES


The Job Description

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Presentation of Colors

STFD 1 Honor Guard

The Pledge of Allegiance!

Slidell Fireman

Prayer!

Father God, we come today first and foremost to give you honor and glory. We thank you for being a first responder who responded to the very dire spiritual condition of humanity by sending Your One and Only Son to rescue us with an Old rugged Cross!!

We could never thank you enough!!!
We know You are honored today as we come to show our appreciation, love and support for our First Responders who put their physical lives on the line for us everyday. We pray you will continue to bless them, protect them and strengthen them as they serve our community.

Lord, please help us to learn from Your Word today how we can all do a better job of doing the work you've called each one of us to do!!
Please anoint this message with the power and wisdom of Your Holy Spirit!!

I don't stand before You or these people, claiming to have all the answers, rather I stand here to proclaim You as the Answer! We seek you today! Hide me behind the Cross and simply use me as a vessel of Your truth!
In Jesus Name, I pray and believe!!

If you are First Responder, Fire, Law Enforcement, EMT, Dispatcher, or Support personnel for any of these, would you please stand.

We would like to show our appreciation to each of you this morning. Thank you for your willingness to serve our community.
Not a one of you get paid enough for what you do for each of us, so take this Blue Service and meal as a small token of our heartfelt gratitude!

I appreciate our Mayor, city council members and Parish President who are so supportive of our first responders. Thank you for being with us this morning to help us honor these men and women who are true heroes everyday!

This morning we're going to talk about
The Job Description!

This job description, found in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 is a wonderful job description for first responders, but it is also a great job description for any other profession and especially if you are a follower of Christ!

Paul the Apostle wrote this brief, yet very potent and compelling job description, to the Church at Corinth. He was wrapping up a very detailed and passionate letter to this church.

This church faced many difficult challenges and Paul had addressed these challenges with specific instructions for each challenge. This job description would have to be followed if the Corinthians were to be successful in overcoming their challenges!!   

Let's read the Job Description, found in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14...

13Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)

14Do everything in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14 (NIV)

Short, sweet, and very, very deep!
Only five things, but if you do these five things, everything else will automatically fall into place. If you do these five things, you will accomplish the mission you were called to do. If you do these five things, you will fulfill your dob description.
 
At first glance, you might think these things have little to do with your job, but if for you "It's not just a job, it's a calling," these five things are going to be extremely essential to your job.
Some people, however, have conveniently separated their work life and their religious life. Some folks like to partition their life into the sacred and the secular. Sunday is for God and the other six days are for whatever and whoever!
Nothing could be farther from the truth!!

And for some, God may not even get Sunday!!
Here's the deal…Your work matters to God!! Your life matters to God!! Every moment of every day matters to God!!
And if it matters to God it should matter to you!!

Before we get to the details of our Job Description I want to read you a verse of Scripture that should help you understand why the job description will be so important...

23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:24 (NIV)

 Wow! That's good stuff!! No matter what your profession, you should work at it with al your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, because you will ultimately receive your reward from the Lord because He is the one you are serving!!

So whether you're a fireman or a policeman, an emergency medical technician or a heart surgeon, a teacher or a student, a civic leader or a maintenance worker, a career woman or a homemaker, "whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord!"

 With this in mind, let's look at our Job description...

Job Description #1

"Be on your guard!"

13Be on your guard...
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)

Be on your guard! Another translation reads, be watchful! Another, be alert!
In other words, be cautious and vigilant.

Does this not sound like something a first responder would be taught at the fire academy, or law enforcement training, or EMT schooling?

First responders have to be alert, on their guard, watchful, cautious, vigilant. Their lives depend on it. The lives of others depend on it. Arriving on a scene without being alert and watchful and cautious could have tragic consequences!
Thankfully, our first responders are trained to be on their guard at all times.

You might be inclined to ask at this point, but wait a minute; Was Paul's letter to the Corinthians addressed to the first responders of Corinth Fire District One?
No, it was written to the church. It just that this job description has tremendous application for first responders.  

Let me tell you why Paul wrote these words to the Church at Corinth and then I'll show you how it applies to everyone in this room.

Paul told the people at the Church in Corinth to be on their guard for good reasons.

As I stated earlier, the Corinthian Church faced some daunting challenges.
Let me list a few…

 There was a lack of unity and sharp divisions were developing among them.

Paul addresses this early in his letter.
Listen...

10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
1 Corinthians 1:10 (NIV)

11My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.
1 Corinthians 1:11 (NIV)

12What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas ’”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
1 Corinthians 1:12 (NIV)

13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?
1 Corinthians 1:13 (NIV)

14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius,
1 Corinthians 1:14 (NIV)

15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name.
1 Corinthians 1:15 (NIV)

16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)
1 Corinthians 1:16 (NIV)

17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
1 Corinthians 1:17 (NIV)

Whether it's a fire department, police department or a church, if there's quarreling and division, there's a problem and we are told in our job description to be on guard against disunity!

Paul addressed 10 or 11 problems in the letter, but I don't have time to detail them all, but I will mention two others.  

He told the church to be watchful concerning their conduct.

While they had been set free from the letter of the law, the principles of the law still stood. Evidently some of the people were not considering the effect of their actions on others. Listen...

23“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.
1 Corinthians 10:23 (NIV)

24Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
1 Corinthians 10:24 (NIV)

And then skip down a few verses and Paul says...

31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)

32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God —
1 Corinthians 10:32 (NIV)

33even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
1 Corinthians 10:33 (NIV)

1Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV)

You older first responders need to think about the younger ones who are watching your every move, on and off the scene.

Church, the same goes for us. The younger ones are watching what we do when we're not at church.

And trust me, they are keenly aware if our words and our actions do not line up!
Young people will abandon the church if they perceive this kind of hypocrisy.

 I'm going to mention one other issue with which Paul told the Corinthian Church they needed to be especially vigilant and watchful. I know I'm giving an unequal amount of time to job description #1, but that is by design. The other four will help us know how to be alert and on guard against the problems we face.

 Another major issue confronting the Corinthian church was that of immorality!

There was an epidemic of sexual immorality in that society and it had found it's way into the Corinthian church.
Paul tells us in our job description to be on our guard, to be alert, to be cautious. Listen to what he had said earlier in his letter...

18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
1 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV)

19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)

20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:20 (NIV)

 It amazes me that God's Word tells me I can stand my ground against Satan himself, but when it comes to sexual immorality, I am to run as if I'm scarred for my very life!

Get prideful on this one and you're likely to get your feet knocked right out from under you!!

 Paul put it this way in his letter...

12So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
1 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV)

13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

 I want to say something to all of our Dads out there today. I don't fully understand this spiritual principle, but I've certainly seen it in action. You are a spiritual gateway for your family. You are called by God to stand guard at that gate. What you let into your life, you allow into your family!

 Are you protecting your family or are you leaving them vulnerable to the enemy? Are you allowing your own selfish wants and desires to leave your children an open target for the enemy?

And first responders, our community not only needs you to be in good physical shape, we need you to be in good moral and spiritual shape. Our children look up to you. They want to be like you when they grow up.
Again, what you are on and off the scene is vital.

 Okay, I know Paul has given us a tall order in this first listing on our job description. But do not fear, he gives us four other things that will help us with the first one. Let's see what they are...

Job Description #2

Stand Firm in the Faith

13Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith...
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)

Stand firm in the faith! The only way to stand firm against the enemy and the things he will throw at us to try and knock us down is to stand by faith in the fact that God is with us, He has forgiven us, and has given us His righteousness!
Paul put it this way in his letter to the Romans...   

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 5:1 (NIV)

2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:2 (NIV)

 And here's how Paul stated it to the church at Galatia...

20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

 We can stand firm because our faith is in someone much bigger than ourselves and  this will help us achieve the next item on our job description list!!

Job Description #3

Be Men of Courage

13Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage...
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)

Our first responders, both men and women, understand that it takes courage to do their job. Especially in circumstances where their own life may be put at risk in order to save someone else. Thank you for being an example to us all when it comes to courage!!

While, Paul wrote his letter to the whole church, I do believe he was admonishing the men of the church to stand up and be  courageous men of God. Some of them had shirked their responsibilities and they needed a special kick in the pants to be reminded of their God given calling to be courageous. However, I believe this Scripture also applies to you ladies.  

Women are not exempt from God's admonition to be courageous. It takes courage to be a Man of God and it takes courage to be a Woman of God, especially in a world that increasingly mocks the Christian faith.

It takes courage to stand up for what is right. You may loose some popularity. You may loose some "fair weather friends!" You may loose a promotion at work, or a position on the team, but you won't loose your integrity and others will respect you in the end!!

I love Paul's words found in his letter to the Philippian Church…

20I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
Philippians 1:20 (NIV)

21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21 (NIV)

It takes a special strength to be courageous and this leads us to our fourth listing on our job description list...

Job Description #4

Be Strong

13Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)

 Where does a first responder's strength come from? Well I think it comes from several sources.
Their training!
Their passion to do the job with excellence!
Their fellow first responders who've got their back!
Their superiors who are standing up for the men and women in the trenches!
And their faith in God, the Supreme Chief!

 Where does a Christian's strength come from to do the job God has called him or her to do?

 We gain strength from our training, things we've learned as we've grown in our faith.
We gain strength from our passion to serve Christ with excellence.
We gain strength from our brothers and sisters in the faith who encourage us!
We gain strength from our spiritual leaders!
But mostly, we find our strength in our Supreme Chief...

6Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
Psalm 28:6 (NIV)

7The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Psalm 28:7 (NIV)

8The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Psalm 28:8 (NIV)

9Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.
Psalm 28:9 (NIV)

 And now, last, but definitely not least, the fifth item on our job description...

 Job Description #5

Do Everything in Love

13Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)

14Do everything in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14 (NIV)

Now I know we may have some first responders that would balk at this one and might even be tempted to sing that old Tina Turner song, "What's love got to do with it?"

My answer to you would be...
"Everything!"

If you're a first responder you need to love your job!!
If you're a first responder you need to love your fellow first responders. You may not like them, but you need to love them! This way, when the time comes you've got their back, regardless of your personal differences.


 If you're a first responder you need to love those you serve. You may not even know them, but you should care about them. A first responder who has lost his or her love for those they serve will not perform at their highest level and that's a fact. Motivation is a huge factor in the outcome of any job!

And for those of you in Law Enforcement. You might say, but what about the bad guys?
First of all, love and care for their victims.
Secondly, pray that you can catch them so justice can be served, but also pray that while justice is being served the bad guy might realize his or her need for a Savior and reach out to God and find the only rehabilitation that last for eternity!!

Paul never forgot his past and if it weren't for God's grace, well, I think a lot of us would have found ourselves on the wrong side of the law!!

Sometimes Christians can be the world's worst at remembering where they came from and the wonderful mercy that was given to them. They get saved from the gutter one week and the next week they're looking down on their old friends still in the gutter, saying, "Man you need to get your act together!"  

I'm thinking, are you kidding me?

What are you thinking?

Love should be the basis for everything we do in the church!!
 

Listen to what Paul said about love a few verses earlier in his letter to this church. It  makes it so plain as to why love should be the motivation behind everything we do…

3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:3 (NIV)

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
1 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV)

5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
1 Corinthians 13:6 (NIV)

7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV)

8Love never fails...
1 Corinthians 13:8 (NIV)

Paul ends the chapter with this statement...

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

Love for country, love for their job, and love for the well being of others, led the first responders into the twin towers eleven years ago. Love for country, love for their job, and love for the well being of others is what still motivates first responders to place others before themselves on a daily basis.

And it was love for you and me, that caused Jesus to leave the splendor of heaven in order to take up an old rugged Cross, so that you and I might have the opportunity for forgiveness, and a relationship with God the Father that will last an eternity! Jesus said it this way...

12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
John 15:12 (NIV)

13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 (NIV)