A pig and a chicken hear about a fundraising breakfast at a local church, and the chicken makes a suggestion to the pig.  “Why don’t I donate the eggs and you can donate the bacon?”  “Wait a minute!” replied the pig.  “That would be an offering for you, but a sacrifice for me.”

Many Christians are willing to be involved and make an offering, but many are not willing to make a sacrifice.

In Philippians 2 there are 3 example of sacrifice.

  • Paul
  • Timothy
  • Epaphroditus

All three of these men were in Rome.  Paul was in a Roman jail, attached to a guard.  Timothy was there assisting Paul.  Epaphroditus had brought the offering to Paul to sustain him.

All three were knit together in multiple ways. 

They were knit together because they all believed in Jesus Christ.  They were part of the family of God.  All three were sinners saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

They were also knit together missionally.  They were all passionate about reaching people and discipling them into spiritual maturity.  They could be described the way that some were described in 1 Corinthians 16:15,  as they that “have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints…”.

They were also knit together sacrificially.  They had each made incredible personal sacrifices as they fulfilled God’s plan for their lives

Over the next three weeks we will consider each of these men and how they had sacrificed for Christ.  Today we will look at the sacrifice of Paul.  You’ll find this sacrifice in verses 17 and 18.

(17)  Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.  (18)  For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.  Philippians 2:17-18

Notice the word “offered” in verse 17.  The word means “poured out”.  The imagery we have here is that of the drink offering that we read about in the Old Testament.

The drink offering is an ancient custom that we first read about in Genesis 35:14.

(14)  And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.  Genesis 35:14

Two-thirds of the occurrences of the drink offering can be found in the books of the law.  33 times it is referred to in Numbers.

Notice Numbers 15:5 that gives the instructions for this offering.

(5)  And the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering shalt thou prepare with the burnt offering or sacrifice, for one lamb.  Numbers 15:5

The “hin” was about the equivalent of a quart.  It’s interesting to note that the one making the offering would not drink of the wine.  Neither did the priest drink the wine.  Instead, all of the drink offering was either poured out on the burnt offering, or to the side of the burnt offering on the ground.

Notice that the burnt offering is explained in Leviticus 1.  It was the sacrifice of an innocent male animal that was without blemish.  It was for the atonement of the person’s sins.  The one bringing the sacrifice would place his hand on the head of the animal, symbolizing that his sins were being placed on the animal were being placed on the animal as a substitute for himself.  By faith he was believing God to take away his sins.  God responded to their faith and atoned for their sins because of the sacrifice.  This pointed to the ultimate sacrifice that was coming when Jesus Christ would lay down His life for our sins as a sacrifice.  This is what John meant in John 1:29b when He said about Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”

(18)  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:  1Peter 3:18

(26)  For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  Hebrews 9:26

(10)  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:10

(12)  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;  Hebrews 10:12

The ultimate fulfillment of the burnt offering was the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross.  He made it possible for this broken relationship between man and God to be restored.

Now, back to the drink offering.  The drink offering reminds us of the sacrifice we are to make to the One who laid down His life for us.  The drink offering was always connected to the burnt offering.  Symbolically, the fulfillment of the burnt offering was Christ.  We ought to pour out our life as a sacrifice at the foot of the cross because of what he did for us.

(15)  And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.  2 Corinthians 5:15

If you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ, your life is not yours.  Your life belongs to God.

The drink offering was a symbol of dedication.  The person offering the drink offering didn’t just pour out a part.  He poured out all of it.  Christ gave all to us.  We ought to give all back to him.  Read it again in verse 17.

(17)  Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.  (18)  For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.  Philippians 2:17-18

In light of the sacrifice that Christ made for him (2:5-8), he was willing to give His life fully to Christ (2:17-18).

“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” C.T. Studd.

The central letter in the word sacrifice is the letter is “i”.  Dr. Weirsbe says this, “This is the greatest obstacle to sacrifice.”  It is so difficult to give ourselves fully to Christ.

This is why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:31, “I die daily…”.  In 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 he listed out his sacrifices.

(23)  Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  (24)  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  (25)  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; (26)  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  (27)  In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.  (28)  Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28

These are just some of the sacrifices Paul had made. Yet he didn’t do it unwillingly.  Paul not only say that he was willing to pour out his life as an offering.  He said he did it with joy.

(18)  For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.  Philippians 2:18

As you think about the sacrifice that Christ made for us, as a “burnt offering” for us, we must ask ourselves, “Have I poured out my life as a drink offering unto Christ?”  Have we fully surrendered our lives to Christ?  Are we willing to do whatever he wants us to do?

Romans 12:1 says it this way:

(1)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  Romans 12:1

Are you ready to lay your life down as a living sacrifice?  Are you ready to pour out your life fully as an offering to God?  Commit to that today!

Have you accepted the gift of eternal life made possible by God’s sacrifice of His Son for your sins?  You can read about that by clicking here.  Contact us below so we can help you take that step!