I Confess My Addiction


Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, Oct. 24, 1999, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia:

By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 16:13-24

Text: 1 Corinthians 16:15

1 Corinthians 16:15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints)

Introduction: An addiction is the state of being given up or over to a habitual practice.

People are addicted to

liquor and strong drink
soft drinks
nose spray
rock music
country music

Tonight I’m going to confess my addiction, actually my addictions, plural.

I’m reminded of a story Dr. Jack Hyles told. I’m sure I don’t remember it exactly right, but he probably doesn’t either. 🙂 He told of preaching with John R. Rice and finding Dr. Rice that night on his knees in the bathroom praying. Dr. Rice was kneeling at the toilet with writing on a roll of tissue paper. Brother Rice rolled up the paper and flushed it down the toilet. When he was finished, Dr. Hyles asked, “What are you doing?” “I’m confessing my sins,” replied Dr. Rice. “Why did you flush that list down the toilet?” Brother Hyles asked. Dr. Rice answered, “I don’t want you to know what my sins are!”

I’m not going to confess to you my bad addictions …

According to our text, however, there are some GOOD addictions!


1 Corinthians 16:15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints)

A. I am addicted to their worship
* I don’t miss church. My family members do not miss church.
* I don’t miss church because I don’t WANT to miss church!
* It is not natural for a Christian to miss church … for him to just stay at home in bed or in front of the TV. Church is his “element.” It is his “natural habitat.”

B. I am addicted to their work
* I don’t want to be a sponge!
* I don’t want to be a pew-sitter!
* Lord, give me SOMETHING to do!!!

C. I am addicted to their witness
* I go soul-winning every week. My wife goes every week. My daughters go every week. My son-in-law goes every week. When they get old enough, I expect my grand- children to go every week. It’s a HABIT with us! It’s part of our LIVES. You might say, “It’s in our BLOOD!” but you would be closer to the truth if you said, “It’s in HIS (God’s) blood!”
* I don’t want to miss our soul-winning visitation!
* We give an invitation at EVERY service! Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night!
* Thank God for the bus ministry! I think EVERY preacher boy ought to at some time in his life get a bus route!


John 6:66-68 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

A. I want the PURE word
* God’s word is pure!
* God’s words are pure! – Ps. 12:6; Prov. 30:5
* I don’t want to go to a church where the pastor uses the New ASV, the assistant pastor reads out of the RSV, the Sunday School superintendent reads out of the NIV, and the teachers use any version that they like. I want the KING JAMES BIBLE!

B. I want the PLAIN word
+ Tell it like it is!!!!

C. I want the PERSONAL word
+ Ehud said to King Eglon, “I have a message from God unto THEE.”
+ Some of you are always interested in, “What’s in it for ME?” You should be that way about every sermon.

D. I want the POWERFUL word
+ A sermon needs to be saturated with scripture!
+ A sermon needs to be set on fire by the Spirit of God!


Psalms 33:1-3 Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. 2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. 3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

A. It bears witness with my spirit
+ Rock music bears witness with my flesh. My flesh enjoys it.
+ Country western music (called Southern Gospel when Christian lyrics are added) bears witness with my flesh. My flesh enjoys it.

B. It brings joy to my soul

C. It builds conviction in the sinner
+ “Just As I Am” has, I believe, been used of God to encourage many sinners to say “yes” to the wooing of the Holy Ghost.
+ “Where He Leads Me” and songs like it have, I believe, been used of God to encourage many Christians to surrender to God’s call to service.
+ God uses the right kind of music to influence the spirit world. Remember David’s playing the harp so unclean spirits would leave Saul.


Acts 10:19-21 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. 20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. 21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?

A. Concerning my means of income
+ When I was pastoring in Sylvester, GA, I had to get a part-time job. When I started looking for a job I started to turn into a convenience store and put in an application. The Spirit said, (not in an audible voice) “Hold it! If you work there you will have to bag up and sell alcoholic beverages! ‘Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink’ (Hab. 2:15).
+ Your job should be subject to your service to Christ, not the other way around.
+ Many people take a job or a job transfer and THEN try to figure out a way to serve Christ in it. See Matt. 6:33

B. Concerning my membership in a church
+ Left the Southern Baptist Convention in 1972, NEVER TO RETURN
+ 2 Cor. 6:17.

C. Concerning my ministry in the body of Christ
+ Surrendered to preach Mar. 20, 1972.
+ Started pastoring Oct., 1975.

D. Concerning my miserable sins
+ I want to get right when God deals with me.
+ When the sword of the Spirit pricks your heart, GET RIGHT!
+ That’s why we have the “invitation.”
+ “You can preach me to the altar, but you can’t preach me to the house.”

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