1 Thessalonians

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“See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people” (1 Thessalonians 5:15 NLT).

October 12, 2018

DO GOOD TO ALL PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES
Paul’s instruction to the Thessalonians is straight out of the Jesus playbook! Didn’t Jesus teach us to turn the other cheek and to pray for those who persecute us? This is a hard saying, for it goes against our desire to inflict pain back onto those who injure us. Yet, it is one of the most radical responses that we can make. For it breaks the cycle of evil by overcoming evil with good. To love our enemies is to be like Jesus who died for us while we were yet sinners.

Who has hurt you today and you are even now thinking about how to hurt them back? Stop. Release your hurt to the Lord, asking Him to defend you, so that you might do good even to that one who has hurt you.

“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you” (1 Thessalonians 4:1 NLT).

October 11, 2018

LIVING TO PLEASE GOD
The apostle Paul urged the Thessalonian believers to live in a way that pleased God. He followed his urging with several practical instructions on how they might live a holy life. Yet his instruction was based on the reality of their faith in Christ. For the key to living a life that pleases God is faith. As we read in Hebrews, “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Heb. 11:6). So, it is our faith in Christ that saves us and our faith in His indwelling Spirit that empowers us to live a life that pleases God. As Paul told the Romans, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:17).

“Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of great opposition” (1 Thessalonians 2:2 NLT).

October 9, 2018

GOD’S ENCOURAGEMENT TO DECLARE THE GOSPEL
Paul and Silas had been severely mistreated and jailed in the nearby city of Philippi before coming to Thessalonica. Yet that did not cause them to be timid in sharing the Gospel. For God gave them courage to declare “His Good News” to them boldly.

When we’ve been hurt or harassed for telling others about Jesus, it often has the effect of causing us to remain silent. Perhaps even the thought that people would make fun of us, or reject us, discourages us from declaring the Gospel. But when we are obedient to open our mouths, God is faithful to encourage and embolden us in declaring the Good News, so that sinners are saved by hearing and believing. Our conviction that the Gospel is the very power of God unto salvation (Rom.1:16), makes us bold.

Release Your Child to the Lord

July 29, 2018 | 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 | parenting, Christian parenting

Full Transcript Available

Godly parents recognize their call to be leaders who make disciples. If we want to be effective, we have to match our parenting style to every child’s situation.

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul told them that he had discipled them like a parent according to their situation, sometimes gentle and affectionate like a mother and sometimes strong like a father in order to release them to live up to God’s calling. We can parent our children following God’s Word to match our child’s situation with a goal of releasing them to the Lord.

(Note: due to a technical issue, only audio is available for this sermon)

“For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?” (1 Thessalonians 3:9-10 NKJV).

October 10, 2017

The apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the new believers at Thessalonica after hearing Timothy’s report concerning them. He was working in Athens when he felt compelled to send Timothy back to check on them. When Timothy returned to him with his great report of their continued faith in the Lord and their longing to see Paul again, he was overjoyed. He thanked God for them to such degree that he questioned how he might be even more thankful for them. Perhaps his thankfulness could be better expressed if he could only see them face to face and continue to “perfect” (“bring to completion”) their discipleship, he reasoned.

Paul was a firm believer in life on life discipleship. He always wanted to be face to face with those he was mentoring that he might “perfect” their discipleship, training them up to maturity in Christ. As he mentioned earlier in his letter, his discipleship included not only giving them the gospel, but also giving them himself because of his love for them (1 Thess. 2:8). This is the combination of spiritual and relational power that life on life discipleship brings to bear.

“For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 ESV)

October 10, 2016

Making disciples is a relational endeavor. The apostle Paul illustrated this by how he related to his flock in Thessalonica as a “father with his children.” Depending on the Spirit’s guidance, he used all manner of relational approaches according to their need. Some he “exhorted,” coming beside them to call them out for correction. Some he “encouraged,” using a personal touch to comfort and console those who were weak. Others he “charged,” reminding them of their identity in Christ and bearing witness to them of God’s upward calling. Making disciples is our calling too. Not in an institutional way, but life on life, like a mother or a father with their children.

Release Your Child to the Lord

August 1, 2016 | 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 | parenting

Parents have questions… Practical questions like: How and when should I discipline my child? How do I get them potty trained? And spiritual questions like: When is my child old enough to confess faith in Christ? What about baptism and the Lord’s Supper? How can I be sure that they are saved? In answering these questions, we have God’s Word as our guide, but we must also take into account the child’s level of maturity. Have you noticed that every child is unique? No two are the same. And as they grow, they change. So the parenting style that seemed effective when they were small, doesn’t work when they’re older. These differences need different parenting styles.

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul told them that he had been willing to parent according to their situation, sometimes gentle and affectionate like a mother and sometimes strong like a father in order to release them to live up to God’s calling. We can parent our children following God’s Word to match our child’s situation with a goal of releasing them to the Lord.

Cooperating with God’s Goal (1 Thessalonians 5:12-28)

July 10, 2016 | 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 | exposition

What’s your life goal? Do you have one? What do you think God’s goal for your life is? Would you like to know? What is God’s goal for your life? That you become like Christ. Born again with a new nature, becoming like Jesus, so that you might be ready for Christ’s return. In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he closed the letter with final instructions on how they might cooperate with God’s goal for them to be sanctified and ready for Christ’s return.

Facing the Day (1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:11)

July 3, 2016 | 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 5:11 | exposition, end times

Have you ever had to face the death of loved one? Do you know the grief of such loss? Do ever feel discouraged by the increasing trouble in this world? Did you know that the Lord has a word for you to help you face such days? Including the Day of all days? In these passages of 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5, Paul tells the believers of Thessalonica that they can be ready to face the Day of the Lord. We too can be ready to face the Day of Christ’s return.

Living to Please God (1 Thessalonians 4:1-12)

June 26, 2016 | 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 | exposition

Who are you trying to please? Is it your parents, your spouse, your kids, your neighbors or friends? What about God? Do you care whether God is pleased with your life? Another way of asking this is: Do you want God’s will for your life? Do you want to live to fulfill God’s will and calling on your life? In chapter four of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he instructed the believers to live in a way that would please God as they await the return of His Son, Jesus.