Living Until His Return
In 1 Thessalonians 3:1-8, Paul writes to a very young church that was undergoing severe persecution. Paul sent Timothy to strengthen their faith, to keep them from being unsettled by trials, and to ensure that thy tempter would not be victorious in their lives. We must remember that trials and persecutions were predicted by Jesus, and we should pray that we will be found faithful.
Paul deeply desired to return to the young church in Thessalonica, but he was blocked by Satan. Satan is real, he is evil, and he opposed us as individuals and as a church, but Satan is not God’s equal. If we are alert and stand firm in the Word of God and prayer, Satan can be resisted.
God’s word is divine truth that will transform our lives and sustain us in persecution. Jesus prayed for all believers, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 (NIV)
Paul encourages the Thessalonians to walk in a manner worthy of God, a life that pleases God, because He calls us into His kingdom and glory. Pastor Mitchell then give us some ways from the scripture on how we can live a worthy life.
The Gospel has been entrusted to us and in order to share it we must pray for God-given boldness. The Gospel is to be shared in sincerity and in fullness from a heart of love and from a desire to serve and praise Christ.
The Gospel has been entrusted to the church and it has the power to save us from sin and transform our thinking and living. John 3:16 is the gospel in miniature . If we reject God’s love, we are in danger of perishing because of our sin. God gave His Son to provide our rescue, and whoever embraces Jesus by faith alone is promised salvation and eternal life.
Silence for the sake of safety is not biblical. Have the courage to speak the Gospel in the face of opposition, relying on God’s help and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 (NIV) Let’s turn to the true…
The Thessalonian believers were commended for living out the Gospel and passing it on. We also should be models of how our lives have been changed by Christ – not models of perfection but of making progress in becoming Christlike. We are entrusted to boldly and compassionately share the Gospel. May we never be guilty of not speaking the Gospel.
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of…
The imitation of Christ is to be our chief end. There should not be a gap between the Christ we proclaim verbally and the Christ we present visibly. With dependence upon the Holy Spirit, let us seriously consider the life of Jesus and pray for holiness.
Paul reminds the Thessalonian believers that they were loved and chosen by God before the creation of the world. Being chosen results in our spiritual adoption into His family and our progress in holiness, with the ultimate goal being that we will respond in praise and worship.
Paul expresses thanks to God in 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 for His transforming grace in the lives of the Thessalonians. Their faith has produced a zeal for good works, their love has prompted them to intense labor and service, and their confident hope in the return or Christ has resulted in steadfast endurance. Let us verbally express our thanks to God for these same virtues and ask Him to increase them in our lives.
Paul’s greeting to the Thessalonians is “Grace and peace to you…”. Grace is God’s undeserved favor and kindness to those who have dishonored His name, disobeyed His laws, and rejected His authority. Peace is reconciliation with God through being justified by faith in Christ and His substitutionary sacrifice for us. Grace and peace make us into a church community, called out of the world to publicly belong to Christ.
The Bible contains the authoritative truth of God which has the power to change us. The book of 1 Thessalonians teaches us how to live in anticipation of the return of Christ, with joy and with love for each other and for a lost world. As we begin our study of 1 Thessalonians , let us study this epistle humbly, expectantly, and prayerfully.