Sermons by Mitchell Gregory
The Church is to be busy in the world for Jesus while we wait for Him to return from heaven. Christ will come again in bodily form. We should live with a spirit of urgency and eagerness as we imitate Christ, serve Him, and share the good news of the Gospel.
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.
On the cross, the Son of God endured agony and public humiliation. As He heard the mocking of the onlookers He spoke words of forgiveness, promise, care, and victory. The significance of the cross is that Christ died specifically for each of us as individuals, to absorb the wrath of God on our behalf and bring us to reconciliation with God. Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on…
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.
Fellowship is the mingling of our lives together, often at great cost, because of all that we have in common. Our salvation which allows us to have a personal relationship with Christ immediately brings us into a corporate relationship with others. Fellowship means living for one another, helping each other grow spiritually, and taking care of the needy among us in genuine love.
1 John 5:13 assures us that we may know for certain that we have experienced true salvation and will one day go to heaven. This passage, along with the remainder of 1 John, declares the marks of a Christian. First, a genuine Christian believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the savior of the world. Next, a believer will show progress (not perfection) toward an obedient lifestyle of holiness. Finally, Christians love one another sacrificially and humbly (1 John 4:7-11).
What does it mean to be saved? Salvation is an “all of life” term that begins with a specific point in which we have been saved, delivered from the penalty of sin through faith in Christ (Romans 2:15 & Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation continues as we grow in holiness through dependance upon God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. We are being saved from the power of sin (1Corinthians 1:18). In the future day of glorification, at the return of Christ, we will be saved from the presence of sin (Hebrews 9:28).
Worship is a natural response to grace as the Holy Spirit gives us the desire to speak and sing to God about His attributes and actions. We are to worship God in spirit (heartfelt) and truth (in accordance with Scripture). Worship is an eternal joyous reality (Psalms 145:1-2), a corporate activity (Psalm 95:1-2), and a daily lifestyle (Psalm 104:33). Like the early church in Acts 2:41,47 let us be devoted to worship.
Private and corporate prayer both flow out of our love for God and for others. We have access to the Father because of Christ the righteous, our mediation (Hebrews 10:19-22). The early church was devoted to prayer, making it a priority. We should specifically plan for times of praise, confession, and intercession, and we should also live in an attitude of prayer, ready to lift up prayers as we feel led throughout the day.
The breaking of bread in Acts 2 refers to the Lord’s Supper: a practice commanded by Jesus that we are to continue with earnest devotion. Communion is an act of worship that allows us to look back upon the sacrifice of Christ, look around in fellowship, and look ahead in anticipation of Christ’s return.
The early church was devoted to the apostles’ teaching. These new believers made it a priority to be a learning community, and it is also vital for each of us to ponder and pray through scripture with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The prayer of Jesus for future believers was, “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.” (John 17:17 ESV).
Peter’s message in Acts 2 caused many of the listeners to experience deep conviction, so they asked, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Repentance is utterly necessary, full forgiveness of sins is promised, and the message of salvation is urgent. Let us respond in faith and true repentance. We will no longer be separated from God, and the Holy Spirit will empower us to live for Christ.
When Peter preaches in Acts 2:32-36 that Jesus is both “Lord and Christ,” what does this mean and how should this impact our lives? The term Lord in scripture refers to the only true God. Jesus is also the only Savior of all, the Christ, the Anointed One who has been given authority to rule in every aspect of our lives.
Peter, who just 50 days earlier had fervently denied Christ, is now preaching with boldness by the mercy of Christ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. His sermon (Acts 2:14-21) explains from the prophet Joel that the last days had arrived, the promised gift of the Spirit had been poured out, and the world’s savior had been identified. Let us ask the Father for more indwelling of the Spirit in order to fearlessly proclaim the Gospel to whole world.