Sunday, May 15, 2016

Paul's Epistles - I Thessalonians Part 2 – Paul’s Ministry

Paul's Epistles -  I Thessalonians
Part 2 – Paul’s Ministry
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |


We began looking at the basics of Christianity and the foundation of the church. How it was constructed, how it is to operate, and the instructions we as followers of Christ are given.

We looked at the Book of Acts, which shows the ups and downs of the Apostles and the early church. Many of the issues they had then, we still deal with today. So it is good for us to read these books and keep an eye on ourselves.

After Acts, we looked at the first few chapters of Revelation to read what the letters Jesus sent to the churches consisted of. We learned where the church were doing good, where they were messing up, and in all cases, how they were “supposed” to be.

We took those letters, compiled them and read them as if it were Christ’s instructions to us, as individuals, and as a church.

From the letter’s of Christ, we turned then to Paul’s letters, or epistles.

First looking at the Book of Romans, then to I and II Corinthians, from there to Galatians, and now we are looking at his letter to the Thessalonians.

This letter is believed to be Paul’s first letter.

We will now look at Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica.

You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. Instead, we were like young children[a] among you.
Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.[b]
17 But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. 19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 20 Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

a. We suffered and was treated outrageously in Philippi

                                                                                  i. But with help from God
1. His guidance
2. His Holy Spirit
3. His timing
4. His making a way

                                                                               ii. We dared to tell you His Gospel in the face of strong opposition

b. Our appeal does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you

                                                                                  i. They didn’t preach in error as the Jews claimed

                                                                               ii. No impure motives

1. It wasn’t for money, they worked!
2. It wasn’t for control, they left afterwards!
3. It wasn’t to destroy, they were building up!

4. There was no other purpose but to show them how to be forgiven, and receive the very salvation God had promised since the beginning of sin.

c. On the contrary!
                                                                                  i. We speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel

                                                                               ii. We are not trying to please people, but God

                                                                            iii. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed

                                                                              iv. We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.
1. The Word proclaims a workman is worthy of his pay, and they could have demanded by right compensation
2. However, because of the times, and all the false teaching in order to get money from believers (prosperity preaching, still being used today) the apostles worked to earn their keep so as not to be accused of preaching simply for money.

                                                                                 v. Instead, we were like young children among you.
1. In other words, gentle, kind

a. Because we love you, we gladly shared the Gospel and our lives
                                                                                  i. You witnessed our toil and hardships

b. We worked night and day so as not to be a burden to anyone while we preached

c. We dealt with you as a father with his own children
                                                                                  i. First Paul mentions they were gentle like children

                                                                               ii. Then he says the apostles loved them as a mother loves her children

                                                                            iii. He then reminds that the apostles disciplined as a father to his own children
1. They are family, the family of God

2. The body of Christ

3. Kindness and gentleness of children

4. The love and protection of a mother

5. And the discipline of a loving father who corrects his children so that they may have the best life possible

a. Because you received the Word which you heard from us and accepted it as the Word of God
                                                                                  i. This was a nice break from all the opposition they usually received

                                                                               ii. Enough so, that they “continually thank God” for them twice and we have only read the first two pages of the letter!

b. And because you became imitators of the church in Judea
                                                                                  i. You suffer from your own people just as the other churches had to endure from the Jews who killed Jesus

1. Just as some of us have to from our friends, family, coworkers, etc..

c. Those Jews (or those who try to stand in the way of others preaching the Gospel of Salvation) displease God

                                                                                  i. They are hostile to everyone in efforts to keep them from speaking to Gentiles so they may be saved.

                                                                               ii. Is there modern day Hostile Jews in the world who try to prevent the preaching of the Gospel of Salvation?
1. Y E S

CONCLUSION Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

In this way (being hostile towards those who preach the Gospel of Salvation) they HEAP UP THEIR SINS TO THE LIMIT.

The wrath of God has come upon them (fully) at last.

We were separated from you in person, not in thought, and made every effort to see you, but Satan blocked our way.

What is our hope, joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when He comes?  It is you!!!  You are our glory and joy!

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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