Friday, September 17, 2010

Thessalonians, 1st in a Series: "What Do Others Think of You?"

1 Thessalonians 1

* How To Live To Make A Godly Impression

* Thessalonians is one of the earliest books of the New Testament, probably written 50-51 AD by Paul. Thessalonica was a port city of 200,000 in Paul's time, along a main Roman highway. (Acts 17:1-9 tell of Paul in Thessalonica, which is modern day Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece.)

* When you live for Christ, not everyone will like you. Which is OK. Remember, Jesus was killed, and Paul, and James, and likely all of the disciples except John. Many Christians then, and still today, are killed.

1. Live Properly in Christian Community (v. 1)
* Some people will say they want to be spiritual and believe in spirituality but don't "do organized religion." Remember that God is a proponent of organized religion. The speaker of Hebrews reminds us, "don't neglect gathering together..." Their are 'bad apples' in every bunch, but 'organized religion' in the way God intended his the body of Christ. There are two churches...
A. The Universal church: the all time saints.
B. The Local church: of the 120 or so times the church is mentioned in the new testament, 80 percent or more of those times, God is talking about the local church body. Isn't it God's will for us to be sold out to Christ, through the local body? The local church supernaturally builds us up and allows us to help others.

2. Live A Life Of True Good Works (v. 3)
* We're not saved BY works, but we are saved TO work.
* Does service flow from your HEART? What motivates your "good" deeds?
* (v. 9) They turned from wrong to do right things from hearts of love and service.

3. (v. 3-6) Live Consistently For God
* A cheerful pushing on is "endurance"
* Each of these 5 chapters in 1 Thessalonians ends speaking of the Second Coming, of HOPE, which in Greek is a stronger words than the English hope. Hope in Greek is assurance, an anticipation and longing based in certainty.
* It's not how high you jump, it's how straight you walk.

4. Live As A Model For Others (v. 6-7)
* a model = a mold or imprint
* Do I live consistently in a way worth modeling?

5. Live Loudly and Positively for Jesus (v. 8-9)
* "the word sounded forth like a trumpet..." a trumpet is LOUD; God doesn't want secret agents.