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The Word of God is Testable and True

2 Thessalonians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Bible is the Truth for our lives which is testable and constant.

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Before we begin our study on the book of 2nd Thessalonians, I want to begin with some background on the city of Thessalonica from the book of Acts and explore a theme which will prove helpful for us as we continue forward: the reliability of the Gospel.
Context:
Population during Paul’s day was approximately 200,000 people. It was the largest city in the region.
Paul’s Ministry to Thessalonica. Acts 17:1-9
Acts 17:1–9 CSB
1 After they passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As usual, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and rise from the dead: “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah.” 4 Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, including a large number of God-fearing Greeks, as well as a number of the leading women. 5 But the Jews became jealous, and they brought together some wicked men from the marketplace, formed a mob, and started a riot in the city. Attacking Jason’s house, they searched for them to bring them out to the public assembly. 6 When they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city officials, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here too, 7 and Jason has welcomed them. They are all acting contrary to Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king—Jesus.” 8 The crowd and city officials who heard these things were upset. 9 After taking a security bond from Jason and the others, they released them.

1. The Gospel Stands True

Acts 17:1–4 CSB
1 After they passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As usual, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and rise from the dead: “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah.” 4 Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, including a large number of God-fearing Greeks, as well as a number of the leading women.
Paul located a synagogue in the city and preached there three successive sabbaths.
Paul went where the religious people were, namely Jews, and argued for Jesus the Messiah from the Scripture. Paul went to the Jewish place of worship in Thessalonica.
Paul was likely here longer than three weeks, but he only preached in the synagogue for three Sabbath days.
What does Paul do:
“reasons with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and rise from the dead”
Paul is continuing the Ministry of Jesus we see in Luke 24:25-27, and Luke 24:44-47
Luke 24:25–27 CSB
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures.
Luke 24:45–47 CSB
45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead the third day, 47 and repentance for forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
What are “the Scriptures” which Paul reasons with them from? The Old Testament books of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms.
Two greek words here “Dianoigo” and “Paratithemi” The first means “to explain, to open up , to make evident.” and the latter “to establish evidence to show that something is true.”
Paul does not merely argue eloquently or propose logical conclusions. No, he shows how the Word of God makes clear to man the necessity for a savior and the necessity for this Savior to live, die, and rise from the dead. The use of both of these words in this sentence show that Paul not only argued for reliability of the Gospel, his argument proved successful. Paul not only explained, from the Scriptures, this reality, but he proved it to be true.
Paul’s Proclamation: the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead, and Jesus Christ is the Messiah. This is the same message Jesus preached about Himself.
? What should we focus on when talking to others about the Bible and Christianity? We focus on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
What should we focus on when talking to others about the Bible?
“Foundationally, Jesus taught that God’s saving plan for humanity necessitated his death and resurrection. Paul similarly sought to explain and prove from the Scriptures that the Messiah had to (edei, ‘it was necessary’, implies a divine necessity) suffer and rise from the dead. His first concern was doubtless apologetic, to explain how the crucified Jesus could possibly be the Messiah (‘This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah’). But he must also have wanted to explain and offer to his audience the benefits of that death and resurrection.” (The Acts of the Apostles (1. The Gospel Provokes Jealousy and Turmoil (17:1–9)))
The Messiah Each of these use the articular form of Messiah “The Christ.” Here Luke uses the articular form of Christ. This man is the Christ, the Messiah. Messiah means one who has been anointed. When used of Jesus, this means “God’s anointed redeemer.” or “The one set apart by God for the salvation and redemption of God’s people.”
Matthew 2:4 CSB
4 So he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Messiah would be born.
John 4:25 CSB
25 The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Each of these use the articular form of Messiah “The Christ.” Here Luke uses the articular form of Christ. This man is the Christ, the Messiah. Messiah means one who has been anointed. When used of Jesus, this means “God’s anointed redeemer.” or “The one set apart by God for the salvation and redemption of God’s people.”
Paul is not arguing for the reliability of the transmission of the text. Instead, he is arguing for the sensibility of Scripture as an accurate account of how things are.
The Bible is the source of all truth in our lives. When we have questions about lifestyle, sexuality, identity, worship, we need to run to the Bible as our source of truth instead of running to culture around us. Culture gives us a changing account of how things are and this account can change on a dime.
Cultures view on marriage, sexuality, money habits, success, etc change on a dime and change to fit whatever mood the culture is in at the time.
The Bible gives an accurate, unchanging representation of how things really are. And the Gospel of Jesus gives us the only source of truth for Salvation.
Why does it matter whether the Bible is an accurate account of how things really are?

2. The Gospel Provokes Jealousy

Acts 17:5-9 “5 But the Jews became jealous, and they brought together some wicked men from the marketplace, formed a mob, and started a riot in the city. Attacking Jason’s house, they searched for them to bring them out to the public assembly. 6 When they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city officials, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here too, 7 and Jason has welcomed them. They are all acting contrary to Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king—Jesus.” 8 The crowd and city officials who heard these things were upset. 9 After taking a security bond from Jason and the others, they released them.”
As a result of Paul preaching the Gospel and people turning in repentance of their sin to Jesus the Messiah, the Jews who did not turn became jealous.
Acts 13:45 CSB
45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what Paul was saying, insulting him.
Acts 17:5 CSB
5 But the Jews became jealous, and they brought together some wicked men from the marketplace, formed a mob, and started a riot in the city. Attacking Jason’s house, they searched for them to bring them out to the public assembly.
It is likely these Jews were jealous because Paul was poaching would be converts to Judaism as he taught about Jesus Christ.
How do the Jews respond?
They gathered wicked men. some translations say “worthless men.” But why were they Jealous that Paul was gathering followers? Let’s look to another instance of this response to find an answer.
These Jews were so desperate to get rid of Paul that they went into the marketplace and grabbed some bad apples in order to riot against Paul.
They start a riot and begin searching for Paul and Silas but are unsuccessful and so they drag Jason our of his home, likely a place they knew Paul had frequented, and dragged them before the public assembly.
The frustration of the Jews is seen in how they are speaking before the assembly. Their jealousy has turned to anger and shouting as they accuse the house of Jason of “
Acts 17:6–7 CSB
6 When they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city officials, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here too, 7 and Jason has welcomed them. They are all acting contrary to Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king—Jesus.”
The Jews accuse Paul, Silas, and the local Christian believers or two things
These Christians are part of a movement of people throughout the Roman Empire who are stirring up people and causing a threat to Roman Society
These Christians are guilty of sedition
“They are all acting contrary to Caesar’s decrees”
This is likely in response to a special edict given against the rioting of Chrestus
“saying that there is another king - Jesus”
They are seeking to place the Christians and Romans against each other with this statement. Painting a picture of the Christians that shows them as people who are against the empire because they claim Jesus is king.
Acts 17:8–9 CSB
8 The crowd and city officials who heard these things were upset. 9 After taking a security bond from Jason and the others, they released them.
The local magistrate or leaders give some flexibility or some credence to the Christians, they were forced to post bond and then they were released.
So we see that as the Gospel goes forward, some of those who hear the Gospel turn in repentance and as a result there are those who are opposed to the Gospel who respond in jealousy. Now we are going to look at a second type of people who respond differently to the Gospel proclamation.
What are some ways the world responds to the Gospel Proclamation?
What are some ways the world responds to people coming to know Christ?

3. The Gospel Provokes an Eager Searching of the Scriptures

Acts 17:10–15 CSB
10 As soon as it was night, the brothers and sisters sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. Upon arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 The people here were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, since they received the word with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Consequently, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul at Berea, they came there too, agitating and upsetting the crowds. 14 Then the brothers and sisters immediately sent Paul away to go to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed on there. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving instructions for Silas and Timothy to come to him as quickly as possible, they departed.
How did the people of Berea respond to the Gospel proclamation?
They received the word with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Examined: anakrino from the root work Krino. Krino means to judge or pass judgement. Anakrino means the concept of “to try to learn the nature or truth of something by the process of careful study, evaluation and judgement - to examine carefully.
How many of you have heard “You just have to believe?”
While there is certainly an element of belief in Christianity even when we may not have all the answers. To be certain, Christianity can stand up to our scrutiny.
The Berean believers listened to what Paul had to say, and then they went back and examined the scriptures.
If you are struggling with belief or even doubt tonight I have four statements for you that are encouragement:
1. The Bible can handle your questions
2. The Bible can handle your doubt
3. God can handle your questions
4. God can handle your doubt
The Berean believers turned in repentance after eagerly and carefully searching the Scriptures. I would recommend to everyone here: Study the word, see the truth of the Word of God, bring your questions and your hurt to God our Father.
Where should we turn when we have questions in our lives?
How have you seen the Bible provide answers to the questions you have in your life?
I firmly believed the Bible holds the answers to all the questions of our life that matter.
If you are a believer here tonight, I challenge you to be like the Berean believers. I challenge you to make the Bible the guidepost of your life. Allow the Bible to be the source of truth that it is.
If you are an unbeliever and are struggling with doubt over whether Christianity is true or not. I challenge you to respond like the Berean believers and examine the Bible for yourself. Bring all of your concerns and doubts to the Bible and search for the answers you are seeking in the Scripture. Come and talk to me or another adult and ask us to walk through scripture with you. I would love to walk through the Bible with any of you.
I am challenging all of you to bring your questions and concerns to God, He is big enough for them and His word provides answers to all of life.
<Let’s pray>
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