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Living in Christian Community

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Living in Christian Community

We exist for the sole purpose of glorifying God and The Church exist as the One visible demonstration of the community of believers. We are called to no other group or commitment as we are called to the The Church. Paul spends a lot of time in the epistles explaining how the Church is to function and how we are to demonstrate community.

1 Thessalonians 5:12–28 NKJV
12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Paul uses the word urge here to express His personal desire for the following to take place but also that it is expected but cannot be forced… a favor as it might be.

In verses 12-13 He gives them clear direction about the leaders within their fellowship.

A. Relating to Leadership.

1. They are those that labor (Leaders)

Paul has already clarified that these are leaders among them (Among in middle English carries the idea of one tree within a larger group.)

It would also be important to state that Paul seemed to make a practice of selecting leaders very soon upon planting a new Church.

Paul makes it clear that the leaders where to carry out labors on behalf of the Congregation.

2. Over you (In the Lord)

This is not an empty optional request within the Christian Community.

Hebrews 13:17 NKJV
17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

If we are to truly believe when someone in prayerfully chosen then it is God who has chosen

Ephesians 4:11 NKJV
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

3. They have the responsibility (have the Authority to) admonish you as needed.

This word admonish carries with it more the idea of warning and should be delivered that way.

4. Esteem them… don't worship them!

Hold in High Regard.... Basically its an encouragement to value their position and how that position benefits you as a believer.

5. Be at Peace

Between the Leaders and the Church
No

B. Playing well together.

1 Thessalonians 5:14–15 NKJV
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

There is no perfect Church!

1. Some will need to be warned (Admonished)

You see it is each member of the Bodies responsibility to watch out for their fellow member.

Heres the real kicker… what group is to be warned? The Unruly are those that are idle! these people become disruptive.

2. Some will need to be comforted. The Fainthearted

This word has an amazing definition.... Lifeless musical instruments.

Philippians 2:2 NKJV
2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

3. Some will need to be held up. (Come along side their weakness)

1 Corinthians 9:22 NKJV
22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

4. Patience will be a valuable commodity. (With some?)

There is no believer who needs not the exercise of patience “toward” him; there is none to whom a believer ought not to show it; many show it more to strangers than to their own families, more to the great than to the humble; but we ought to show it “toward all men”

a. Don’t return evil for how people deal with you.

b. Do your good so it benefits all.

C. Reaching our goals as a body of believers.

1 Thessalonians 5:16–22 NKJV
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
1 Thess 5:16-
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

1. Rejoice always

Rejoice always
2 Corinthians 6:10 NKJV
10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
Philippians 4:4 NKJV
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Pray continually

2. Pray continually

The Greek is, “Pray without intermission”

Leave no gaps in your life where prayer isnt systimatic and regular.

3. Give Thanks in all things

Romans 8:28 NKJV
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

4. Do not quench the Spirit

The word quench means to cause a fervent activity to stop. Watering down a flame
5. Do not belittle what God must do.

5. Discern and then hold

Test everything to see if it is compatible to God’s Word then Hold Fast
Luke 8:15 NKJV
15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
Luke 8
7. Reject evil
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