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1 Thessalonians   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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How to move the local church forward

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Introduction

Cooperative Ministry

Inclusion

Paul had the spotlight, he was a leader, but he always included other people around them. And in times promoted others (Like timothy). He did not shy away from the lime light but he was always focused on others – illustration – are we a black hole - do we want to see other Christians to succeed – Paul was not self-centered
Problems of a one-man dominated ministry
Biggest one: You miss out on the reality of Christ being the Head of His church and the elders being under-shepherds – that is why Christ is called the Chief Shepherd ... How could you not think that a title of Senior Pastor takes away from this picture?
- You miss out on the checks and balances that God wants to build into leadership – Your blind spots never get addressed; you become arrogant and think you don’t have blind spots; the ministry is all about you
You miss out on the checks and balances that God wants to build into leadership – Your blind spots never get addressed; you become arrogant and think you don’t have blind spots; the ministry is all about you
- You think that you are slowed down by having to wait for the agreement of others rather than seeing God as protecting you against presumptuous mistakes
You think that you are slowed down by having to wait for the agreement of others rather than seeing God as protecting you against presumptuous mistakes

Positionally

You make disciples of yourself – they have your strengths and weaknesses – they never move beyond that relationship of being your disciple and you being the Master
- You make disciples of yourself – they have your strengths and weaknesses – they never move beyond that relationship of being your disciple and you being the Master
- You stifle the ministry of the other men rather than encourage its development Positionally
You stifle the ministry of the other men rather than encourage its development Positionally
If we are truly to be inclusive then we must keep in mind who we are. If we lose perspective on us then we can never truly be inclusive
Pauls name means little - In Paul’s case, the double name may be explained in one of four ways:
i. (a) he had both from childhood;
ii. (b) being short of stature, , the contrast with his O.T. namesake, , suggested the second name;
iii. (c) he took it from Segius Paulus, the Roman proconsul whom he met at Paphos, ; it is in this context that the name Paul first occurs;
iv. (d) in self-depreciation, cp. , and et al. Of these (a) is, perhaps, to be preferred.10 -

Special

There is something special about those with whom we labor. Serving the Lord together, particularly in times of adversity, creates a bond between those who work together. We ought to rejoice for our brethren in the faith and thank the Lord for them. It would be a lonely and difficult task without those whom the Lord has placed alongside us!

Church Stewards

Perspective

Ultimately the church belongs to Jesus Christ

Personal

Even though the church belonged to Jesus Christ, they embraced their stewardship of the church in an intensely personal way. Therefore, they staked ownership into the church, not as lord(s) over the church but they made the church their own and identified with it
This means they own the church – not that they are lord over the church but they made the church their own and identified with it

Relationship

Church is not an event – but a group of people who have been united together
i. You are my brother and sister so whatever happens to you matters to me
ii. We exist in this loving relationship of caring and serving
iii. Do we view ourselves as responsible for others
iv. Are we intimately related with each other

Persecution

Unto the church (sg) of the Thessalonians (pl).” Normally, the Apostle wrote something like “unto the church which is at …” So why the difference? “Of the Thessalonians” is a little more personal and seems to be more directed toward the individuals of the congregation. “Of the Thessalonians” means the church consisting of Thessalonians. This change seems to lay stress on the individual concern of the Apostle for each member. Why? Because the members in Thessalonica were under severe persecution and testing and Paul’s heart went out to each member in their suffering.

Power

Source of Power

The church belonged to God
i. Illustration – when we were baptized if we had opened our mouth water would have come in.
ii. We have been submerged in the power of the Godhead
iii. We are united in that sphere of power
iv. If this is not happening then maybe we need to open our mouth and cry out to Him
v. Further, there is an interesting observation here which stresses the point made in the introductory remarks about writing to real people in real life situations. To note this, compare 1:1 with . Do you see any difference? Here Paul wrote, “to the church of the Thessalonians in God,” but in 1 Corinthians he wrote, “to the church of God which is at Corinth.” Why the difference? What was going on and how does this apply to us? The church at Thessalonica was undergoing persecution while the church at Corinth was troubled by party factions with some member claiming allegiance to certain personalities (see .) as though these personalities owned the church when it really, of course, belonged to God, not men. The Thessalonians needed to be reminded of their sphere of protection and provision which was in God.

Identification

f. Identification - Church – from Greek word used many different ways
i. Political meeting
ii. Pagan meeting
iii. Jews synagogue
iv. It means an assembly or a gathering – we define the church in a general way so that we are not offending anyone
v. The church Paul wrote to was a specific church
1. In the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
2. The most distinctive mark in the NT church is Jesus Christ
3. What is our mark as a church – is it Jesus Christ or are we vague

Position

g. In the Father – the word “in” reflects participation in and communion with

Pure (Sacred)

4) Consecrated Jesus
a. Paul is monotheistic
b. He puts the Lord Jesus Christ in a conjunctive relationship with the Father
c. The only way to do this is Jesus is God
d. Kurious in the Greek Septuagint is Jehovah
e. Living in this sphere of power is mediated through Jesus Christ
f. We need to look to Jesus
i. Recognize your need – that we have not wisdom so we look to His teachings
ii. Living them out in His power

Culture

5) Culture – Paul merges two cultures into a God culture
Culture – Paul merges two cultures into a God culture

Grace

points to God as the Source of the highest good.

Peace

refers to man as the recipient of divine favor.
Ryrie: Peace to us today means the absence of war; but in the Old Testament it meant harmony between man and God and the resultant wholeness and prosperity of the soul. As used here it of course has that Old Testament flavor with the Christian additive that the harmony was made possible through the death of Christ. refers to man as the recipient of divine favor.

Application

As an introduction to the significance and application of this portion of Paul’s greeting, it would be well to compare chapter 5:1-3. One of the signs and characteristics of the last days will be man’s clamor and pursuit of peace. But like a man trying to grasp oil with his hand, real and lasting peace will escape all those who seek it outside of the Lord. The society of the last days, as has been the case with the nations as a whole, will seek peace and safety by every avenue imaginable other than by God’s grace in Christ. Mankind typically seeks it through the occult, through drugs and alcohol, materialism, entertainment, wealth and possessions, religionism (man seeking the approbation of God and men by good works) which rejects grace, humanism, astrology, pantheism, and the list goes on. ,

Conclusion

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