Faithlife Sermons

Effects of the Gospel

Thessalonians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  18:11
0 ratings
· 9 views
Files
Notes
Transcript
Handout

The Reception of the Gospel

Paul writes to the Thessalonian believers thanking God for them and remembering their conversion to Christ.
D.A. Carson writes a convicting passage about this idea of thanking God for others. Paul was thankful for the believers in Thessalonica - “Unfortunately, notes Carson, “by and large, our thanksgiving seems to be tied rather tightly to our material well-being and comfort.” Is our gratitude stronger for the rescue of a lost sheep or for the retrieval of lost car keys?”
Gary Steven Shogren, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 78.
Last week we examined the elements of the Gospel:
1 Thessalonians 1:5 KJV 1900
For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
As you will recall, we spoke of the gospel consisting of:
Element One: The Words of the Gospel
Element Two: The Power of the Gospel
Element Three: The Seal of the Gospel
Element Four: The Assurance of the Gospel
Element Five: The Character of the Gospel
The Thessalonians received all five elements and then converted - changed into these wonderful examples of the believer
1 Thessalonians 1:6 KJV 1900
And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
1 Thessalonians 1:7 KJV 1900
So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
1 Thessalonians 1:8 KJV 1900
For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
1 Thessalonians 1:9 KJV 1900
For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
1 Thessalonians 1:10 KJV 1900
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Eight Effects of the Gospel

Effect 1: Following the Lord

1 Thessalonians 1:6 KJV 1900
And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
The Thessalonians: “became what the words and the lives of the apostle and his company revealed that a follower of Jesus should be. They understood that by following Paul’s teachings and example they were following the Lord. They became imitators in that their lives reflected the teaching of the Lord and his apostles.”
“An imitator (mimētēs) is to modern minds one who lacks creativity and depth. An imitation sounds like something that is not a genuine article and is therefore inferior. Such concepts do not apply to the manner in which Paul used mimētēs. In virtually every letter Paul presented himself as an example and called upon his readers to imitate his faith and his life.15 Such exhortations were appropriate, not arrogant.”
D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, vol. 33, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 60-61.
So as they followed the apostle’s pattern, they were actually following Christ Jesus.
Am I following Christ Jesus?
Am I living a pattern that others should follow?
1 Thessalonians 1:6 KJV 1900
And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

Effect 2: Faithfulness in Affliction

These believers converted in the middle of affliction and persecution. As you might remember, Paul was forced to leave Thessalonica after a short stay because the Jewish leaders of the city stirred up trouble and accused Paul and his companions of rebellion against Rome. As a result, Paul left in the middle of the night.
It was not lost on the Thessalonian believers that a decision for Christ came at a great cost.
Am I willing to pay the price for standing for Christ?
Am I willing to be inconvenienced for the cause of Christ?
1 Thessalonians 1:6 KJV 1900
And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

Effect 3: Exhibiting Joy in the Holy Spirit

Notice that The Spirit was both evidence of the fact of salvation and the assurance of the ultimate deliverance yet to come. Although conversion meant temporary affliction, it also promised eternal rejoicing.
D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, vol. 33, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 62.
They rejoiced in the midst of affliction.
How do I react when difficulties arise in my life?
How do I react when people reject me because of the gospel?
1 Thessalonians 1:7 KJV 1900
So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

Effect 4: Examples to others - saved and unsaved

The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Thessalonians (2) An Affirmation (1:6–10)

This is high praise. Although Paul frequently used the terminology of imitation (implicitly complimenting those who were worthy of imitation), he nowhere else wrote to a particular church that their faith was a pattern or type that inspired the discipleship of others.

The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Thessalonians (2) An Affirmation (1:6–10)

Macedonia was the Roman province in the northeast section of Greece. The Macedonian churches of which we are aware included those in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. Achaia was the Roman province directly south of Macedonia. In it were churches in the cities of Athens and Corinth. North to south the two provinces stretched for several hundred miles and contained all of the churches established on the second missionary journey (Acts 16:6–18:22)

Am I an example and a testimony to others?

Possibly stop here?

1 Thessalonians 1:8 KJV 1900
For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

Effect 5: Evangelism by the entire church

Michael Martin states that the Thessalonians were both models and messengers of the gospel.
1 & 2 Thessalonians Explanation of the Text

The verb conveys a sense of a loud, clear sound. Now, it is common to hear in sermons that the verb “literally” means the sound of a thunderclap (its reference in Sir 40:13) or that it “literally” means that the Thessalonians “gossiped” the gospel (it refers to the spread of a rumor in 3 Macc 3:2). This is the fallacy of importing into one context all the significance that a word can take elsewhere. Here it simply means to “sound forth.”

Some state that this simply means their faith or example was known, but the concept of the word of the Lord implies the outline of the gospel. James Ware looks at other NT uses of “word of the Lord,” “word,” or “word of God” and argues that these phrases must refer to the active transmission of the gospel: the word of the Lord sounding out “cannot refer to mere reports of the Thessalonians’ conversion.”
Gary Steven Shogren, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 70.
Here it simply means that they told others about the gospel as they had opportunity.
This is the ultimate goal of all believers - to become disciples of Christ who then communicate and encourage others to become disciples of Jesus Christ. Church growth comes by multiplication - not merely attraction.
Do I seek opportunities to share the gospel?
What is keeping me from doing so? How can I remove those barriers to evangelism?
Am I praying for opportunities to share the gospel?

Effect 6: Abandoning the old habits

Paul’s commission from the Lord:
Acts 26:18 KJV 1900
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
He did this in
Acts 14:15 KJV 1900
And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
Paul speaks of them turning from idols. Now we do not serve graven images, but many in our time serve power, fame, or money.
It is interesting as Gary Shogren notes:
1 & 2 Thessalonians Explanation of the Text

No pagans would call their cult images “idols,” since it would imply that the god was a fake. Here it has its pejorative meaning as used by the Jews and later the Christians:

So, if pagans would not call their gods an idol - how do we label our own idols? We probably don’t call it an idol - something that takes worship away from its rightful place - God. We would instead just maybe call it “my need” or “my right”
Yet, as we understand the Bible, we do not possess rights - we are to be servants of God, willing to do the service of God from the heart.
Am I tolerating idols within my heart?
Hint: take a look at sin patterns within your life - typically, they are the result of worshipping the wrong thing. For example, you might worship the idea of being in control or the idea of feeling good (i.e. happy/food/fun). It can even be another person.

Effect 7: Service to the true God

Isaiah contrasts these two ideas in Isaiah 40:18-31 where he speaks of a graven image compared to the God who is the creator and who cannot be wearied.
We serve the Almighty God.
1 & 2 Thessalonians Explanation of the Text

That is, the living God alone is able to give life. It is this very combination of ideas that the Athenians found so incredible (Acts 17:22–32): that God is the Creator, that he cannot be represented by idols, that he is the life-giver, that he raised Jesus from the dead, and that he has fixed a day of judgment. Paul preached in Athens the basic message that he had recently preached in Thessalonica. And because God truly exists and gives life, the Thessalonians have experienced his ability to changes their lives.

Am I serving God with my whole heart?

Effect 8: Waiting for the Second Coming

Related Media
Related Sermons