We will finish today our study of the first Letter to the Thessalonians. We spent a number of weeks with the last 16 verses of the letter because there are so many great instructions there for us!
Last week we noted that every Christian is in the army of Jesus Christ and are in a battle which Jesus already won! As we live as Christians, Jesus Christ wants us to experience the victory by being allegiant to Him and maintaining order in His army! The battle we face as Christians is a spiritual one against our own sins, worldliness, and the devil!
Instead of reporting to the world and sometimes honoring the devil, let us daily report to and salute Jesus Christ, our Commanding Officer! If you have not yet made this commitment, I encourage you to do it right now. Jesus Christ can show up at any moment, and whether you like it or not, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! So why wait?
And, Let us maintain order in Christ’s army by following the instructions given by God. We have noted many of these instructions in v12-28 of 1 Thessalonians 5. Please open your Bibles there now…
Read along with me again 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28…….
There are 2 key phrases from this passage:
v28: Every Christian must depend on Christ’s grace!
Without the grace of Jesus Christ we are nothing and would still be enemies of God! We can only go on because of God’s grace.
Christians have received and continue to receive the grace of Jesus Christ and belong to the army of God. You are again warned if you have never received God’s grace by believing in Jesus Christ; non-believers are still enemies of God.
But if you are a Believer of Christ, you are in His army and you are called, as stated in
v13b: Live in peace (eirene) with each other.
The original Greek word here for peace signifies wholeness and harmony! And so, Christians are to maintain the wholeness and harmony of the army they are in.
And so, as Christians depend on Christ’s grace, they are to maintain wholeness and harmony by following the instructions given (as we had noted in previous messages from v14-27). These instructions are our orders from our commanding Officer Jesus Christ! There are many on the list, so may I suggest this; every day of this week review a verse or 2 starting with v14 tomorrow!
Now, we will close by simply practicing v12-13……….
The word respect from this NIV translation indicates knowing, remembering, and appreciating those who work hard in the church.
The phrase over you indicates those who presides, directs, and maintains.
Admonish you indicates counseling you.
What else are we to do with those who work hard and leads us?
To those who work hard in the church, we are to think highly of them and agape love them!
Agape love is always thinking of the betterment of the other, not self seeking.
One of the reasons we have the names of our leaders is in front of our Weekly bulletin is to put in practice 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13. Please look at the front of your bulletin now.
Along with studying God’s Word, let us commit to praying and encouraging these leaders on a daily basis!
Let us do it right now……….