Summary: This is the 9th sermon in the 1 Thessalonians series, "Encouragement". How is your behavior?

Series: Encouragement [#9]


1 Thessalonians 5:12-28


As we conclude this letter to the Thessalonians, Paul explains to us what godly behavior looks like. Paul gives us a list of things we should and should not be doing. All of this is for the purpose of believers to acting in ways that strengthen the Church. It recommends actions that can produce a healthy, growing fellowship.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NIV)

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.

You model godly behavior by…

1. Supporting hard working leaders.

When children fail to appreciate what parents do for them, we may overlook it because they are immature; but it shouldn’t be that way for Christian adults. Church members are to appreciate their leaders. Churches should notice good behavior. It is stressful to serve in Church leadership, especially when the Lord is using you to preach things that people don’t want to hear. It is interesting that this is followed up with a call for peace. Building the Church requires peace. Are you an agent of peace in your Church?

1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 (NIV)

14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

You model godly behavior by…

2. Bringing out the best in others.

While attending WTSU in Canyon, the BSU director which was also my Old Testament Survey instructor said, “My job would be a lot easier if it were not for students.” Of course, he knew that without students, he would have no job. If all of the students were fully informed and mature, they would have no need for school or BSU. The Church is much the same way. We might wish for a fully mature and problem-free church; but 1 sign of a growing, healthy church is the presence of immature persons in its fellowship. Griping about their presence is like a doctor griping about the presence of sick people in the waiting room.

People with problems, (whether their problems are spiritual, emotional, or physical) need help. Yet, ministry to these people can be trying. They do not always respond well or quickly, even to those trying to help them. So, believers are to be “patient with everyone”. Patience can sound passive, like doing nothing; but the Church is not to ignore people with problems. Instead we are to try to help them just as God helped us in our sin. We help by introducing them to Jesus, by showing them godly love, by not responding to evil with evil acts of our own. We should be bringing out the best in them, not the worst.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

You model godly behavior by…

3. Finding joy in the Lord.

God wants the best for us. This truth underlies the 3 brief commands in verses 16-18. Believers know God’s power and love. He has welcomed us into His family and given us a sure future. Thus, we rejoice, pray, and give thanks. God wants us to have a life of joy, full of reasons to offer thanks and sincere worship to Him. At all times and in all circumstances; we have reason to rejoice, worship, and give thanks.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (NIV)

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

You model godly behavior by…

4. Following spiritual wisdom.

There have been some evangelist and preachers, mainly television evangelist, that have been exposed as frauds and the people that had been supporting them were really upset because they were tricked. They also use this as their reason for not trusting any preachers. Paul knew false teachers would infiltrate the Church and he argued against false teachings in several letters. Yet the true Gospel is also proclaimed in the Church and the people need to remain open to hear the Word of God.

The 2 parallel statements in verses 19-20 urge the Church to remain open to the Spirit of God. Christians who “do not quench the Spirit” or “do not treat prophecies with contempt” can hear spiritual truth. I can assure you, if you come in here with a “bad attitude” don’t expect to leave with spiritual truths because you are quenching the Spirit and not only are you hurting your own spiritual walk; but you are hurting the Church. The Church also is responsible to listen with discernment. Anyone can claim to speak for God. Read and study God’s Word, don’t just take my word on it.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion