Summary: This is the 57th sermon in the series "Action". This is the 7th sermon from 1 Thessalonians.

Series: Action [#57]


1 Thessalonians 5:12-28


On this Father’s Day, we are going to look at modelling godly behavior. Paul gives us a list of things we should and should not be doing. All of this is for the purpose of believers to act in ways that strengthen the Church.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

You model godly behavior by…

1. Supporting hard working leaders.

When children fail to appreciate what parents do for them, we overlook it because they are immature; but it shouldn’t be that way for Christian adults. Church members are to appreciate their leaders and 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?

1 Thessalonians 5:14-15

You model godly behavior by…

2. Bringing out the best in others.

While attending WTSU in Canyon, the BSU director 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 helps 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

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; and that should cause us to 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 reasons to rejoice, worship, and give thanks.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

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.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

You model godly behavior by…

5. Depending on the Lord.

My computer is an excellent machine that helps with my study and sermons notes; but without power it would be nothing more than a useless pile of parts. Similarly, Paul gave great advice in this passage at promoting the health and growth of the Church; but he knew the best processes and programs were useless apart from the power of God. So, the prayer at the end of the letter highlights God’s provision for the work of the Church and in the life of the individual believer.

The prayer consists of 2 requests and an assurance. The requests were for God to sanctify and to guard or protect the believers. We who seek to obey God should not think we can do so in our own power. God is the One who sanctifies. He also preserves us. Our entire being is secure in His hands. This prayer assures us of God’s faithfulness. God will do what He has promised. Can we do less than respond with faithful obedience?

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