Summary: Ministering among the church with integrity and in sincerity.
1. The church in Thessalonica is new & strong.
2. The leadership is growing, their influence is spreading, and their love is expanding.
a. I’m sure it was an exciting time for them.
b. In a place where there was no church, now Jesus is turning their lives right side up.
c. And with their new lives, they are full of faith, hope, & love!
d. They are being accused of turning the world upside down!
Their church, like every strong church, was full of spiritual activity!
#1 - It was a TRAINING CENTER.
Col. 2.6-7 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
• Men and women would come and be taught, strengthened, and supported in the ministry.
• They would be trained how to study, how to serve, how to share the gospel.
#2 – It was also a LAUNCHING PAD.
Mark 16.15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
• The believers took this seriously and obeyed it immediately.
• So that by the time Paul writes to them, he says in 1:7
1 Thess 1.8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.
So as a Training Center, a Launching Pad, that meant that the church was also #3 - A TARGET!
• It didn’t take long for FALSE TEACHERS to show up!
• And with them came FALSE DOCTRINES & FALSE ACCUSATIONS
• That is, they tried to confuse the church about what they believed and also wanted to turn them against Paul!
NOTE: That shouldn’t surprise us. Satan is always on the look out for the strong, growing, the newly planted seeds…
• So that when he finds them, his mission is to destroy them!
• Let’s look at Matthew 13.18ff
SO WE ARE CONSTANTLY reminded to be on guard, to have our spiritual armor on, ready to do battle in the spiritual realm!
1 Peter 5.8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Luke 22.31-32 And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."
I LOVE THAT… Jesus is praying for Peter, He’s praying for you!
• That our faith would not fail, but that we’d be strong!
Romans 8.34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
SO CHAPTER 2 opens with Paul appealing to their memory.
• Guys, I know they are coming against you, I know they are saying all these things about me, but remember our time together!
• I’m your BROTHER in the Lord! Not a BOTHER like those guys!
BY THE WAY… that’s one of the MANY JOYS of serving in the ministry here with you guys.
• You get to know me… OH YEH, WE KNOW YOU ALRIGHT!
• AND make lots of allowances for my inadequacies, my mistakes, my weaknesses.
• And get to do that for you too! That’s what the Body of Jesus Christ, the church is all about!
Philippians 2.3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
So we see ingredients for the brother, the sister, who is ministering among the church in integrity & sincerity.
• He’s a TRUE BROTHER and an HONEST TEACHER
I. (2:1-3) TRUE BROTHER
1. (1-3) We came with the Pure Word
a. You yourselves know… This isn’t new or made up!
b. You guys know me, you served with me, we were there!
c. We were brothers in the Lord! We connected.
d. Don’t you REM the wounds on our backs? Joy in our hearts?
e. I was like a TRUE BROTHER to you guys!
f. I lived there among you, alongside of you for 3 weeks!
REMEMBER: While Paul was in Philippi, they were physically beaten, imprisoned, and made a public disgrace!
• Then when they come to Thessalonica, a mob comes against them to accuse & harass them!
Acts 17:5 But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.