Summary: A summer themed sermon that used a lot of sources from Sermon Central.
Are we there yet?
1 Thess 5:23-24
Intro: There’s a handful of movies that if I’m flipping through the channels and see one of them on, I will stop to watch it…regardless of my wife’s protesting. A lot of them are Chevy Chase movies, Fletch for instance. Another one is any of the National Lampoon Vacation movies. The premise: A family goes on vacation, and if anything can go wrong, It does. Much like real life vacations.
Ask: Who here has been on a vacation with a child? No matter how long the trip is, be it 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days…you are bound to here that wonderful question, “Are we there yet?”
Ask: Have you ever asked that same question in terms of the Christian life?
Maybe things are going right for you spiritually, or have been for a little while and you may be thinking to yourself, “Hmm…am I there yet?”. Or maybe it’s the opposite extreme, nothing is going right for you spiritually, you walk is more like a crawl, you feel like your prayers are stopping at the ceiling, and instead of saying “Good morning Lord”, you wake up saying “Good Lord it’s morning.” And with all of this you are wondering, “Are we there yet…and will I EVER be there?”
The fact is, the Christian life is a journey, and it takes time and when we feel like it may never end…to some extent that is true. The life we now have is eternal, so it will never end. But the life in this body, it will come to an end, and at that time the struggle against the flesh will cease and we can become what Christ had intended for us to be.
So, where do we turn when we want to know, “Are we there yet?” The best place to turn is to God and to his word.
Read Text, 1 Thess 5:23-24 and pray.
Intro to passage: Thessalonica was the capital of a Roman province and known as a city of great commerce. The church in Thessolonica was known for it’s faith and charity, but was also known for focusing too much on one tenant of church doctrine: Christ’s return (this is a them touched on in both letters by Paul).
Paul’s purpose in writing this book was to confirm the young believers in the foundational truths, exhort them to live in holiness, and to comfort them in light of death and Christ’s return.
We can see traces Paul’s purpose in out passage today.
First Paul tells us:
1. God is at work in us.
Paul tells us that the Lord is working to sanctify us.
What is sanctification?
Define sanctification, AT Robertson defines it as “to render or declare holy, to separate from things profane” – In and not of, it is presented in the text as a wish for the future.
Something taking place and continuing to take place (open ended)
Difference between sanctification and justification:
Justification occurs at salvation: We are made just by the blood of Jesus Christ, our sins are wiped clean.
Sanctification begins at Salvation: It is the process of becoming more like Christ and ends when we reach the other side.
We are being sanctified “Through and through”, the entire Spirit, Soul and Body. (What is reborn is His, what is eternal is His, and what is temporary is His.”