Summary: The Bible teaches us that a REAL Christian will have certain character traits that will differ from the Non-Christian. Walking the Christian Walk is not a request but a requirement.
TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28;
INTRO: Once we become a Christian, there is definitely changes that must take place. Not only in our way of thinking, but in our actions as well.
We have already visited in the last couple of weeks the importance of:
· R-Righteous Lifestyle
· E-Evangelical Passion
Today we will look at the A in Real- Authentic Walk-
A Genuine walk with God.
Our Genuine Christian Walk will preach louder to the unsaved, unchurched than anything we can ever verbally speak!
· What have we been saying by the way we walk as a Christian?
· Would somebody describe you as a person who has an Authentic Walk with Christ?
We need to understand that there is a difference between Authentic and ordinary believers:
· Ordinary believers are afraid of Giants; Authentic believers kill them
· Ordinary believers seldom forget; Authentic believers always forgive
· Ordinary believers fight for their rights; Authentic believers have no rights
· Ordinary believers fear death; Authentic believers have already died
Pastor Benny Perez; Pacesetters-Setting the Standard, Not Following the Trend-Winepress publishing, Mukilteo, WA 1996;page108
Previously I have shared the importance Authentic Christian Living, using the example of the 7 churches in the book of Revelation.
We are using First Thessalonians as our text because of the overwhelming theme of the letter.
THEME: The coming of the Lord in relation to the believer’s encouragement, comfort, watchfulness, and sanctification. Meyer Pearlman. Through the Bible Book by Book, Part IV; Meyer Pearlman; Gospel Publishing House, Springfield MO
The theme we should be aware of in our lives is the same- Jesus Is Coming Back for His church- How should we be living in the meantime?
If Paul is writing to this church about the importance of the Lord’s return, and how to live until this happens, surely it is important for us to head his words as well.
ILLUS: “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” Will Rogers -James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 490.
PROP.SENT: The Bible teaches us that a REAL Christian will have certain character traits that will differ from the Non-Christian. Walking the Christian Walk is not a request but a requirement.
A. Christian Cooperation!
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over 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.
Ephesians 4:11 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
When Christ set up His church, He gifted the church with leaders. This passage is directly talking to the church about their relationship to their pastor, their shepherd.
In my own experience as a pastor, I have found that most people really do not want to know what is the right thing to do when they come to you for counseling.
What most people want is for somebody to tell them what they want to hear.
I can not tell you haw many times people have left my office, upset or mad, because I have given them advise that was contrary to their own desires.
ILUSS: Charles Crabtree, Assistant General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, confesses that he does not consider himself a very good councelor. He says that when people come into his office for help, he listens to them, and then he gives them the answer. For example, if a couple came in that was in need of financial counseling, he would conclude that they are over extended, have to many credit cards. He will then ask for them to give him their credit cards. They would ask surprised, and say, “What for?” “So I can cut them up, that is your answer!”- They would then respond, “No way, we don’t want you to do that!” Then he would say, “Well then, I can not help you! Come back when you want my help!” (Told at Susanville Assembly of God, Susanville, California)
We need to understand that God has set up the Spiritual Headship of His church, understand this point- It is HIS church!
An Authentic Christian lives in cooperation with what God has set up.
Not only are you to respect them, but we are admonished to …hold them in the highest regard in love…
Why? Because they are always right? No- Because of their WORK! Because of their CALLING!- Because of WHO CALLED them.