Summary: We can be faithful in our worship unto Jesus because we've experienced His presence in our lives.
The church at Thessalonica was the Apostle Paul’s first church plant, founded on his second missionary journey. In Acts 16, Paul had received the “Macedonian” vision from the Lord to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to Europe.
Thessalonica was the capital city of Macedonia. It was a strategic city because its famous harbor and roadway known as the Egnatian Way (went West to Rome and East to Asia) made for the rapid spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul was not a welcome guest to Thessalonica. Because of the fierce persecution that rose up against him, he had to flee for his life only a couple weeks after arriving.
Knowing the need for need for new Christians to develop a deep faith and ongoing devotion to the Lord Jesus, Paul wrote them a letter encouraging them in the basics of Christianity – assurance of salvation, strong biblical doctrine (eschatology), maturing faith in the midst of persecution, strong morals in an immoral world, respect for church leadership and one another, living in the power of the Holy Spirit, etc.
In light of the Lord’s return, Paul urged these new believers to be FOUND FAITHFUL in their worship of the Risen Savior.
I. Experienced A Great Salvation
A. Bedrock of Salvation
Paul, Sivlanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: - 1 Thessalonians 1:1
Note – Great churches are made up of people who have experienced a great salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Note – The local church is not a country club to which you pay dues, but is a community of faith - people whose lives have been purchased by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Note – “The church is not a club we join, a retirement plan we subscribe to, or a competition we enter to win a trophy. It is a family of love where we serve one another. This is only possible because of our relationship to God.” – Knute Larson
Note - The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord, leader, lover of the church.
and salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God the Father alone.
Note – The word “Gospel” means good news. It is the Good News that God loves you so much that He sent His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to live a sinless life, die on the cross of Calvary, buried, risen on the third day, and alive forevermore! He desires a personal relationship with you, relationship not religion.
Note – There is no greater joy in life than to serve God from a heart filled with gratitude and grace to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Note – Remember the day you got saved…
Note – Do you know for sure you are saved? Some rest on feelings, some believe they’ve lost salvation due to failures. Salvation is based on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!
B. Benefits of Salvation
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 1:1
Note - Grace – God’s unmerited kindness and favor upon us and Peace – Peace with God, Confident, secure in the love of God
Note – God’s grace and peace daily - Not just for when we get to heaven, but now!
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27
Note – No matter how hard we try, only God can give us this peace when we trust in His Son.
Note - Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God. —J. Oswald Sanders
Note – More benefits of salvation – (1) Partners (2) Prayers (3) Purpose – “work of faith,” “labor of love, “patience of hope”- we can confidently worship and serve the Lord Jesus Christ – no matter what – the best is yet to come!
Note – “Chosen” – Jesus said in John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…” There will be a desire for worship…word…to leave sin behind and live a genuinely changed life.
Note – Genuine salvation brings about a changed life. There is great encouragement in knowing God is for you and not against you! We worship and serve the Lord Jesus not to “get” but to “give” out of gratitude for who He is and what He’s done/doing in our lives.
II. Empowered By God’s Spirit
A. Life In the Spirit
Note – The most important thing a preacher can do is preach the gospel of Jesus Christ! Without Jesus as Savior, people are hopeless, helpless, hell-bound.