Summary: Part of our journey of faith is that we are to help each other grow.
• SLIDE #1
• Over the last couple of weeks we have seen how the Gospel should change our lives. Last week we examined how it should motivate us to carry out part of our two-fold mission, reach out to lost souls.
• Our mission as a church and as individual Christians does not end when we get someone to give their life to Jesus.
• We are called to then take that person and help them grow in Christ so they can become a full fledged disciple of Jesus.
• We must resist the temptation to think we are finished once a person picks out their assigned seat in the pews.
• How many times have you seen a new convert struggle with their faith? How many times have we just sat back and watched a new Christian fall flat on their face as they try to live for Jesus? How many times have we assumed a person was going to be just fine without our help in their lives?
• How many of us would have a new baby and then lay them down and tell them they would be all right or that they were just going to have to figure out this eating thing by themselves?
• We do this to new Christians more often than we would like to admit.
• We are here in part to help each other grow in Jesus!
• SLIDE #2
• Hebrews 10:23-25 ( ESV ) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
• In 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12, we are going to receive some insights from Paul as to how we can be successful in carrying out the second part of the mission God has given to us, the mission of making disciples.
• Turn with me to 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
• SLIDE #3
• Let’s begin with verses 1-2.
• 1 Thessalonians 2:1-2 ( ESV ) 1For you yourselves know, brothers,£ that our coming to you was not in vain. 2But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.
• SLIDE #4
If we are going to help each other grow in Christ we must…
I. SPEAK WITH BOLDNESS verse 2
• When you read the bible, you can’t help but notice that wherever the gospel is preached, it was done with boldness. (Acts 4:31, 1 Thess 2:2, Eph 6:19, Phil 1:20)
• The boldness that we have does not come from our own strength, but from our Great God.
• Notice in this verse that all of the bad things that happened to Paul did not dampen his spirits or boldness for the message.
• We can boldly preach the word because of the faith and trust we have in Jesus to be faithful.
• We can be bold because we have the truth. When we are seeing our brothers and sisters in Christ struggle with their faith, we need to be bold with them. It takes courage to speak the truth in love to people who are struggling.
• Just because everyone else is doing it or saying it, does not make it right!
• I am thankful I have had people around me who were not afraid to be bold.
• This boldness to speak the truth comes from our God! Paul said that even though they were being persecuted for sharing the gospel, they had the boldness in our God to speak the gospel of God amid much opposition. When you boldly speak the truth, you will face opposition whether it is sharing the gospel with lost people or trying to help a brother in need.
• In the context Paul is speaking of the initial preaching of the gospel, but the application goes much deeper. Sometimes it easier to preach the message to someone than to boldly speak the truth in love to those who belong to Christ, but need some help.
• We know as Paul speaks he is talking about more than just the initial sharing of the Gospel. We know this by what he has to say in the rest of the passage that we will look at in a moment.
• Let’s look at verses 3-6
• SLIDE #5
• 1 Thessalonians 2:3-6 ( ESV ) 3For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5For we never came with words of flattery,£ as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.