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Summary: In order for everyone to benefit from the church the way God intends, we must know how we should relate to each other. This includes how the congregation should relate to the pastors and how the pastors should relate to the congregation.

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How Christians Grow As a Group

I Thessalonians 5:9-13

Purpose: To show believers how to act toward other believers.

Aim: I want the listener to work at encouraging the leadership.

INTRODUCTION: Too many Christians come to church to get something. For most church goers the thought of connecting to and helping others in the church family rarely crosses their minds. If you are here just for what you can get out of this service then you are missing much of God’s purpose for you being here.

In order for everyone to benefit from the church the way God intends, we must know how we should relate to each other. This includes how the congregation should relate to the pastors and how the pastors should relate to the congregation.

This afternoon, for the first time in our 109 year history, we will be commissioning three elders to co-labor with the senior pastor here at Bethel Chapel Church.

In order to help us to see how this should work let’s look at our text for guidance.

➽Vs.9-10 I. God’s Eternal Plan for Believers

➽Vs.9-10a A. Safety from judgment “salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”

The judgment of God against sin could fall at any moment. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come. (NAU)

What a joy to know that I am safe from God’s judgement because God’s wrath against my sin has already been poured out on Jesus Christ. Isaiah 53:10-11 10 But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, … 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. (NAU)

2 Thessalonians 2:14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NAU)

➽Vs.10b B. Unbroken fellowship “live together with Him”

When we are alive we are fellowshipping with Christ, when we are dead we will continue fellowshipping with Christ.

1 John 1:3 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. (NAU)

If we are going to spend eternity fellowshipping with believers, why not learn how to do it now?

➽Vs.11 II. God’s Immediate Goal for Believers

There is a tendency among Christians to think that the important work of God should be done by the professionals, the ones who are paid. Christians tend, I think, to expect the leaders of the church to be entirely responsible for the health of the church. For example, if there is no revival, church members assume that the leaders need to do something different.

Some will even go so far as to say that the problem is the music, or the order of the service, or the length of the sermon, or anything else that only the leaders can change. Instead, Paul is putting the responsibility on every believer in the church. Every church member has two very important responsibilities:

➽ A. Encourage each other “encourage one another”

Encouragement comes from each other, not just from the pastors. David Guzik writes, "When we have our first interest in building up other Christians, then God will edify us. The vision is of a church full of active participants, not passive spectators." Do you consider yourself an active participant or passive spectator?

➽ B. Edify each other “build up one another”

Edify in the New Testament means, "build up, encourage, nurture one’s faith…"

What builds up believers?

Genuine love builds us up. 1 Corinthians 8:1 …Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. (NAU) Romans 15:2 Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. (NAU)

Biblical preaching builds us up. 1 Corinthians 14:3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. (NAU)

Godly conversation builds up. Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. (NAU)

➽Vs.12-13 III. God’s Methods for Meeting that Goal

By this, I don’t mean that this is God’s ONLY way to protect our fellowship. But these next two verses give us an important aspect of how we can encourage and edify each other.

➽Vs.12 A. Show Appreciation to your leaders “appreciate those”

APPRECIATE AV - of the household 2, of (one’s) own house 1; 3 GK - 3858 oijkei`o" 1) belonging to a house or family, domestic, intimate 1a) belonging to one’s household, related by blood, kindred 1b) belonging to the household of God 1c) belonging, devoted to, adherents of a thing. [Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible: (electronic ed.). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.]

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