Summary: We are called to act like we are citizens of heaven as we deal with each other in the church
• The church at Thessalonica was facing a lot of difficult times. The church today is facing many struggles also.
• Many people are struggling with various faith-related issues in their lives. There is a lot of conflict and turmoil in many of our lives.
• There are a lot of demands on our time. How many of you can hardly keep up now with all the time pressures you face?
• Now with all the pressures we face in life, do you want to come to a church where you have the same things going on?
• Throughout the book of 1 Thessalonians, Paul has reminded us of the second coming of Jesus and how knowing that event will happen should be something that should motivate us to be different.
• One of the areas in which we need to understand is that of relationships within the church family.
• Interpersonal relationships in the church can be a blessing to the churches evangelism and discipleship efforts or they can be a determinate to those efforts.
• What should a Christian’s conduct be towards those in the church?
• How do I respond to the leadership, is the leadership of my church in my church important? How am I supposed to deal with all the other people in the church?
• The church is to be a refuge, a place of harmony and peace. For that to happen, we must make sure we know how to act towards one another. The church is the most wonderful institution on earth! Let’s see what we can do to make it even better.
• READ 1 THESSALONIANS 5:12-15
I. KINGDOM CONDUCT CONCERNING CHURCH LEADERS (12-13)
A. The church family’s responsibilities towards our church leaders.
1. We are called to appreciate them. (12)
• I find it interesting that Paul starts out the end of his letter admonishing us to be appreciative of our leaders.
• Why do you think Paul did this? A leaders job is tough, it can be a thankless job sometimes. This is one of the reasons that the first qualification for Elder found in 1 Timothy 3 is the desire to do the work.
• It is easy for people to take shots leaders, whether it is in business or in the church. Many times people, who want to lead, but do not want any responsibility will be very critical of church leaders.
• Appreciate. The connotation here is that believers are to know their shepherds deeply and respectfully and to value their service. Such knowledge is much more than the mere recall of their names or the general awareness of some facts about their personal lives. Instead, it entails a close, personal acquaintance that results in the caring appreciation of the Lord’s servant. (MacArthur Commentary)
• Another way to translate “appreciate” is to “know”. This word means to gain by experience. We have a track record with the leaders that help us to appreciate them.
2. We are called to esteem them. (13)
• Some of the brethren in Thessalonica had evidently refused to follow their leaders in church activities. We need wise leadership today, but still more wise following. An army of captains and colonels never won a battle. (Word Picture of The New Testament)
• Esteem ties in closely with appreciate. We are to have a personal attachment, respect their position and have a deep appreciation for what they do.
• We are to hold them in the highest regard!
3. We are called to submit to them. (13)
• One of the ways we show we respect, esteem highly and appreciate our leaders is by submitting to their leadership.
• HEB 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
• This verse explains the God ordained work the Elders are called to do.
• I do not know about you, but I would not want to have to answer to God for being a source of grief for the Elders of God’s church.
• For peace to exist, we must be willing to submit to leadership of those we have chosen.
• Such submission, if done in a God-honoring way, would eliminate conflict, strife, and discord and promote peace, harmony, and effective ministry within the church.
• ROMANS 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
B. Church leaders’ responsibilities toward the church family.
1. Diligently labor for them.