Things To Know In Order To Be A Highly Effective Christian
How many of you read the article I had in the bulletin last week?
1 Thessalonians 1:5-8 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia--your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,
INTRODUCTION: Last week we looked at the things we need to do in order to be highly effective in our Christian Walk. This morning, I would like to build on that thought and look at what we need to know in order to be highly effective on our Christian Walk.
Effectiveness is important to us, and it is important to God. We are looking for the most effective way of doing things, the most effective treatment, etc. God worked a work in our lives for the same reason. He wants us to be effective for his Kingdom. So, lets have at it!
I WE NEED TO KNOW OUR CONVERSION – 1:5
1 Thessalonians 1:5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
A The Strength of our Conversion
1 We were not converted with words
a Christianity is not a philosophy – we were not enlightened to Jesus
b Christianity is not an apologetic – we were not argued to Jesus
2 We were converted with power
a There was an explosive reaction in our hearts
b God reached in grabbed out our old heart and gave us a new one through His Son
c This was a supernatural work of God
1 A work BEYOND enlightenment
2 A work BEYOND argument
B The Effect of our Conversion – a deep conviction
1 An assurance
2 A confidence
3 A certainty
C The Development of our Conversion
2 Peter 1:5-9 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
1 Conversion requires additional effort
2 Spiritual effort produces effective and productive knowledge of Jesus
a The word ineffective is the Greek word, “argos” and means “without works that express faith”
b The word unproductive is the Greek word, “akarpos” and means failing to do the things which produce fruit
Effort behind our salvation should drive us to step out in faith and do those things that will express our faith and be fruitful.
A functional place to worship is both a step of faith and a step of fruitfulness.
When we stop doing for God, when we stop going further for God we lose sight of the awesome act of our sins being cleansed!
II WE NEED TO KNOW OUR HEROES!
1 Thessalonians 1:6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
A What made the Thessalonians such dynamic believers is that they had mentors – people to imitate
1 They imitated Paul
2 Paul imitated Jesus
3 They imitated Jesus
B The result of Good Mentors
1 Changed Behavior
a Resisted persecution from Jews
b Resisted pressure from Gentile Pagan Culture
2 Experienced Joy
a Joy is not determined by circumstances
b Joy is determined by relationship
Jesus spoke often in parables. He told one parable about servants. Each of them was given a portion of the masters wealth and told to manage it while the master was away, and when the master returned was to give an accounting of what they had done.
At the end, those who did something with what they had been given were rewarded, and the one who did nothing but sit on His masters wealth was relieved of his responsibility and another was blessed with it!
Where did they learn to do what they did? From the master of course! Two looked at the master and saw what he did with what he had. One look at the master and fearful of failure did nothing.
What are we going to do with what God has given us? Sit on it in fear, or use it in faith?
Who are we going to model?
III WE NEED TO KNOW OUR WATCHERS
1 Thessalonians 1:7-8a And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia--your faith in God has become known everywhere.
A The Thessalonians became the object of imitation
1 Believers in Macedonia
2 Believers in Achaia
B Paul would point out this “imitation” to the believers in Corinth
2 Corinthians 8:1-8 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,
4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. 6 So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
1 An evidence of spirituality is how we handle the resources God has given us
2 Macedonian believers were modeling the Thessalonian believers!
C Good mentoring is passed down
So let me sum it up for you:
• Salvation is not the end but the beginning of our walk with Jesus. Salvation needs to be under girded with action or we will become idle and fruitless in our faith.
• Jesus model “do” salvation, and encouraged his followers to be active with what He had given them.
• The difference between faith and fear is ACTIVITY
• Others are watching how we honor our God.
I AM STILL WAITING FOR FAITHFUL PEOPLE TO STEP UP AS PRAYER WARRIORS FOR CALVARY
I AM STILL CHALLENGING YOU TO REMODEL THIS FACILITY SO THY ALL CAN ENTER AND THAT ALL MAY KNOW OUR FAITH AND LOVE FOR OUR GOD!
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