Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The Christians in Corinth were a model for the other Christians aroud them - and for us as well.

Super Models – 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10

A. We live in a world devoid of role models. Who’s your role model going to be? Kobe? Arnold? Ladies – Martha Stewart? Hopefully, the answer that comes to all of us is some fine Christian man or woman we know.

B. As Christians, we need to find a model to serve as an example to us. We also need to be able to provide a model for the churches we serve with.

C. In light of the fact that we, as future and current church “leaders”, are striving to be Christ-like, striving to be the Christian examples that we have got to be, we must look into God’s Word and follow the examples it provides us.

D. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul writes to a group of new Christians in a great spot. Due to its excellent location, right on a main trade thoroughfare, Thessalonica was an ideal center for the spread of the gospel. However, they were also a short distance from both Rome and Athens, centers of power and centers of idol worship. What would you write to encourage a group of new Christians who were being harassed for their faith and had questions about their new faith? The apostle Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10, tells them that they are models.

1. Models in the way that they received the Word – vs 6-7.

2. Models in the way that they spread the Word – vs 8.

3. Models in their service to God alone – vs 9.

4. Models in the way they expectantly wait for the return of Christ – vs 10.

· Transition: Beginning in vs 6, the text reads…{READ}

I. Models in the manner in which they received the Gospel.

A. They joyfully received the word in spite of the great affliction – vs 6.

1. They received the word in spite of severe circumstances. What we have to realize is that not all of the persecution came from Rome even though they were right in Rome’s front yard. Acts 17:1-10 – Jason and folks dragged out of their homes by Jews for what they were teaching. But…

2. They received the word with joy – vs 6. The word implies a warm, respectful reception of the message Paul had for them. They didn’t balk at it; they didn’t fight it; they didn’t refuse to accept the message in spite of persecution – they accepted it warmly!

3. In doing so they became examples to the people around them – vs 7. The word “examples” here is, in the Greek, singular. It refers not to a number of individual examples of Christian living but to the single pattern of response to the Word of God that these new Christians portrayed.

B. The illustration is given of an old man seated on a park bench when a boy of about five sat down beside him and takes out what appeared his most prized possession – a gold pocket watch. "My, what a pretty watch," the man said. "Does it tell you the time?" With a puzzled look on his face, the boy replied, "No sir, you gotta look at it." God’s Word is everywhere, we probably have 15, but you must look into it in order for it to be effective. A closed Bible is a sword in the sheath.

C. Do we receive the word like these did? Do we receive God’s truth when it’s tough? When it’s uncomfortable? Do we receive the word only as it is convenient to us? Do we preach the truth no matter what? What each of us has to ask ourselves is: If everyone studied like we do, would churches grow – would Christians be strengthened?

1. The Thessalonians are an excellent model for us to follow in the proper way to receive God’s word.

2. Receive the word, accept the truth of God’s word in spite of any affliction or discomfort it may bring us and accept its’ words as complete truth with joy.

· Transition: Not only were they an excellent model for their acceptance of the Word of God, they were applauded for their sharing of their faith.

II. Vs 8. {READ} Models in the way they spread the Word.

A. The Thessalonians were people who had not kept quiet about their faith. These folks were, by their efforts, proclaimers of their faith in Macedonia, Achaia, and vs 8 says, “…in every place.”

1. They did not limit the sharing of their faith to “Presence Evangelism” – just be a good person and people will want to be Christians.

2. Paul says that from them the word of the Lord has “sounded forth.” The word literally means “to bounce off” and is the word that we get our word “echo” from.

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