SUPERNATURAL BOLDNESS IN PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL REQUIRES PURE MOTIVES AND PROPER CONDUCT (THE MARKS OF SPIRIT-FILLED CHURCH PLANTERS)
A. Supernatural Boldness in Proclaiming the Gospel Can Be Identified by the Power of the Holy Spirit in the Context of Persecution (:1-2)
Illustr.: Just as you use a highlighter pen to make something important stand out, God uses persecution to highlight the true character of a godly ministry. Persecution highlights supernatural boldness instead of hindering it.
1. Converts Can Recognize Supernatural Boldness in Proclaiming the Gospel (Paul appeals to the experiential knowledge of the Thess. converts)
a. Appeals to them as "brethren" -- equal family members
b. Emphasizes their first-hand knowledge of the facts
("you yourselves know")
c. Focuses attention on the character of the missionary team's initial ministry in preaching the gospel to them ("our coming to you")
2. What Does Supernatural Boldness Look Like?
a. Negatively: not empty or hollow
empty of power and earnestness and boldness
instead: courage under adverse circumstances
b. Positively: "we had the boldness ..."
1) supernatural boldness (not just natural courage)
2) verbal proclamation (not just unspoken example)
3) pure message of the gospel of God (not adulterated)
3. Perseverance Despite Persecution is the Key
a. At Philippi
b. At Thessalonica ("amid much opposition")
c. Signif. of Perseverance
Transition: "For" (beginning of vs. 3) -- Used here to introduce explanatory confirmation. It is important to see how verses 3-12 relate to the main idea of supernatural boldness introduced in vs.1-2.
B. Supernatural Boldness in Proclaiming the Gospel Requires Pure Motives;
Checklist of Pure Motives (:3-6)
1. Three Negatives -- Integrity of Ministry -- Not:
a. "from error" -- source of Paul's message was not the product of deception or illusion
b. "from impurity" -- not associated with sexual impurity
(many of the religions of the day had sexual rituals); possibly a reference to integrity of motivation as well
c. "by way of deceit" -- not using tricky or crafty methods
2. One Positive -- Confident Sense of God's Commission
they realized God had taken the initiative to equip them and send them out to minister and proclaim the gospel
3. One Main Contrast -- Our Primary Orientation
"not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts"
4. Three More Negatives -- Unselfish Approach
a. not with "flattering speech" -- manipulating people
b. not with a "pretext for greed"
giving a reason which is plausible in itself, but which is not the real reason in orderr to disguise your own covetousness
"God is witness" -- where it is impossible for men to discern, Paul appeals to the judgment of God regarding our inner motives
c. not "seeking glory from men"
1) not from you Thessalonians
2) not from others elsewhere who would be observing me
Paul's Picture of Three Role Models that illustrate proper conduct in the ministry:
1. Gentleness and Tender Care of a Nursing Mother
2. Hard Work and Self-Sufficiency of a Sacrificial Laborer
a. Main Task = "proclaimed to you the gospel of God"
b. Necessary Task = laboring with their hands for their own support so as not to be a burden and to provide a good example
c. Difficulty Involved
3. Godliness and Positive Training of a Father with Vision
a. Modelled Godly Conduct
b. Impartiality and Personal Attention
c. Three Primary Activities
exhorting, encouraging, imploring
d. His overriding Ambition: "so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God ..."