Summary: On three occasions, the Apostle Paul exclaims, “Thanks be to God!” I would like us to look at what the Apostle Paul was thankful to God for in that we might reflect that same thankfulness in our own lives this Thanksgiving.
“THANKS BE TO GOD”
INTRODUCTION... George Washington, 1779
Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; Whereas, both the houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness!” Now therefore, I do recommend next, to be devoted by the people of the states to the service of that great and glorious being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be, that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country.
In looking at passages that deal with the attitude of thanksgiving and other issues with giving thanks, I noticed that a phrase was repeated in a few passages in 1 and 2 Corinthians that I felt was very interesting. On three occasions, the Apostle Paul exclaims, “Thanks be to God!” I would like us to look at what the Apostle Paul was thankful to God for in that we might reflect that same thankfulness in our own lives this Thanksgiving.
A. Paul is speaking to the Corinthians about death and life and the resurrection that
Christians are promised when Jesus returns.
1) The flesh and the sinful things of this world do not inherit the holy spiritual
Kingdom of God. It is imperishable.
2) There will need to be some kind of change in us at the last day for us to inherit
the eternal holy spiritual Kingdom of God.
B. Paul tells them a mystery: the mystery is the process
1) Everyone will change to put on the imperishable. What does that mean?
a) We will be spiritual in nature (verse 50)
b) We will be immortal (verse 53)
c) We will be totally free from sin and death (verse 55-56)
2) We know that all this will happen, but we just do not know how or what it will
actually be like. Christians are promised wondrous things in Scripture. We know
they will happen, but we just don’t know how. It is a mystery.
C. “Thanks be to God” (verse 57)
1) Thanks to God for ’giving’ this to us because we know that we could not have
2) Thanks to God for ’victory’ over sin and death and we do not have to be afraid
3) Thanks to God for ’our Lord Jesus Christ’ who provided the way for us to come
back to God. Without the sacrificial blood of Jesus, we would still be lost and
sinful and fearful about death.
A. Paul is sharing with the Corinthians about some of the opportunities he has had to
minister and share the Gospel. He mentions several important things about his ministry
that are important for us to note.
1) He is led by the Lord and goes where He opens the doors (verse 12)
2) Paul is not a lone ranger in ministry, but depends on his companions (verse 13)
3) Paul is constantly on the move reaching as many new people in as many new
places as he possibly can (verse 13)
B. “Thanks be to God” (verse 14)
1) Thanks to God for the leading that we receive in our lives
2) Thanks to God for using us to reach those that do not know Him
3) Thanks to God for giving us knowledge about Himself and Jesus so that we can
know the kind of God that we serve. And it is a sweet knowledge.
A. This passage falls in a section of 2 Corinthians where Paul is speaking about giving
and is using a farming analogy to make his points clear.
1) For a farmer, the amount of crop that is yielded is many times in proportion to the amount of seed that they have sown.
2) Thus the phrase: a man reaps what he sows
B. Paul lets the Corinthians know that the same God that aids the farmer in their work is
the same God that is looking after them. He is not the God of the farmers only. This
would have been a common belief among many of the Gentiles. For many of them, all
the trees had a specific God and all the water had a specific god and the ground would