Summary: Paul shares THREE (3) Major Things Every Church Needs to Be Successful in Christ : 1. Lives of Faith 2. Lives of Love 3. Lives of Hope
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Theme: Faith - Love - Hope
Title: "The Big Three"
Paul shares 3 Major Things Every Church Needs to Be Successful in Christ : 1. Lives of Faith 2. Lives of Love 3. Lives of Hope
The NBA basketball season is just around the corner. Already, the teams are busy playing some pre-season games and doing all they can to fine tune their teams. During the off season there was a lot of changes happening all over the league with every team doing its best to get better. Every team wants to be able to not only run with the Golden State Warriors but to beat them and lay claim to the 2018 NBA Championship. Right now, the Golden State Warriors seem to be the team to beat.
Every team is doing its best to get three great superstars to play together hoping that the formula of "THE BIG THREE" is the perfect formula for success. They point to teams of the past who had three great superstars and who were able to win multiple championships. Teams like the Boston Celtics who had Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish or the Chicago Bulls who had Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.
Right now it is the Warriors whose "Big Three" includes the likes of Kevin Durant, Stephan Curry and Draymond Green. Just recently the Celtics assembled what they hope will be a "Big 3" that will be able to beat the Golden State Warriors in Kyrie Irving, Gordan Heyward and All Horford while at the same time the Oklahoma City Thunder is hoping that their new "Big 3" of Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Paul George will be able to do the trick. Only time will tell.
The Apostle Paul knew something about the importance of a Spiritual "Big 3". However, his "Big 3" didn't involve basketball but it did involve three major things that he believed would lead every congregation to be a powerhouse for the LORD. Paul believed that if every church would concentrate on growing and maturing in the areas of Faith, Love and Hope, they would not only grow in grace and be restored into the image of Jesus, they would also be able to enjoy all the blessings and fruit of the Holy Spirit in this present age.
While Paul looked forward to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, he focused the majority of his attention on how to live the life of Christ in this present age. Paul was dedicated to helping people be freed from a life of sin and experience a life of salvation. Paul was determined for people to hear the message of Jesus, repent of their sins and be filled with His Holy Spirit. Paul knew that it was only through Jesus that a person could enjoy the life of being a genuine human being. A human being who not only was worshipping and serving the true God but a human being who was enjoying an abundant life here on earth and looking forward to an everlasting life on the New Heaven and New Earth.
Our passage this morning (1 Thessalonians 1:1-10) is a part of Paul's first letter to his friends back in the city of Thessalonica. The Church of Thessalonica was Paul's second European Church and it was an amazing church:
+It was a church that had come together in a matter of 21 days. Acts chapter 17 tells us that Paul spent three Sabbaths around the area of Thessalonica doing his best to reach out to Jews, devout Greeks and anyone else who would hear the message of Jesus being Messiah, Lord and Savior of the world. The Bible tells us that the LORD worked through Paul in a mighty way. The Holy Spirit convicted people of their sins, cleansed them, renewed them and infilled them with His power and presence.
+It was a church that was birthed out of the midst of some major spiritual battles. It had been Paul's intention to spend a great deal more time in Thessalonica but after about 21 days, he and the young church came under some intense spiritual attacks. These attacks were so intense that Paul's friends thought it would be best if Paul would take refuge in the nearby town of Berea.
If you remember, just a few days before arriving in Thessalonica, Paul and his missionary team had spent some time in the nearby city of Philippi. Philippi was where Paul was able to establish the first European Church. It was also the place that Paul and Silas were arrested, beaten and put into prison. So, when the attacks started happening in Thessalonica, Paul's friends thought it would be best for the Apostle to find some safe haven.
It appears that there was a combination of spiritual forces that joined together in a concentrated attempt to destroy this young church in Thessalonica. These forces included: