Summary: in the midst of all this uncertainty and change, one thing remains sure, one thing is certain -- the Word of the Living God!
The way of the Blessed -- “of God...from us...in you” (1Thess 2:13-17)
Intro - Our World is certainly in uncertain times -- 40 were killed by terrorists in India, wildfires in Greece, earthquakes in Japan & Peru, Hurricane Dean in Mexico & here at home floods, drought & an uneasy economy.
Yet in the midst of all this uncertainty and change, one thing remains sure, one thing is certain -- the Word of the Living God!
Abraham Lincoln called Scripture "God’s best gift to man.”
“The Bible stands like a rock undaunted mid the raging storms of time; its pages burn with the truth eternal; And they glow with a light sublime.”
Loved Ones, the Bible never fails. It is always up-to-date, &always speaks to the issues of our time. In it we read about God’s plan of salvation for us in Jesus Christ --The Gospel
If you embrace the gospel you find joy, peace and eternal reward. If you reject the gospel you remain guilty before a Holy God and face eternal judgement. The contrast couldn’t be more drastic. It is the choice between life and death, joy and despair, peace and terror.
De 30:19 "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
Jn 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
We see this drastic contrast this morning between the young chuch inThessalonica and those who persecuted them. Our study begins with a marvelous description of the Word of God.
Coporate Prayer - I hold in my hands the living Word of God; It is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path. In it I find all that I need for life and godliness. This morning O Lord, as I look into your Word may I receive & embrace it & never ever reject it.
Read 1Thess 2:13-16
“We thank God without ceasing” (13)
Commentary note. Paul had a thankful heart; he always recognized that the source of all blessings was God. Not like these agnostic Thanksgiving dinners - where you go around the table and give thanks for one thing - I am thankful for my family, I am thankful for my new iphone, it is poppin’, I am thankful for a few days off of school. How cute & fuzzy but a bunch of hogwash. Who are you thanking -- the door knob? Thanksginving requires an object of our thanks --- Jas 1:17
The Way of the Blessed -- “of God...from us...in you” (13)
Paul preached w/ authority & conviction b/c he was confident that what he spoke was God’s Word.
Gal 1:11,12 the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
This was the special role that the Apostles & Prophets -- speaking the Word of God.
2Sa 23:2 "The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.
Heb 1:1 God, at various times & in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets
2Pe 1:20,21 ... holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
That is why the prophets cried out “Thus says the Lord” In the same way the Apostles spoke the Word of God.
Acts 13:44 "The whole city assembled to hear the Word of God."
Who would have the audacity to claim that very words coming out of their mouth were the words of God, right! So, this must be refering to the OT -- No! Then it must mean the NT, right? NO, the NT wasn’t even cannonized!! this is referring to the preaching of Paul.
Paul stood u p & spoke up, and as he spoke, they knew what they were hearing was far more than the words of a mere man. They were hearing the Word of God.
Question: Since the Word of God comes through ordinary people how can we distinguish it from the false ramblings of phony prophets?
The Grace Newletter will deal with this exact issue for the next few months as it compares Biblical truth with the false claims and doctrines of cults and world religions.
We have a part to play in the distirbution of God’s blessings. We are not the Apostles but we have the Apostles doctrine; so, our task remains the same -- to speak what God has said; to preach the Word.
If you remember from verse 9, a preacher (a herald) is one speaks the kings word to the people nothing more nothing less. His motto is: Stand up, speak up and shut up!