Summary: Reformation - We always thank God for every faithful believer and for God's powerful word.
“WE ALWAYS THANK GOD…” (Outline)
October 31, 2010 -
INTRO: “Always” is one of God’s strong words of encouragement. Two weeks ago God reminded us to “rejoice always”. Only with the strength God provides is, can, or will this be possible. Thus today the words of our text encourage us to “always thank God”. Growing in our Christian faith we begin to understand the depth of the meaning of God’s word. By hearing God’s word we grow in our Christian faith. For this reason we gather each week around the foot of our Savior’s cross. "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked" (PSALM 84:10).
Today and every day “WE ALWAYS THANK GOD…”
I. For every faithful believer. II. For God’s powerful word.
I. WE ALWAYS THANK GOD FOR EVERY FAITHFUL BELIEVER.
A. We have before us the inspired word of God given through Paul to believers in Thessalonica.
1. Verse 1a,b. Paul has traveling companions with him, Silas and Timothy.
2. These three send warm greetings and God’s blessings to the family of believers.
B. Verse 1c. Grace is God’s undeserved love. Peace, which only God gives, is forgiveness.
1. Paul reminds these believers of the depth of God’s blessings that they possess: grace, peace.
2. Verse 2. Paul is thankful for every believer. Paul’s thankfulness leads him to pray for them.
C. Verse 3. Paul is always thankful for these believers. Paul always prays for them. Paul explains why.
1. These believers have shown their faith by their actions, “work produced by faith”.
2. These believers were motivated by their love for God, “labor prompted by love”.
3. These believers had an abiding hope for an eternal future, “hope in our Lord Jesus Christ”.
4. Paul was always thankful for every faithful believer as they lived such faithful lives.
D. Sunday after Sunday, week after week, for generation after generation we have been greatly blessed and privileged to gather together in God’s house of worship. Today we worship in a very beautiful building. It was built by faithful believers to be enjoyed by generations to follow. You and I enjoy the fruits of their “work produced by faith” and “labor prompted by love”. But you and I know that there is more to faith than a nice place of worship. The holy Christian church is made up of much more than brick and mortar. "You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 PETER 2:5). We always thank God for every faithful believer who has Jesus Christ as their cornerstone (prophets, apostles as a foundation).
E. First and foremost in our worship we have ample opportunity to listen to God’s powerful word. Our service is centered on that word of God. The hymns are scriptural and doctrinally sound. Each week the scripture lessons bring us God’s truth. The Sunday sermon centers on the Savior, Christ the Lord. Faith comes by hearing. The message we hear is the word of God. But there is even more to be thankful for in our Christian worship. "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (HEBREWS 10:25). We gather together to hear and be encouraged in our Christian faith. We then also encourage one another.
F. Paul blessed these believers with God’s grace and peace. We have heard these precious, divine words hundreds and possibly thousands of times. They have great meaning for us in our lives in this unsettling world of ours. On this side of heaven there is no peace as the world understands that word. On this side of heaven only God gives us his peace. We have peace through our Savior, Jesus Christ. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (JOHN 14:27). God’s peace is forgiveness. Our souls are at peace with God!
“WE ALWAYS THANK GOD” for every faithful believer. By faith believers mutually encourage others.
II. WE ALWAYS THANK GOD FOR GOD’ S POWERFUL WORD.
A. A miraculous change took place in the lives of all these believers. God saved them by grace.
1. We want to remember that this is the first generation after Christ’s life, death, resurrection.
2. Paul, once a persecutor, now proclaims that the Messiah lived, died, and rose again.
3. This seemed a strange message. Yet, people believed. God’s powerful word changed hearts.