Christian Conduct

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      08/04/19
 
“Christian Conduct"
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
 
INTRODUCTION: Living the gospel means doing life together as faithful followers of Christ. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians to encourage and support them in their new-found faith. He reminded them how they had believed the gospel despite much opposition, yet they continued to demonstrate faith, hope and love.  New believers need encouragement, instruction, and prayer. Paul was careful to disciple and praise these new believers. He also warned them about the dangers and pitfalls that Christians will face in their faith. A Christian’s personal life must reflect the life of Christ. A believer’s morals, character, relationships, and work ethic are strong indicators of his or her walk with Christ. Paul discusses these areas in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12.
 
A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN EXHIBITS SELF-CONTROL (1-8).
 
*A faithful Christian aims to please God in all he or she does. A Christian’s walk must match his or her talk. “Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more” (1).
 
*Christians are to live lives that are different from the world. God wants us to take his command seriously. “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you” (7-8).
 
*God wants us to control our sexual desires and habits. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;  that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,  not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God” (3-5).
 
*Immorality defrauds and hurts fellow believers (6). “that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you” (6).
 
A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN LOVES FELLOW BELIEVERS (9-10).
 
*Jesus told us to love one another. “Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another” (9).
 
*True love is contagious and generous. The Thessalonians gave willingly to the saints in Jerusalem (Romans 15:26) and set an example in giving for the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 8:1-3). “for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more” (10).
 
A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN STRIVES FOR A BALANCED, CONSISTENT LIFE (11-12).
 
“But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (11-12).
 
*Paul’s definition of ambition: lead a quiet life; be diligent; be a hard worker; be self-reliant; be consistent.
 
CONCLUSION: The Christian life is a marathon not a sprint.
 
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).