LIVING THE GOSPEL

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      07/21/19
 
“Living the Gospel"
1 Thessalonians 2:17 – 3:13
 
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.  Paul reviewed how he had shared the gospel with them and that they gladly received the good news. Now their faith was widely known because they also shared the gospel with the right motives, manner and message. Paul had been separated from the new believers and he was concerned that they remain faithful to the good news. He sent Timothy to see how the Thessalonians were doing. Paul did not leave them to fend for themselves. New believers need encouragement, instruction, and prayer. Paul was careful to disciple these new believers.
 
NEW BELIEVERS REQUIRE SUPPORT & ENCOURAGEMENT.
 
*The evangelist has a passion to help new believers. “But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face” (2:17).
 
*Satan has a goal of hindering new believers and mentors. “We wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us” (2:18).
 
*New believers are our joy and reward at the Lord’s coming.For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy” (2:19-20).
 
NEW BELIEVERS NEED INSTRUCTION IN THEIR FAITH.
 
*Wise teachers can train new believers in morals, doctrine, and endurance.
“Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions” (3:1-3).
 
*New believers will face affliction and temptation. Satan tries to undermine their faith. “For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain” (3:3-5).
 
*Believers stand firm when they practice faith, love and fellowship. “But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you— for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord” (3:6-8).
 
NEW BELIEVERS THRIVE IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF PRAYER.
 
*Prayer expresses our joy and thanksgiving in our relationships. “For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God” (3:9).
 
*Prayer seeks God’s wisdom and direction. “We pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith” (3:10).
 
*Prayer uplifts others and desires their growth in love and holiness. “Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father” (3:11-13).
 
*Prayer looks forward to the second coming of the Lord Jesus. May God “establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints” (3:13).
 
New believers need encouragement, instruction, and prayer.