This is the weekly sermon audio podcast for Cornerstone Bible Church in Albany, OR.
My Heart is Filled - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22
Ministering to the Troubled - 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15
1 Thessalonians 5:14-15
Ministering to the Troubled
Grab your Bibles with me and open them to 1 Thessalonians 5. 1 Thessalonians 5. We transitioned last week in this letter from eschatology to a section filled with instructions for how to maintain a healthy church.
We said these verses from 12-22 are all about relationships. First, how you relate to your leaders in the church, then how you interact with others, and finally your relationship with the Lord.
Regarding your leaders (12-13)
Interacting with others (14-15)
Trusting your Lord (16-22)
Last week we looked at the obligation and privilege of the sheep to love and honor their shepherds. And the corresponding blessing that comes from that command. It strengthens the church. It makes the pastors job a joy and not a pain. It protects a key relationship that needs to be maintained for a church to remain strong.
Last week we looked at sheep and their shepherds. This week we move to dealing with other people (really everyone else you could say). And the bulk of this instruction is about how to deal with difficult people.
I love that about Scripture. It’s unapologetic and its raw.
Instead of pretending that relationships will be easy. We are instead told plainly how to deal with difficult people. And if I could frame up a trajectory here for how to think about this text, it’s showing us how things are supposed to look in the body of Christ.
What are we naturally predisposed to in the flesh? We gravitate toward certain kinds of people—who are the people that others like to associate with? People who are attractive and impressive (King Saul); people who are rich (Proverbs). People who are happy. People who are gracious. And appreciative. The flatterers. Why? Because those are relationships where you get something out of it for yourself. The Bible calls this partiality and it’s where you favor people based upon what’s rewarding to you.
Regarding relationships in this way is part of the old life. To be a consumer rather than a servant.
Christ has a higher calling for his bride. The church is a hospital. It’s a place for spiritually sick people to come and find care for their souls. And it isn’t based upon how much you deserve that care. And it certainly isn’t based in what you can contribute.
The church is a community of people transformed who put on display the glory of Jesus Christ by loving others the way our Savior has demonstrated love toward us.
Ministering to difficult people is challenging. It’s easy to ignore them. It’s easy to get angry with those who present challenges and don’t shape up. It’s easy to write people off in your heart when they have mistreated you. But Jesus presents an entirely different approach to life in the body of Christ.
He presents a body where the spiritual misfits and the down-and-outers, and the strugglers find strength and encouragement and care. The church is to be counter cultural in the way that we love one another and support one another, even when we are at our worst.
Early on in our family life even before Susie and I had children we were encouraged to cultivate our home as a refuge. It was great advice. To cultivate the atmosphere of the home to be a safe place.
Certainly, that we would deal with issues. Confront sin.
But to work hard, as best as we’re able to make it a place filled with love and encouragement and care. To know that when you are in our home you aren’t going to get belittled, or torn down, or ignored. You’re not going to have your own little life to yourself apart from the rest of us.
No, there’s a mindset that we are all in this together and we will lovingly bear up with one another’s weaknesses. That’s a blessing to me. Difficult work experiences. Difficulties in the church. You know that in the home everyone has each other’s back. Th
Honoring Your Church Leaders - 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
Grab your Bibles and turn with me to 1 Thessalonians this morning. 1
Thessalonians we will continue making our way down through chapter 5. Today
we turn the corner. We hit pause on eschatology until 2 Thessalonians.
And now we move to a series of commands. Nearly twenty of them in this
handful of verses from 12-22. It’s chock full rich instruction.
Paul has one main purpose in mind. Protect the church. He is writing to a
church that is young in the Lord. Vibrant in their love for Christ.
Passionate in the spreading of the gospel to others. They are a wonderful
testimony of God’s grace. And he wants things to stay that way.
But even strong churches can weaken.
Living in Light of His Return - Thessalonians 5:1-11
Paul deals with both the Parousia (the coming) and the Day of the Lord.
His purpose is pastoral. It is the application of the truth into everyday
life in a way that brings strength to the people of God.
Lining out the exact chronology is difficult. There isn’t a single view
that resolves every tension or answers every question.1 The tendency is to
overstate our position by finding details within a passage that support our
Paul’s purpose right now is to examine the certainty of the end times
events and the impact that certainty has on the church. Ethical
eschatology. What we are not going to do then is to make this passage say
more than it actually does.
Living In Light of His Return - 1Thessalonians 4:13-18 - (Part 2)
Grab your Bibles and turn with me to 1 Thessalonians 4. It’s our joy each
week to open the Scriptures together and have the light of the mind of God
come illuminate our thinking. This is a rich study. It’s a wonderful
Two comments I want to make up front:
* There’s a temptation in eschatology studies to grab your favorite
teacher and follow that position with a personal allegiance that’s
based more in their influence than in the text. Just a word of
caution. You all have your
Living In Light of His Return - 1 Thessalonians 4:13
Where is the character of God? Where is the Gospel of God? Where is the
encouragement? Where is the exhortation?
We are going to make our way back to 1 Thessalonians today. We departed
from Thessalonica for the summer. Typically, we have taken a trip into the
Old Testament over the summers here at CBC. We left the letter at a
strategic point. Paul was about to transition into matters known as
Eschatology is a compound word.
Eschaton is a Greek word that means last. Ology of course is the suffix
meaning study. Eschatology then is the study of last things. Studying
eschatology together is a great experience. It gets right at the heart of
how we handle God’s revelation to us. So, you will learn a lot about what
we believe about Scripture here at CBC by how we approach eschatology. My
goal is to provide as much clarity possible as we cover this ground.
Paul speaks of the return of Jesus in 1 Thessalonians 4:13ff and the topic
raises a number of questions and issues. Most significantly is the rapture,
that is, the catching up of believers to meet Jesus face to face. This
passage raises questions about when and how this will happen.
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