Shalem India Pentecostal church, New Jersey.

Message 2013

CHRISTIAN DUTY -1

 

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 (12-13)

Theme: How to perform Christian duty?

 Background

·       While writing to the Thessalonians, Apostle Paul spoke to them on various themes.

·       In his First Chapter he talked about the Christian Church.

·       In the Second Chapter, he instructed them to do Christian service.

·       In Chapter 3 Paul exhorted them to have a Christian Concern.

·       In first part of Chapter 4 Paul encouraged them to follow Christian behavior.

·       From the second part of Chapter 4 through the first part of chapter 5 Paul dealt with the subject of Christian hope, as to how to overcome the problem of bereavement in life and how to wait for the Day of the Lord.

Introduction

·  In the present text, that is, the last portion of 1 Thessalonians Paul talks about Christian duty.

·  He instructs the Thessalonians as to how to perform their duties as believers.

·  As Christians, we have certain sense of duty to be fulfilled.

·  We have certain commitment to our God, to our fellow beings and to ourselves.

·  Paul mainly talks about three areas where we as believers have to give attention.

·  We will see them one by one as we go through this passage.

·  How to perform our duties as believers?

1.     We must perform our duty by respecting those in leadership (Vv. 12-13)

·  When Paul talks about those who work hard, his reference is possibly to elders of the early church.

·  He, first of all, writes how the ministers of the gospel are described by their work.

A. Who are these leaders?  What is their work?

·  Are they only ones known by their respectable and honorable names or their position and status?

·  No, not at all!

·  Paul tells three things about the ministers of the Gospel.

a. Leaders are the ones who work hard among their people.

·  True Christian ministry is hard work.

·  There is no place for laziness in leaders’ life.

·  A lazy leader is devil’s masterpiece.

·  Leaders are not supposed to be known by their name or fame or position, or influence, but by their hard work.

·  God’s servants are not to hang around their duties, but actual doers of God’s work.

·  The leader must be busy with his or her responsibility. 

In what areas they must work hard?

·  1 Timothy 5:17 talks about elders who direct the affairs of the church, especially in the areas of preaching and teaching.

·  It is not only preaching and teaching, but in all the areas of the affairs of the church.

·  Hard labor may be in the area of comforting, edifying, instructing, encouraging, interceding, visiting, counseling and correcting in righteousness.

b. Leaders are the ones who are over you in the Lord.

·  It means they are to rule their people.

·  How should they rule over them?

·  Not with harshness, but with love.

·  They are over people in the Lord which means they are not like civil magistrates, but ministers under Christ and they must rule by Christ’s laws and not by laws of their own.

·  While having courage and authority in the Lord, they must rule with humility and gentleness.

 

c. Leaders are the ones admonish you.

·  Admonishing means to instruct people to do well, and reprove them when they do ill.

·  It is their duty not only to give good counsel, but also to give admonition, to give warning to the flock of the dangers they are liable to, and reprove for negligence or doing wrong.

B. What should be the duties of the congregation to its leaders?

·  Paul talks about two things about it.

a. Hold them in the highest regard in love.

·  They should greatly value the office of leadership.

·  They must honor and love their leaders.

·  It is because they work for the welfare of their people and for the glory of God.

·  They must honor not merely because of personal attachment or respect for their high position, but in appreciation for their hard work among them.

b. Live in peace with them.

·  This is talking about living in good relationship with leaders.

·  There are people who disrupt the work of their ministers.

·  Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.  They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.  Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

·  We should never hinder the work of God either through our words or action.

·  As believers we must facilitate the work of God by living in peace and harmony with our leaders and each other.

Conclusion

·  May the Lord help us to be faithful in our Christian duties!

·  Let’s give due respect to all those who work hard in the vineyard of the Lord.

·  There are many ways that we can show our love towards them.

·  Either we can go or we can send missionaries.

·  Thinking about them and praying for their work is one way to express our respect and responsibility.

·  Supporting them is another way of showing our love toward them.

·  May the Lord help us to hold them in the highest regard in love, facilitating their work and live in peace with them!

Mathewphilip©2013

 

CHRISTIAN DUTY -2

 

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 (14-15)

Theme: How to perform Christian duty?

Introduction

·  In the last portion of 1 Thessalonians Paul talks about Christian duty.

·  He instructs the Thessalonians as to how to perform their duties as believers.

·  As Christians, we have certain sense of duty to be fulfilled.

·  How to perform our duties as believers?

·  Paul speaks in terms of three areas:

·  Last week we learned that we must perform our duty by respecting those in leadership (Vv. 12-13)

·  Today we will see what Paul has to speak to us about the second duty of a Christian.

 

2. We must perform our duty by caring for each other (Vv. 14-15)

A. Who are the people to be cared for?

There are three groups of people that we need to be concerned about:

i.       Those who are idle.

ii.   Those who are timid

iii. Those who are weak.

·  What to do with people who are idle?  Warn them of their laziness.

·  It seems that some Thessalonians were so sure that the second coming was close that they had given up their jobs in order to prepare for it.

·  What Paul did was that he urged them to work.

·  What to do with those are timid? Encourage them.

·  Thessalonians were anxious about their friends who had died.

·  They were worried about their destiny.

·  So Paul asked the rest of the believers to encourage them.

·  Friends there are some who are cowardly, afraid of difficulties, and disheartened at the thoughts of hazards, and losses, and afflictions.

·  We must encourage such people.

·  We should not despise them, but comfort them.

·   What to do with those are weak? Help them.

·  We should never allow the weak people to be rejected by the strong.

·  Some are weak/slow in performing their work, and they may not be able to bear up under their burdens. 

·  We should support them, help their infirmities and lift at one end of their burden.

·  Friends, God has given us a three-fold ministry when it comes in terms of caring:

·  The ministry of warning, the ministry of encouraging, and the ministry of helping.

·  And not give us the ministry of mocking, despising, rejecting, and criticizing.

·  We are called not to curse others, but to bless others.

·  God wants us to be a blessing to others.

 

B. Then Paul exhorts us to be patient with everyone.

·  We live with people having differences of opinion and character. 

·  People will also be in various stages of development. 

·  Especially, in the case of congregation, it is a flock of sheep. 

·  Many sheep can walk but slowly.

·  Some of the lambs must be carried on the shoulder. 

·  As mature Christian believers we have to be patient with all of them. 

·  Dr. Charles Jefferson said, “Men’s souls are narrow; let them grow, my brothers; we must wait.”

 

C. Apostle Paul further admonishes us in two important things.

·  Here he addresses general Christian behavior.

 

i.     Firstly, we must make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong.

·  This is something that we must look into and be very careful about.

·  If others do us an injury, we must not do the same to them in return.

·  There will be unfavorable response from people around. 

·  Then we are asked to exercise a forgiving spirit. 

·  Jesus Christ is the supreme example. 

·  Peter says in the Bible, "Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.”

·  As a believer I cannot expect that other people should be more Christ like than myself. 

·  A Christian believer who has an enemy whom he or she is unable or unwilling to forgive ought to repent or quit his or her Christian life.

·  All personal revenge and retaliation are forbidden to the followers of Jesus Christ.

·  It is because God is the one who take revenge.

·  Dear friends, never take revenge. 

·  Leave that to the righteous anger of God, for the Scripture says, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the Lord."

·  Instead,
If our enemies are hungry, feed them.

·  If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.

·  In doing this, we will heap burning coals of shame on their heads."
In Rom 1217ff we read, “Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good."

·  By giving an enemy a drink, we're not excusing his misdeeds.

·  We're recognizing them, forgiving him, and loving him in spite of his sins-Just as Christ did for us.

·  After all, the core of Christian living is to be like Christ.

 

ii.   Secondly, we must always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

·  It is not only to fellow believers, but also to every one including our enemies.

·  Human nature generally is ungrateful, selfish and unkind. 

·  Also there may be lack of appreciation of our sacrifice and effort. 

·  Our natural love will soon run out and we will turn against those to whom we are sent and to whom we minister. 

·  But we must learn to love the unlovely and the unlovable. 

·  As believers we must love the unworthy and who may do us personal injustice.

·  So there need to be a mutual warning, encouragement, help and also forgiveness.

 

Conclusion

·  May the Lord help us to care for each other in every situation, especially in the body of Christ!

·  Let’s take up the ministry of warning in love, encouraging without selfish motives and helping others without expecting reward of appreciation.

·  May the Lord help us to be kind to one another and bless others!

Mathewphilip©2013

 

titleThe Christian Duty-3

 

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 (14-15)

Theme: How to perform Christian duty?

Introduction

·  In the last portion of 1 Thessalonians Paul talks about Christian duty.

·  He instructs the Thessalonians as to how to perform their duties as believers.

·  As Christians, we have certain sense of duty to be fulfilled.

·  How to perform our duties as believers?

·  Paul speaks in terms of three areas:

·  First we must perform our duty by respecting those in leadership (Vv. 12-13)

·  Second, We must perform our duty by caring for each other (Vv. 14-15)

·  Today we will see what Paul has to speak to us about the third duty of a Christian.

3. We must perform our duty by being committed to Public    Worship (Vv. 16-28)

·  Public worship is a vital part of the life of the local church.

·  We need to do certain things in regard to the nature and conduct of public worship.

·  Paul talks about four things in regard to this:

a. Fulfill the will of God in our lives.(vv. 16-18)

·  How to fulfill the will of God in our lives?

i.       Be joyful

ii.     Pray continually

iii.   Give thanks in all circumstances

·  This is the will of God in Christ Jesus.

·  Rejoice in the Lord always must be understood of spiritual joy

·  Paul invites us to worship the Lord in joy

·  Worship services are not supposed to be gloomy and boredom.

·  Our worship services should be a celebration, a joyful rehearsal of what God has done for us through Christ Jesus.

·  So let there be clapping, use of musical instruments, shouts of praises. 

·  Other must see that these people are someone who are always joyful.

·  People are naturally happy on some occasions, but the Christian’s joy is not dependent on circumstances.

·  It comes from what Christ has done, and it is constant.

·  Pray continually means pray always, and not faint.

·  Pray without weariness and ceasing.

·  This does not mean that we should do nothing but pray.

·  It means that nothing else we do should hinder prayer in its proper season.

·  Nothing in our life should be a hindrance to prayer.

·  We should always pray, and never give up.

·  As God’s children we are to thank God in all circumstances.

·  We are differentiated from other people in this matter.

·  We should be thankful in every condition, even in adversity as well as prosperity.

·  What is pleasing to God is to be joyful, to be prayerful and to be thankful always.

b. Allow the Gift of the Spirit to manifest in our midst (vv. 19-21).

·  Paul warns against a mechanical attitude toward worship that discourages the expression of the gifts of the Spirit in the local church.

·  We should allow the Holy Spirit to work in the midst of people.

·  We should never quench the Spirit.

·  We should also give proper place for prophecies.

·  There are false prophesies, but we are to test every Spirit in the light of God’s Word and hold on to what is good.

 

c. Sanctify the whole person before the Lord (vv. 22-24)

·  Paul emphasizes the importance of the whole person being holy.

·  we are asked to do two things in order to sanctify ourselves before the Lord totally:

i.       We need to avoid every kind of evil.

ii.     We have to keep our spirit, soul and body blameless

·  The whole matter of holiness is important here.

·  How can one preach holiness and lead others into a life of holiness if he or she does not live a holy life? 

·  Spiritual leaders shall be true to their words, pure in mouth, honest in all their dealings and shall live a clean, holy life. 

·  How is it possible?

·  Assurance is seen v. 24 and it says that it is possible with the Lord. 

·  Paul’s confidence rests not in human standard, but in God’s nature.

·  Today, many people’s holiness rests up on standards set by human beings.

·  Why we can put our confidence upon God?

·  Because He can be relied on to complete what he begins.

·  He is the One who calls us into holiness.

·  Leviticus 11:44 says, “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.”

·  He is faithful and he will help us to become holy.

 

d. Consider fellow brethren (vv. 25-28)

·  Paul in concluding his letter asks the Thessalonians to do certain things.

·  This shows that they must have a consideration for fellow Christians.

·  How to show our consideration for others?

i.       By praying for others - shows our concern and love for others. The secret of the success of Christian life rests upon intercession for others. When we pray for others, first of all, God touches our own situation.

ii.     By greeting others with holy kiss - shows our sincerity and relationship to others. A kiss of love was a normal way of greeting in Paul’s day.  This advocates a strong bond of love among believers.

 iii.   By reading this letter to all the brothers - shows our intention for others to follow Christ. It is given as a charge.  Others must know the things we have heard, seen and learned from God’s Word so that they may also grow spiritually.

iv.   By wishing the grace of Christ - shows our longing for God’s grace and blessing to be up on others.

Conclusion

·  How to fulfill our Christian duties?

·  Let us give due respect for those who lead us.

·  Let us care for each other in the body of Christ

·  Let us worship the Lord Jesus Christ by fulfilling his will in our lives and living a holy life according to God’s standards.

·  Our obligation to others must be fulfilled in submitting to the leadership and caring for each other.

·  Our loyalty to God must be seen in the right nature and conduct of worshiping Him.

·  Our commitment to ourselves must be seen in sanctifying the whole person, that is, our body, mind and spirit.

·  May the Lord give us his grace and wisdom to perform our duty as responsible Christians in this world!

 Mathewphilip©2013

 

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