Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 (14-15)
Theme: How to perform Christian duty?
· 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.
1. 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.
· 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!