Setting the Standard (Part 2)
Setting the Standard: Part 2
· Read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
· Last week, we talked about how we are to set the standard in our Christian life.
· We are to be examples of holiness, purity, witness, and discipleship for our children, for other believers, and to the world, all to the Glory of God.
· Last week, we talked about setting the standard of perseverance in the midst of trials and suffering. We are to have a sticktoitiveness.
· Today, I would like to talk to you on a really practical level. What are the things that we as a congregation should persevere in doing? We can think of many things, but I would like to focus on a few key things that Paul gives us in this book.
· It’s interesting to note that what Paul is asking us to do, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is something that he has set the example in. He does not ask us to do something that he is not already doing. He is commanding us to do these things from a life of integrity.
Body: Stick to these things:
1. Seek to be a blessing to others
a. Give them the Gospel v. 2b
· We should seek to be constantly giving others the Gospel message.
· This is the only way we will see people saved, and revival come in our church is if we all obey God’s command to share the Gospel.
· Philemon 6: I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of everything you have in Christ.
· Romans 1:12 (Living): But now, through Christ, all the kindness of God has been poured out on us undeserving sinners, and now he is sending us out everywhere to tell all people the great things God has done for them, so that they too will believe and obey him.
· Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes: First for the Jew, and then for the Gentile.
· Just tell the story of the great things God has done for you. Revelation says that we overcome the devil through the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. Telling your testimony is a fatal shot in the war against the evil one.
b. Discipleship (Great Commandment)
· Disciple: Follower of Christ. Also has the idea of disciplined person.
§ Prayer, Bible intake, witnessing, fasting, worship, tithing, all to the glory of God.
· v. 7 He is like a mother to them
§ NIV: Model for ministry at Newton Springs: 8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
· v. 11 He is like a father to them
· What does discipleship look like?
i. Sunday School
· Small discussion group to study the Word and share life with other believers.
· Proverbs 27:17
· Study the lesson during the week, and come together to discuss the meaning of the Scripture and how to practically make it a part of your life.
· Gives you a place to feel “Connected” as your class spends time praying together.
· Testimony of when we had Larah and Preston, and our Sunday School class in Baton Rouge.
ii. One-on One discipleship
· Meeting together with another believer with the purpose of keeping each other accountable.
· Example: Brad Oswalt
iii. Family Discipleship
· Husbands and wives
· Parents and children
· Example: Stan
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. 
2. Live a Live of Integrity (v. 3)
· You are the same person in private that you are in public
· There are impure motives for living the Christian life: error, impurity, attempt to deceive, pleasing men, words of flattery, pretext for greed, seeking glory from people.
· “The biggest argument against Christianity is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, but deny him by their lifestyle. This is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
· Integrity is the idea of moral soundness. That your motives in life, work, and ministry are pure.
· Illustration: Not one slice taken off. It is the idea of peace and holiness. (wholeness)
· We are not motivated by money, by making a name for ourselves, or by somehow being recognized, or even that somehow we might earn favor with God.
· We are motivated by the fact that we have a God who is worthy of our obedience. He died on the cross in our place, and saved us, and has given us eternal life in him. Our response should be obedience to his word out of sheer thankfulness and joy over the great things that he has done for us.
· Proverbs 10:9
9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
3. Live life to an audience of One (v. 4-6)
· We should seek not to be men-pleasers, but to be God pleasers.
· Who are you trying to please? If you are trying to please people, you will never get there. People constantly change, their motives change, their desires change, their perceptions change. However, we serve a God who never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We can trust Him, and should live our lives with the view that we are trying to please the only One who matters.
· We must strive to live our lives in such a way, that when we see Jesus face to face, we hear those words that we all long to hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in the little things, you will be given much.”
Illustration: Bill Borden
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Eph 4:11-16). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.