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Lesson III- The Church of the New Testament -Part 2

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LIVING IN THE HOPE OF CHRIST’S RETURN

Bible Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:7-10

Subject: Ministry

Title: Authentic Ministry, Part 2

INTRODUCTION

Biblical Orientation:

Let us review where we are in chapter two before we discuss verses 7-10

 Acts 17 tells us that Paul, Silas, and Timothy went into Thessalonica and they preached the gospel and the city quaked. Many believed the gospel; many did not. The unbelieving Jews stirred up the city against the missionaries until their very lives were in danger, and so at the insistence of the brethren, Paul and Silas left Thessalonica at night and went to Berea, eventually Paul went to Athens

After their departure, Satan went to work on the young and struggling church by telling the believers that Paul did not care for them; that he was just another preaching mercenary, a charlatan, and a money-grabbing preacher/philosopher using folks for selfish reasons. At least, that was the accusation

 Last week we preached in verses 1-6 and Paul said “No way!” He reminds the people of their “entry” into Thessalonica that it was (V1) “not in vain.” Then he undertakes the unpleasant task of defending their integrity against efforts to destroy his/their reputation. The further spread of the gospel in Greece depended on this being understood and set straight. We learned in the first six verses two marks of authentic ministry:

ü Boldness - in the face of physical danger and in proclaiming the true gospel

ü Pure motives - not pleasing men but God; not being deceitful or seeking personal glory

Sermon Orientation:

Now, in verses 7-10, we see three more characteristics of “for real” (authentic) ministry:

ü Motherly love – V 7-8

ü Manual labor – V 9

ü Manner of life – V 10

EXPOSITION/MAIN TEXT

I. MOTHERLY LOVE –AUTHENTIC MINISTRY MANIFESTS LOVE AS A MOTHER LOVES CHILDREN V 7-8

A. An Honest Acknowledgment Regarding Some Fundamental Preachers

1. In our day and age, unfortunately, many do not have a pastor that loves them nor have they ever had a pastor that loves them

2. It is not the call of a pastor to whip people into line

a. That would be futile and an abuse of the office

b. Paul says about ministers 2 Corinthians 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand

3. One thing should be acknowledged however:

a. The pastor who lays down no parameters and who is willing to concede to anything with broadmindedness will be perceived as loving, but may be delinquent in his duty

b. The pastor who preaches with fervor, dogmatism, and boldness will often be accused of lacking love

c. The authentic minister will seek God to be diligent and true with love; “speaking the truth in love” Ephesians 4:15

B. Paul Describes His Love For The Thessalonians

1. Gentle as a nursing mother to her children

a. Do you know of a more tender scene that a mother clutching her baby and holding it tight?

i. The baby cannot provide for itself
ii. It is important that it is properly nourished
iii. Their abrupt departure precluded this from happening

b. Here is how it could have been when Paul went to Thessalonica (sarcasm):

ü “As an apostle of Christ the Anointed King, I, His apostle, preach and people get saved and assemble. Okay, it is time you know who I am. I am Paul, the apostle, abundant in revelation, more zealous that any, a master builder of the church. Now just do as I say, believe what I teach, pay me, and we will get along fine and you will be a good church”

c. However, Paul was gentle

i. He did not demand apostolic rights
ü 1 Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward
ii. Again, watch a loving mother with a young and tender child; gentle, caring, and kind

d. 2 Timothy 2:24 “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach…”

e. In the next sermon, Lord willing, we shall see this does not mean a compromising tolerance, but a Christ-like grace and gentleness

2. Genuine affection gives and gives

a. We have pointed out that love is a verb and that “Love gives”

b. The accusation against Paul was that he was a taker; that he would use the people to minister to his needs and wants

c. According to verse 8, he gladly gave (imparted) the gospel of God

i. That was the easy part
ii. Paul loved to share the good news

d. He also says, they were dear to them

i. This means he could not stop at preaching the gospel
ii. They were willing to impart “our own souls”

e. Some immediately think of Paul’s words of Israel in Romans 9

i, That he could count himself accursed for their salvation
ii. In other words, to see the Jews saved, he would go to hell if he could
iii. However, that is not the meaning of verse 8

3. Soul = life; the innermost part

a. Paul reminds the Thessalonians of what they knew already – and you, listening today, know too

b. You know there is a difference in one who gives out the Word as a matter of duty and another who casts his innermost self into it

ü No momma called preachers
i. One holds a job
ii. The other puts his life into the work

c. Authentic ministry does not preserve self, but spends itself to impart the gospel

II. MANUAL LABOR – THE AUTHENTIC MINISTER ENGAGES IN TOIL AND TRAVAIL AND LABOR V 9

A. The Case Of Paul And The Context

1. Verse 6 tells us this was a new church, made up of new converts, and was suspicious of charlatans and mercenary preachers

2. Paul wanted to lay no financial burden on them; they were economically oppressed anyway

3. V 9 and 2 Thessalonians 3:7-8

a. Paul probably used his trade as a tentmaker (Acts 13:8) so as to avoid putting a burden upon them

b. Note, however, that Paul is not opposed to the preacher getting paid

c. He said he should, and if faithful is worthy of double honor

3. But authentic ministry first and foremost preaches the gospel and ministers

a. Being paid is in order to live

b. Money is what is needed in order to make mortgage payments, have heat, and eat food!

B. The Main Point Is That Authentic Ministry Requires Travail And Labor And Toil

1. I recall my early impression of ministry and of preachers: they wear fine suits and stand in the spotlight and wax eloquent

2. They are like CEO’s driving fine cars, traveling, and going out to eat

3. But I want to tell you that authentic ministry demands labor and toil and travail

a. A church grows through hard work: ministry, prayer, and soul winning

b. People that, like Paul, will expend their very lives to see others saved

4. There are times a job of manual labor looks very inviting comparatively

a. If our ministry does not produce weariness, is it authentic?

b. Love drives authentic ministry to toil and labor

III. MANNER OF LIFE – AUTHENTIC MINISTRY EMPHASIZES PROPER BEHAVIOR V 10

A. Paul Says Three Things About Their Behavior Or Manner Of Life

(Note: Heibert says, and is probably correct, that this verse is a summary of all Paul has said in his defense)

1. Holily = devout; pious; religious

a. They were opposite of the profane and carnal

b. Do you know that if you, even as a preacher, try to live a holy life and refuse the profane and vulgar, you will get ridicule?

c. Holy points to an inner disposition that gives regard to the sanctities of life

2. Justly = simply having to do with what is right in the performances, relationships, and duties of life; justice; rightness

a. It means to get along with people and avoid the incredible and despicable turnover rate in churches

b. The authentic minister simply treats people right!

c. Don’t use them; don’t abuse them; don’t lie to them

d. Live right! Do right! People will respond

3. Unblameably = it simply has to do with living in a manner that is above reproach

a. Which is something all church members should do

b. It may also require us to display a little grace every once in a while

B. Authentic Ministry Provides An Example To The Flock.

ü 1 Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock

1. “Being ensamples to the flock.” Authentic ministry cannot be protected from “fish bowl” existence

2. If a pastor and his family are to be ensamples to the flock (and we are), and if we are ensamples of holily and justly and unblameably, then you are under obligation to follow

3. But then, that is no problem!

4. Surely authentic Christians in an authentic church will properly respond to authentic ministry!

PREACHING PORTION

Here is what we are learning: authentic ministry is totally and completely focused on boldly proclaiming the gospel. Authentic ministry is not man pleasing but God pleasing; it never seeks its own glory. Authentic ministry is firm but gentle; it nurtures its converts. Authentic ministry takes work; it is not 9-5 and it is not “well I gave it a half-hearted effort.” Authentic ministry always requires a dedicated life

We applaud a Michael Phelps, a Michael Jordan, or even a president for their dedication to the task. When they are done and gone we will give them a statue

However, the reward of the authentic minister is one of everlasting significance. Men, women, boys, and girls will be ushered into eternity because of ministry. You will be with them forever. Look at 2:19, your statue so to speak will be living and loving forever!

There is nothing more rewarding or fulfilling than authentic ministry

CONCLUSION

Therefore, make sure it is the focus of your life and desire

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