Thessalonians series #1 -
Something To Talk About
A Church of Faith, Love, and Hope
1 Thessalonians 1:3 (whole chapter)
I want people to know that New Life is a Church full of Faith, Love and Hope
I Corinthians 13:13 says that what "remains" is faith hope and love. SO we WANT to be a people of faith, love, and hope don't we?
Of course we do
As a matter of fact, we would boldly stand and say
YES we have faith. We have great faith, we have true faith, we have life changing faith AMEN?
And we have love right? We love one another, we love our community, we love the lost, we love the Lord. Right? Amen? We are people of Love?
And hope, we have hope right? Hope in heaven, hope for life, hope for tomorrow, we have hope right? Amen?
READ Chapter 1
Faith, hope and Love, are NOT pretty but sterile Vines!!
Faith, Hope, and Love have FRUIT
The Fruit of Faith, Love and Hope is
WORK, LABOR, and ENDURANCE
1. Work because you have faith
A. What is the Work of God?
"… 'what must we do to do the work that God requires?' Jesus answered, 'the work of God is this: to believe in the one he sent'"
We are asking the wrong question and producing the wrong fruit
1. believe what he says
2. believe who he is
3. believe what he can do
What you do you believe?
What do you have faith in?
What you are "working" at says a lot about what you have faith in
Where you are expending your energy gives away your faith
If we build our Faith, we will Work like Christ desires
I think we have things often out of order
We are often busy trying to be "Faithful" instead of "being full of Faith"
B. How do we Increase our Faith?
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor. 1:2-5
?2? For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. ?3? I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. ?4? My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, ?5? so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
1. I can't even SEE my faith, so how can I build it up?
2. there aren't any faith workouts are there Pastor?
You are In ONE Now
But these are written that you may? believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
?14? How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? ?15? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
?16? But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" ?17? Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
3. Faith comes from Hearing and Hearing from the Word of God
4. Corporate preaching and teaching are part of the process
5. But once a week teaching isn't enough exercise to build your Faith to produce the Work God requires
6. Sheer "spiritual talent" is not enough
no matter what you attempt you can't be good enough with a little bit of weekly teaching on "how to"
7. you must train yourself. You must read yourself
8. If you KNOW God's Word, you Will Believe God. If you Believe God you will believe his Son, if you Believe his SON the byproduct is WORK produced by Faith
9. If the Word will increase your Faith, then we need to increase our intake of the Word
Do you Read as much of the Word as you …
Self Help Books?
The latest Novel?
The Newspaper or online news?
As your favorite program on Television?
Can you feel what I'm saying?
If you fill your mind with things apart from the Word, you will have faith in those things or at least your faith will be stunted.
C. Where do I start?
1. Be in Worship
2. Be a Part of a weekly Bible Study
3. Take NOTES - You can't get it all in by just being a spectator. Taking notes makes you a participant
4. Take the passage I preach and bring it into your quiet time during the week.
5. Could it be that God intends for the message he gives me each week to actually impact your life and bring about change?
6. Take the entire passage and read a few verses each day and allow God to speak to you through it
I believe that if you will sow the word of God into your life it will produce the Work that God requires
You will become Sunday School Teachers, AWANA Leaders, Missions Volunteers, Service Volunteers, Laborers in God's field
The Word of God produces Faith
Faith Produces Work
Work does NOT produce Faith but Faith does produce Work
2. Labor - out of an expression of love
We serve God NOT because we HAVE to in order to keep our salvation but because we are in love with him
We serve others out of the love that we have for them in Christ Jesus
V4 - you were chosen / loved first / by God
God's love came NOT just with words but with the POWER of the Holy Spirit. In the same manner Love backed up by Labor is Love with the Power of Action behind it
A "Labor of Love" is more powerful than a "Labor of Obligation"
We labor not because Religion Compels us or the Government Compels us not even because MY love compels me, but because God's LOVE compels us
2 Cor. 5:14
Our Love is NOT strong enough to compel us.
Hosea 6:4 - describes human love as "like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears"
That kind of love won't compel us to Labor like God requires
A. What is Love?
Well 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that Love is Patient, love is kind, it does not envy, boast, or is proud, etc. etc. etc.
That is all true and is great for teaching and for a wedding ceremony and we should follow the example, but can't we make it more simple?
1. 1 John 3:16 - "this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."
2. John 15:13 - "greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends"
3. Put HIS definition in front of you.
4. When we keep HIS picture of love in front of us it WILL modify our behavior. It will change the way we LOVE and then the way we Labor
5. Ps 26:3 - "your love is ever before me, and I will walk in your truth"
6. The Love of Jesus required ACTION. The Love of Christ caused him to leave his throne, humble himself, and offer himself to sacrifice for us
B. How will we respond?
1. if his blood runs through our spiritual veins we will LOVE in action as well
2. Labor will follow our Love
3. 1 John 3:17 - if we see someone in need and can but do NOT meet their need, how can God's love be in us - 18 says that we should not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth
verse 19 says if we respond in love with action then our hearts are at peace when we come into God's presence and when our hearts are at peace, then God answers our prayers.
4. In other words, how can we ask God to move on our behalf out of his love for us when his love IN us doesn't move us to labor in love for our brother
v 23 says "this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us"
So a church of faith and love will work and labor
Faith and Love come from a singular Spring
Col. 1:5 "the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel"
3. Endurance as a Result of our hope
A. What is Hope?
Col 1:27 - "the glorious riches of this is mystery, which is Christ IN you, the Hope of Glory"
1. hope is what we HAVE not what we HOPE we have
2. it is a result of knowing Christ
3. those who don't have Christ according to Eph 2:12 are without hope and without God
4. our hope is In an ever present God who in immanent and involved in our world
5. our hope is in a God who has secured and holds our future in his capable hands
B. Futility is the Greatest Thief of Endurance
1. when you think you are wasting your time
2. when you think you will never make it
3. when you think it is a lost cause,
It is EASY to Sit Down
It is Difficult to Endure
C. Place Your Hope in the right Place
1. Isaiah 40:28-31
?28? Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
?29? He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
?31? but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
when we KNOW in WHOM we hope then we can endure the difficulty of labor and work
when we know what we hope for, we can endure any struggles that life brings to us
In spite of severe suffering - v6
We have Endurance inspired by the HOPE WE HAVE
We are complete in Christ
Romans 8:29-31 is all the Hope I need
God Foreknew Me
God Predestined Me
He Called Me
He Justified Me
He Glorified Me
Those are FINISHED statements
Hope is when you see yourself at the finish line before you get there
They that hope in the Lord, SOAR, RUN, WALK, but they don't stop
Jesus said, take my yoke upon you and learn from me for my yoke is easy and my burden is light
We have already won
Get Up, Press On
Where is your Hope Placed?
Know who Christ is
Who You are In Him
Who he is In you
Christ in You is the HOPE of Glory
Faith Love and Hope
Work, Labor, and Endurance
Why is it important for us to be a church like that?
Why is this so important? What's the purpose behind it?
The purpose of all of this, the purpose of faith that produces work and love that serves, and hope that endures is that our lives my SHOUT OUT to the watching world - READ vv7-8
The Word is getting out and will continue to do so
If you live this way, you can't keep it a secret!