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1 Thessalonians 3:10-4:1

1 Thessalonians 3:10-4:1

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1. Highlights of the church at Thessalonica

(a) They accepted the Word of God (2:13) [And so we too constantly thank God that when you received God’s message that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human message, but as it truly is, God’s message, which is at work among you who believe]

(b) They demonstrated spiritual growth, Christian character, and fruitfulness (1:3) [we recall in the presence of our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ]

(c) They were noticed by others (1:7-10) [As a result you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you the message of the Lord has echoed forth not just in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place reports of your faith in God have spread, so that we do not need to say anything. For people everywhere report how you welcomed us and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus our deliverer from the coming wrath]

(d) They endured persecution (2:14) [For you became imitators, brothers and sisters, of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, because you too suffered the same things from your own countrymen]

2. Despite these positive qualities, Timothy reported to Paul that

(a) There were gaps in their faith (verse 10)
(b) Paul wanted to mend the gaps [improve the condition]—Mending the gaps will improve and enhance what is already existing
(c) And prepare them to stand before Jesus at His coming (verse 13) as “blameless” and “holy” people

3. Two causes for the gaps

(a) Absence of a pastor teacher (verse 11)
(b) Lack of love within the faith community (verse 12)—Paul desires that the love they need to have must “increase” and be “abound”

(c) According to Paul, “abounding love” for the faith community will keep them holy before Jesus at His coming—“without blame in holiness” (verse 13)

(c1) Abounding love for the faith community is a moral conformity to the character of God
(c2) The point is that unless love grows, selfish desires increase and will turn our love toward ourselves and not toward God, which results in an ungodly character and lifestyle (Beale, IVP)—the NY resolution can be: “I will extend love at least to one person every day”

4. In the time between now and Jesus’ coming, the believer’s must “please” God more (4:1)

(a) Carrying out important obligation
(b) Bring pleasure

5. Take Away

Resolve to show love in action to at least one person a day within your faith community

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at wjsubash@crossroadbangalore.org