Nobleton Community Church
April 21, 2024
TEXT: I Thessalonians 3:1-13
Pastor Paul V Lehmann

Listen to live audio here

Paul felt a great responsibility for his converts which he compares to that of a father for his children. That involves encouraging, comforting and urging them to live lives worthy of God, who calls us into his kingdom and glory. Until Christ be perfectly formed in them. (Galatian’s 4:19-where Paul likens the pain of childbirth to how he feels about them until they completely follow the Lord. That’s why he was committed and really wanted to make a second visit to the Thessalonians. His purpose was to see their faith perfected, so they could persevere no matter what Satan threw at them. This would be a crown of rejoicing when the Lord comes back. He knew that justification before God (that is: being made righteous because of the forgiveness, and victory over death that Christ accomplished on the cross); was only a means to holiness and not an end in itself. He expected Christians to go deeper, in the things of experiencing the holiness of God, the love of God, and the power of God in their lives. In this purpose Paul was frustrated by Satan. It was in the form of persecution by his fellow-countrymen. Because Paul couldn’t return to Thessalonica, (2:8) he sent Timothy as his representative to establish them and comfort them. According to Acts 17:10 Paul left Thessalonica and went to Berea. When trouble broke out there, some Christians took Paul to Athens. It was quite a praise report of good news when he came back to tell Paul of their progress in the faith. (Verse 6).
Paul’s desire and passion was to see the church at Thessalonica, immovable by temptation, trials, error or persecution.
Some people feel that if you experience troubles and trials are always caused by sin or a lack of faith. But trials may be a part of God’s plan for believers. Experiencing problems and persecutions can build character. (James 1:2-4). Problems are unavoidable for God’s people. Your problems may be a sign of effective Christian living. Some people turn to God with the hope of escaping their suffering and problems. But God doesn’t promise that, instead he gives us power to grow through our sufferings.
He knew that their faith had to be completed by teaching. Conversion is instantaneous but maturity in Christian experience takes growth. For this purpose the teaching ministry is essential. Paul prayed that the Father would direct his way to do this and lead them to greater love for the Lord and his holiness.
His objective was intensified by his uninterrupted intercession for them
Paul prayed that they would move on from the elementary teachings about faith as we read in Heb. 6:1-2, and move on and experience the foundation truths about Christ and not be stuck —so to speak—in the main truth about salvation. God is holy and he wants his people to be holy. When we are filled with the Spirit, we experience the full salvation that we read about in the Gospel of John where Jesus tells us that he has come that we might have LIFE in all its fullness. (“Abundantly”)
After conversion it is inevitable that sin will reinsert itself in the believer’s life in many forms. This is hurtful to our faith, and disillusioning to our assurance. If Christian teachers leave converts in this condition it is no wonder that they backslide. It is important that we impart to them the knowledge of their position in Christ. That is to show:
Paul prayed that they would increase and abound in love toward one another. The one Biblical standard for the Christian life is LOVE. In the Old Testament they were under LAW, and it was negative, whereas LOVE IS POSITIVE. Love brings about honesty, integrity, purity, charity and loyalty.
The kind of love which we have when Christ is in our life delivers us from every kind of fear. Perfect love in Christ casts out FEAR. (I John 4:18) It delivers us from fear of judgement by God. We can experience the LOVE of God, which when we receive His son Jesus into our hearts and lives, it is his love that others see in us. When others see a lack of love in our hearts it shows a need for perfecting our FAITH. When we fail to love God and others like we should, God has more for us by way of Christian experience.
It is imparted by the Holy Spirit. Prayer is the main contribution toward the achievement of a state of holiness. I want to make one thing clear. This isn’t something that makes you religious. When people say that so in so is religious, they probably mean they are either a committed Christian, or not a Christian. Religion is something that man strives for. That’s what the Pharisees that Jesus faced all the time. They were religious, and counted on what the Law stated, but of course Jesus pointed out how they were miss interpreting so many things. Religion is man trying to reach out and satisfy God or gods. What our Heavenly Father offers is a Relationship because of what Jesus Christ his son did for us on the cross. When we receive him into our lives, as put our trust in him as our only Savior, his Holy Spirit comes into our hearts, and as we submit and yield to His control, he sanctifies us our sets us apart to serve him and He is the only one who can make us holy.
Sometimes people want to make the gospel more attractive. They encourage people to give their lives to Christ, and they will find the peace and joy they are searching for. That part is true, but we must never make any kind of promises that God will keep you from going through trials or that we won’t have any problems. It is more likely that our lives will get harder. Our family might turn against us, we might lose our job, and People will put expectations on us that things should change for the better. If a family member is living in sin, and are caught up in all kinds of trouble, there will still be consequences for sin. What Jesus will do is give you the will, the wisdom, the strength and the power to walk through anything Satan throws at you. We just need to allow the Holy Spirit who lives in us to be involved with our everyday life. Not just when there is a crisis. I read about three young men who completed a yachting expedition up the west coast of Scotland. They commented that when you are at home you may never listen to or look up the weather forecast. At least that used to be the case. Now you just look it up on your phone. I do it almost every day. Anyway, he said when we were on that yacht we listened to the weather forecast every day —we were all ears. It was quite possible to do without knowing the weather when we were at home where life was comfortably safe; it was essential though when our lives might depend on knowing the weather. We are apt to try the same thing with God. In ordinary things we disregard Him, thinking we can manage okay by ourselves, but in an emergency we call out to him, knowing we can’t make it by ourselves.
It is to God that Paul always turned to for guidance and direction. We use God to try to achieve a God-rescued life; Paul had a close relationship with God to achieve a God-directed life.