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July 15, 2021 6:00 am
Pastor Rick teaches from the Book of 1st Thessalonians 1:1-3
All when he gets to currently leaves course and later writes a letter to them. He reminds them as they shared the same trait. Everyone did with Paul.
When everyone had come out of idolatry and to the Corinthians. He writes this to them which applies also to the Thessalonians, he says, and such were some of you but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the spirit of our God. This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville.
Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of first Thessalonians.
Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of first Thessalonians chapter 1 with today's edition of cross reference radio open our Bibles to the first letter to Thessalonians chapter 1, I spent all of last Sunday on the introduction so brief, brief introduction them will begin the first verse in this letter, we find Paul conditioning these new Christians in Thessalonica and moral purity is something that the church seems to be increasingly silence about today. It's when the church is afraid of what people are going to think if it tells the truth of God's word. The church is dead, and when the people don't want to hear what God has to say about their lifestyle.
That person is likely not saved. He also sought not only to condition them in moral purity but to construct them to have disciplined lives to take some control over their lifestyle with the interest of Christ in mind, and also to comfort them concerning the end times and end when we get to the that section of Scripture there. Paul is going to say comfort it will bring it up in this first chapter 2, but I don't know that we'll get to it this morning but he speaks of comforting the Christians concerning the end times and for me it's a very disk big disconnected for those of you who don't know God has promised in his word that his wrath will come upon the entire earth. But his church, his church, his believers will be spared that moment in time that seven year period of great tribulation. The last 3 1/2 of which are are horrific in comparison to everything else, such as the world is never seen. Jesus said well he promises to spare us this and yet there are those who teach with zeal that this will be the case, and I don't know why they do that except to say their entire outlook on the character of God and the word of God is damaged. The probably likely approaching Scripture from a sense of guilt as a positive as opposed to grace well will get to that later but now let's look at the first verse first Thessalonians chapter 1 Paul does not introduce himself to this church as an apostle, and a probably for a couple reasons. One is well. They really didn't care about titles of content is what they were after they wanted they knew Paul they loved what he had to say.
That was enough for them and that, whereas other churches there were those within the churches that were troublemakers. They wanted to say things against Paul to destroy his ministry.
And so when Paul wrote to those churches. He introduced himself as Paul and apostle of Jesus Christ and an apostle of Jesus Christ is one who has been handpicked by Jesus Christ himself.
They have only been 13 of them. 1 Fellow Way, we are left with 12 well, we can say there have been 14 of them.
If you count Matthias, but he really was not chosen by Christ. He was chosen by the first century church. Well anyway, none of that is critical to salvation, but these are points concerning our Scripture and where he says in the beginning Paul savanna's and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ Grace to you and peace from God and our father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, we can imagine that when they got this letter from Paul. They were very excited. We covered this last week and I won't spend too much time on it would. Paul founded the church year was run out of town headed towards Berea the Jews a chaste amount Thessalonica chased him out of that city of Brea, and he then went on to Athens and having left Timothy and Silas behind Timothy and Silas catch up to Paul in Athens.
He sends Timothy back to Thessalonica and himself.
Paul goes to Corinth, where we have him start the Corinthian church and that is how the letters to the Corinthians. Come into the picture.
Well Timothy leaves Thessalonica comes back to Paul who is now incarnate and he gives him an update on the church in Thessalonica and when Paul gets this news. He writes the first Thessalonian letter that we are reading now is now writing to them based on the report from Timothy. It was so good, so encouraging that he now as as I introduced, he begins to further condition construct and comfort them concerning the things of our faith, so that when they get this letter. Remember when he first shows up in the city. He goes to the synagogues. He preaches there and still fresh on his back on the wounds he received in Philippi about 100 miles away, remembering the landscape the nation way that big highway that the Romans built went from the Adriatic Sea in the West and travel to these Thomas pursuant to get past this in a minute to the South who went south. Now was the Aegean Sea. My point is this indignation way going from West to East, covered over 500 miles and along that route was the church at Philippi in the church, Thessalonica, and this is why they were targeted by Paul and he preached there would such success.
So these people of this congregation.
They knew people that was the city a lot of traffic. They were not removed from society, but very much a part of it. And so when he arrives there and this letter arrives there and and it is introduce Paul. That meant something to the audience. Paul meant something to them.
There was a pastor that not only introduce them to Christ, but bore on his body. The evidences of suffering for Christ at the hands of those who didn't want to hear it preached it anyway. They had come out of idolatry. They knew about that life.
Many of their family members were still steeped in it. They had embraced all of the immoral practices of the idolatrous religions of the Romans and the Greeks and anybody else who had one to offer them Paul when he gets to Corinth, he leaves course and later writes a letter to them.
He reminds them as they shared the same trait. Everyone did with Paul.
When everyone had come out of idolatry and to the Corinthians. He writes this to them which applies also to the Thessalonians, he says, and such were some of you but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the spirit of our God forever Paul when he taught on the Trinity and many other things but he's dealing with immorality and prior to this he said you had been adulterers and sodomites and all the things he's naming that belong to sin that were a part of these religions that they practiced anything you've come out of that come to Christ while his audience that meant something to them.
His name tied right into the change in their life. They were free. They were free from that junk. And they weren't going back so just mentioning the name of Paul got their attention because they knew that everything Paul is about was Jesus Christ. That's not who they were about. Also now he mentions savanna's his partner.
We talked briefly about him. Savanna's was sent from the church in Jerusalem to the church up in Antioch in Syria. So what you're getting is homeless activity in the early Christians that moving around the traveling bringing the word well while Paul was ministering in Antioch. There was this big uproar about trying to make Gentiles Jewish and Christians at same time possible have none of that stuff gone. Judaism is obsolete. This is Christianity whole thing. So to settle this brouhaha. Paul and Barnabas had to Jerusalem and their at the church in Jerusalem. They held the Council. James the writer of the letter to check a letter of James in the New Testament, he oversaw this Peter was there John was there and they said you know Paul is right, ladies burdens on the Gentiles. However, because we have Jews who are Christians were having a tough time with this cultural shock we going to ask you Gentiles to back off on some of the things that you're free to do in front of them and everybody was good. So they went back up to Antioch with this news and Silas was one of the men entrusted to follow the news up there and oversee its communication so you could say I was there. And that's right, this is what was said and if anybody tried to mess it up muddy up the waters. He would get involved will while he was Antioch in Antioch. He realized this is a sharp contrast between the church in Jerusalem that is so into Judaism that can struggle if it stays that way. And the church up in Antioch, which is striving and preaching the word and getting rid of all of the incidental things that have nothing to do with Christ is the Christ is done on the cross and righteous living in the power of the Holy Spirit.
So he stays in Antioch and he takes a liking to Paul, Paul, now is about to go on his second journey into Gentile territory. Him and Barnabas split off another good split and when Paul says well I gotta take somebody with me Silas for the last I'll go with you and Paul and Silas head out together and so he is still with Paul on his second journey, which is when the church Philippi was started. Now the church in Thessalonica as well as his Corinth and and others along the way so that two Silas is his name. Silas is most likely in Aramaic version of the Jewish name Saul and so this is Hebrew roots are tied into his now Gentile name. And as as we continue on.
In fact, you may read of him in Scripture. Savanna sets the Latin version of his name, just the world.
Was this big melting pot because of the Roman roads. Romans built these roads again for the allegiance to travel through God built them, allow them to build them for the gospel to travel to and this is same to this day, roads bring life to the area where otherwise it was not like I think one reason why we see so many people have moved back or lease their children have moved back to the south from the North. One reason why the South population is increasing as the interstates.
I think indoor air conditioning is a big part of it too, but the interstates will just the change.
Everything in in in its area while Timothy Timothy is one I think most of the Bible scholars get Timothy wrong because most of them want to present this young Christian, who a mentioned young Christian everybody's. He holds his young and that is hoping to do some good to them but that's not that's not the whole story Timothy II don't believe was as young as some people might have in mind is young man was not a teenager and he's probably in his 30s and is often presented by many pastors and commentators. Is this timid chap. I don't know where they get that this guys moving around the world with the gospel is with Paul and suffering, he came to Christ in a city with a student Gordon not very far from where they stoned Paul and so he was very much aware of the hostilities belonging to Christianity and he joined it nonetheless and was very active with it, but I think I think why they made present him as this timid fellow is because Paul love Timothy so much he was almost too motherly to him. He was so nervous about Timothy how I think really send them out and send them out. Timothy take the letter I want to go a dispatch him. And yet, and in Timothy refining pastoring in Ephesus Ephesus, the tough city the past for a lot of reasons, and so this is some of the backgrounds of these characters here, Timothy.
A great man of God. Looking forward to getting to his his letters and now we come to that part of verse one where he says to the church of the Thessalonians. Now the word church is ecclesia in the Greek it's a secular word really ill. It was at the time it was used, but it did not whether it's to God. Nothing is beyond his reach. That is good and is proper.
It's nothing wrong with the word. It's those who are called out. It was used various ways. In the ancient world, but very appropriately apply to the church as we who believe are called out recalled out of this world recalled out of the sinful life recalled out of the judgment upon sinners.
This is a mutual agreement, covenant between God himself and and man who men who would come and receive it, and it is what makes the church. The church and again as we covered last week little bit.
These Thessalonians know that this letter they received was going to be Scripture. Scripture already was made from the same stuff. Eternity is made out of listen to what Isaiah says he says the grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of God stands forever, and here we are reading it. They just they know they were hungry for Christ.
More news about Jesus Christ. They wanted to grow as Christians to be used, and so the letter is read what God is saying this letter that I just sent to you is from me and it is holy Scripture. And so we have it. Then he continues. Paul does in the first verse he says in God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Where is the church's safe position it is in God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ. And that's how he is speaking to the not consent to them before he got there they were in. You know Jupiter or Mercury or some other pagan God. Now they are in the father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Now the Holy Spirit is a part of your life. Now everything is changed for them now you see them in heaven, and will see us is his Grace to you and peace.
How sweet a picture that is grace. God's kindness that you don't deserve okay we understand that we, gotten past that. As you mature in Christ. It's a given. It's always operating in the background. We don't deserve this. What makes it so sweet and yet God gives this to us anyway.
But now as you mature in Christ would begins to happen. I think ideally is that you want to be used as a vessel for grace and not just the recipient to the immature Christians they just receive receive receive receive.
But the mature Christian looks to be a vessel God is pouring through onto others, and so he says Grace to you and peace. Now remember that being persecuted for not taking his words lightly lightly there being persecuted they received a letter from someone else who has been persecuted there now. He's one of them there. One of him there being persecuted for the faith of anybody in the space. Faith can write Grace to you and peace Paul and it wasn't what you mean peace. This is peace. God is not answering my prayers. This is peace and struggling as nisi was going on that were there attitude the conversion would be precarious. That was not there attitude. We know that because by we get the second letter we find that there are there is no backlash against the things Paul had said to them grace and peace manifestations of the Christian life and experience in triumph. That's what peace is for these Christians.
That's what needed to happen. He continues again. He says from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It just in the introduction, no holding back the superlatives about our faith. Jews writing about Jerusalem would say all my springs are in use affects Psalm 87 verse seven all my springs Jerusalem ring you. Why is why would they say such a thing put it into song because they viewed the footprint of Jerusalem as the place that God chose to stand and that David life.
That in itself was the spring it was God that made Jerusalem, the city of peace, even though it's never been any such thing and so this from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ he's uncorked the spring again outflows.
This connection. Amen this was real to them. Maybe you're sitting here this morning and you going bore reading when we can get to the chariot fight you're already having and you don't know if that's your attitude you losing by the way Satan's role in after you poke in you and you too dumb to know it and so this means very much to the Christian from God from God. That's what he says.
Our father, you know, when I worked years ago in the construction industry and I would share the faith in the early effects phases. I kind of thought of God the father.
I still do think of them as this wonderful father and I thought of my earthly father is a wonderful father Messerli not align with God but my had a good many of the people that I was witnessing to. They did not.
If fathers got drunk and beat them. If fathers left home therefore and it was just after God clued me in on this and so when I began to preach the Lord's prayer and teach it to guys on the worksite year Lord's prayer our father condemning and I would begin to pick apart our father is not like any other father, there is good, better and otherwise. What an opportunity what a ministry of field of ministry to just take the simple things of the Scripture and present them the way they really are to hear Paul say our father and the Lord that's good that the master Jesus Christ, the one that is in control. The one that I cannot say no to instill stand in front of a mistake you my Lord of the Lord says go.
Do you suppose to go down.
If he says go doing you don't do it because you don't want to do it and who's the boss who is your Lord will yourself, your view of the Lord of your life segments on the Lord of my life and how silly would sound verse two he continues. We give thanks to you partly, we give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers again, knowing the difficulty that they were going through, but also understanding how difficult it is to win a convert to be used by God to win a convert difficult van then how difficult it is to disciple them. You know I maybe you've been used by God on a long-distance relationship in some way to lead someone to Christ and you know then you check in on him and you call and say how you doing I'm doing fine will what you doing with the Lord one going to discharge you, what man but I like you know everything. I feel the move and an aesthetic good night about truth about truth. Nevermind this emotional razzle-dazzle. In the sky is falling, which would be frightening but that's what you get. That's discipleship United Legion of the truth. Legal follow these loony tunes around just because they use Jesus name doesn't mean they use his word and of the not doing the two together. We have a great big problem in his heart torrential for but they like it over there.
Mr. need a deeper voice but anyway so when he says we give thanks to God always for you all, he say I understand how difficult this is and understand how quickly you can drift right into dangerous water syrup infesting infested waters says, making mention of you in our prayers's burden with the needs of the people. How can you not if you're Christian, how can you not be burdened with the needs of the people is what a relief. Ministry is is a burden. I can't just sit here. Of course it's not every needs not calling that would that would bump out the Holy Spirit were under the authority of God. But we are all stirred to pray. There's a calling there. There's always a calling to pray. There's always a calling to do God leads us to do and he always leads us to do that which is right.
If we let him. So how could he forget them, he could not is going to say that as we move now to verse three says, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ site, our God and father move.
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