Getting Along Together in the Local Church 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24
Something To Think About Paul addressed some practical issues. Just like many today, the Thessalonians needed instruction in how to get along within the fellowship. Christianity is a family affair. While it is an intensely personal thing, it was never intended to be a private matter. Built into what it means to be a Christian is the responsibility we have to one another. Just how are we to get along in the local church? This is the general question Paul will answer in these final verses of chapter 5.
KEY VERSE 1 Thessalonians 5:15 “ See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men”.
Lesson Objectives To acknowledge our responsibility for each other’s spiritual welfare To accentuate the loving relationship that should characterize the church To actively display brotherly love to all believers
THE PROPER ATTITUDE TOWARD LEADERS 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 Responsibility of the Members (12) 1 Timothy 3:4 1 Timothy 5:17 Respect for the Leaders (13)
Respect for spiritual authority and leadership is often an overlooked topic in churches. However, because it is biblical and necessary to the effective ministry of the local church, it needs to be addressed. The apostle Paul implored believers to esteem their spiritual leaders highly. You will notice that Paul does not say pastors and spiritual leaders are to be honored because they are great men, but rather “for their work’s sake” (verse 13b). They deserve loving respect because of the office they hold, and we esteem them highly because of the position in which God has placed them
THE PROPER ACTIONS TOWARD OTHERS 1 Thessalonians 5:14 Caution the Unruly 2 Thessalonians 3:11 Comfort the Feebleminded Care for the Weak Calmness Toward All
No one treated Lincoln with more contempt than did Edwin Stanton, who denounced Lincoln’s policies and called him a “low cunning clown.” Stanton had nicknamed him “the original gorilla” and said that the explorer Paul Du Chaillu was a fool to wander about in Africa trying to capture a gorilla, when he could have found one so easily in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln said nothing in reply. In fact, he made Stanton his war minister because Stanton was the best man for the job. The years wore on. The night came when an assassin’s bullet struck down Lincoln in a theater. In a room off to the side where Lincoln’s body was taken, stood Stanton that night. As he looked down on the silent, rugged face of the president, Stanton said through his tears, “There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever known.” The patience of love had conquered in the end.
THE PROPER ATTAINMENT OF MORALITY 1 Thessalonians 5:15 Do Not Render Evil for Evil Because It Is Evil to Do So Romans 12:17 1 Peter 3:9 Do Render Good Because It Is Good to Do So
Loose wires give out no musical notes, but when their ends are fastened, the piano, the harp, or the violin is born. Free steam drives no machine, but harnessed and confined with piston and turbine, it makes possible the great world of machinery. An unhampered river drives no dynamos, but dam it up and you can generate sufficient power to light a great city. So our lives must be disciplined if we are to be of any real value and service to the world.
THE PROPER ATTENTION TO OUR HOLINESS 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 Spiritual Attitudes (16-18) Philippians 3:1 Acts 13:48 3 John 1:4 Spiritual Activities (19-22)
In these verses, the apostle taught us three attitudes that ought to characterize individual believers and local churches: unending rejoicing, unceasing prayer, and undying thanksgiving. Certainly no one has more to rejoice about than the believer, and nowhere should that joy be more readily seen than when believers meet together for worship. Each of these attitudes is connected with the other in our church life. We rejoice because of what God has done for us, which leads us to pray even more, leading us to give thanks to God for answered prayer, which brings rejoicing!
THE PROPER ATTRACTION OF PERFECTION 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 The Preservation (23) Philippians 4:7 The Promise (24)
No greater desire did Paul have for the Thessalonians than to see them become all they could be in God’s service. Such earthly consecration would, of course, also be culminated in a blameless standing before God at the return of Christ. But how were they to accomplish this? Could they be all God wanted them to be simply by giving more, working more, sacrificing more, and trying harder? No, Paul said, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (verse 24). No matter how hard we try, we tend to fail more often than we like; but unlike us, God is faithful. It is God who leads us in each step of our Christian life to greater growth. It is He who will place us in circumstances and situations that will draw us closer to Him and teach us to trust Him more. In our day, we suffer with the philosophy that a person is mature as a Christian if he is doing those things that are on the “Christian’s Do List.” While it is true spiritual maturity will demonstrate itself in works, it is also true that one can do the works and still not be spiritually mature. However, with time and commitment God leads us to spiritual growth, often through obstacles and difficulties, resulting in a change not only in what we do, but also in what we are.
QUESTIONS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION 1.What should your attitude be toward your pastor? In what ways can you show him the proper respect? 2. Does God really expect us to rejoice in every situation? How is that possible? 3. What does the term “quench the Spirit” mean? How does a person quench the Spirit? How can he avoid doing so? 4. What does 1 Thessalonians 5 teach you about your attitude and perspective? 5. Why do you think Paul used the word brethren so frequently in this chapter? 6. How does the promise of verse 24 impact you?
May God Bless You For Coming To Sunday School This Morning! Bring Someone With You To Bible Study On Wednesday Night!
Acknowledgements Applications taken from Bible Teacher Bible Studies for Adults—Fall Edition (2011) This power point slide presentation may be altered by additions or deletions to fit your own teaching style. There is more information in viewing Note Pages Click on View then Note Pages Presentation Compiled For Randall House By Earl Scroggins