Sunnyside First Baptist Church
Living to Please God
      • 1 Thessalonians 4ESV

  • Up to this point...

    The church in Thessalonica was born and thrived in a time and place that was torn from us by time and distance. The context of the book is something that we could not even imagine. The arena where this happened, was distant and foreign but as most scripture does it bridges the gap and our current situation fits quite well to the examples and situations that we live in.
    Paul has been encouraging faithful living, focused sharing, and making the faith communities where we live and learn actually family communities.
    I don’t mean family by blood but family by choice
    Jill and I moved to the northwest 35 years ago. We arrived here in early November 1986. I pulled this Minnesota girl, who was very tight with her family, two time zones away without any connections to family or friends.
    I had my work, I had a commitment to the US Army, Jill had nothing. No family, no friends.
    I at that point, had no connection to God, I had no need for God, I was the boss of my own self. The only thing I needed was me!
    So how do you suppose that worked..?
    It was a nightmare for us as a couple, for me personally God challenged and I ignored, He challenged again and I ignored Him and His ways.
    So how do you suppose that worked..?
    It quickly became obvious that my choices, my life was not going to work for us and for me.
    Our visit to Central Baptist Church in University Place, Washington changed the path and direction in my life.
    Not it was not because of me but because the the GREAT BIG push that God did.
    I know even if I would have rejected Him that time He would have kept trying, It was not necessary
    I GOT IT!!
    Our need for connection broke down the HUGE barriers, my barriers and pushed me towards God and redemption from my sin and giving my life over to Him.
    Yes, I got “saved” and baptized but what I didn’t expect is that I got family.
    These are people who became far closer than any human family. These were my siblings by choice.
    We had fun together, we disagreed, we bickered and we fought sometimes.
    But when there was a health issue, when there was a death, when there was divorce, when there was unfaithfulness in a marriage, when there was the deepest need we all came back to our family, our siblings by choice. These people were closer than any brother or sister could have been
    These are the relationships that Paul has birthed and fostered in the people of Thessalonica.
    The love of Christ PLUS access to the very throne room of God PLUS the fellowship and the family of other fellow believers of God.
    That is the connection that bridges the gap from 50 AD to the year 2020.
    This is the bridge from “Indeed you are Glory and Joy,” through “Do you have what it takes...” to live the Gospel life to where we are today… “Living to Please God.”
    Open your bibles or apps or tablets to 1Thess4.1-12
    1 Thessalonians 4:1–12 NIV84
    1 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. 9 Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more. 11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
    -------------------------------
    There is a ton of stuff her… let’s get started
    1 Thessalonians 4:1–2 NIV84
    1 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
    -----------------------------------
    Obviously we are getting to end of the letter, finally.
    Paul makes it very clear that he is not dealing with new or different information. He is not making a big course correction of the people of Thessalonica.
    He tells them, “… we instructed you how to live in order to please God and you are living it.”
    NOW DO MORE!!!
    Do more, not just treating your new family, your “by choice” family with this love that you have for each other
    BUT...
    Begin treating your neighbors with the same brotherly love that you have for each other.
    Who were their neighbors...
    UNBELIEVING, UNRIGHTEOUS, UNFAITHFUL and those that have a complete disdain for the Gospel and anything about it.
    Hmmm… Finally a clear connection to the world we live in today.
    V.3 and 4 from the Message!
    1 Thessalonians 4:3–4 The Message
    3 God wants you to live a pure life. Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity. 4 Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body,
    1 Thessalonians 4:3–4 NIV84
    3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,
    ------------------------------
    OK, what was happening that this specifically was being mentioned specifically.
    In the culture of 50 AD, Greek men often didn’t marry until there 30’s. The culture did NOT discourage prostitution, sex with multiple partners, sex in the temple it was a free-for-all.
    Hmmm… Finally a clear connection to the world we live in today.
    It’s interesting that that set of sins, that stabs at where we are the weakest has not changed in nearly 2000 years.
    We live in a sex filled society. The internet, advertising, television, Netflix, Hulu all poke at the deepest core of who we are… our sexuality. Men and women feel the same stress and tension caused by that connection, our obsession or just our “passing interest” in everything sex.
    God is calling directly to us in scripture
    “You should live a pure life...” [The Message]
    “You should be sanctified...” [NIV]
    Now just wait a doggone minute.. You told me 100 different times in a 100 ways that getting saved, means that you are already sanctified.
    Yes and Yes...
    Sanctification - the act of becoming more personally dedicated to God; especially by becoming more distinct, devoted, or morally pure.
    When you accepted Christ you where sanctified but you also entered into a process of becoming more like Christ every day. Every day… clawing forward two or three steps and then falling back one or two.
    Remember our proverbial mirror...
    We first look at we see a reflection ourselves with all of blemishes on the outside and we are reminded of the sin blemishes, hurts, pain, wounds on the inside.
    As our lives continue with God and Christ he continually transforms us so that when to look in at mirror we begin to not see ourselves but see Jesus. We finally look like as completely as we can when we meet him face-to-face.
    The point is that we have to keep growing, keep changing, we MUST become more like him… DON”T GET STUCK!!!
    Sanctification is an event, yes and it is a process.
    We are never done being sanctified until we are in heaven!
    Just another flashback to a couple of weeks ago we are called to be
    Holy, Righteous, Blameless
    This is an impossible standard, There is no way I can come close to that so I’m going to take my marbles and go home and keep on doing what I’m doing
    Nobody can be Holy, Righteous and Blameless without being in a relationship with God through Christ alone.
    That relationship should not be one sided… God has done His part by sending His son to die on the cross for me and ALL of my sin. It is MY side to be more and more like His son everyday.
    Back to Scripture
    V. 5-6
    [“Give dignity to your body...”]
    1 Thessalonians 4:5–6 NIV84
    5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.
    -----------------------------------
    Paul’s concern here is immorality in marriage
    1 Corinthians 7:2 NIV84
    2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
    We might wink and whisper about adultery, But it is real, it’s a temptation, it’s from “The Tempter” as we talked about last week… It’s satan! Poking around where he doesn’t belong. But where we are very vulnerable.
    MAJOR STATEMENT… MAJOR THEME…BIG IDEA
    1 Thessalonians 4:7 NIV84
    7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
    --------------------------
    I’m not going to give up on this statement for me, I’m going to keep working at. I want to live a life that is pure and holy, set apart for God, with the power of the Holy Spirit I can do it. AND SO CAN YOU!
    WARNING WARNING WARNING...
    This is why you don’t give up, this why you always keep trying. This is when we rely on the Grace and Mercy of God in our lives
    V8
    1 Thessalonians 4:8 NIV84
    8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
    -----------------
    Please dear brothers and sisters… and I mean brothers and sisters. Listen to the warning, listen carefully.
    [Read the verse again…]
    1 Thessalonians 4:9–10 NIV84
    9 Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.
    ------------------------------
    Is it ever enough to say enough… I’m done being in a relationship with your brothers and sisters? Now depending how large a family or how many connections that you have, you may need a break.
    But you can NEVER turn your back on your family, your brothers and sisters.
    In fact… do more and more to drive that bond deep into your soul.
    WE ARE ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS HERE!
    Vs. 11-12
    1 Thessalonians 4:11–12 NIV84
    11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
    ------------------------
    Here is the context, as we have discussed before. The importance of context, context, context. We can’t really understand scripture without understanding who it was first intended for and their circumstances… It’s the principle of “First Hearers”
    Christians and Jews were definitely minority groups in Thessalonica. They were harassed much less if they kept there heads down and remained inconspicuous.
    Our context is much different than 1st century Thessalonica.
    There are Christians who prescribe to leading a “quiet life.” There are many others who are LOUD AND PROUD followers, advocates, missionaries, evangelists, preachers. I’m not going to judge either of you.
    I’m going to draw your attention to Vs.12
    “so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders [people who have not yet began a relationship with Jesus.]
    Do what, you do, but you cannot represent yourself well as a follower, if the rest of the world does NOT know that you claim Jesus as first in your life.
    The the opposite is true also
    You cannot be loud and obnoxious, disrespectful of others. You also cannot be a preacher who is absolutely out of bounds, that absolutely twist and turn the Gospel. Perverting scripture and twisting it for another purpose.
    Those preachers have 100’s of thousands of followers, they fly around in private jets, with mansions, filled with the results of their sick “ministries.”
    And probably the worst is that they are heretics, they represent the basics of Gospel incorrectly and they lead those 100’s or thousands with them into error.
    I have names… if you’d like to talk about any of them, talk with me.
    As a way of closing let’s go back to “family.” We have a blood family. Some are small, some are very large. They will always be family.
    Then you have your family of faith, of choice. That is made up of others that pour into your lives. Whose lives you pour into.
    Jill and I would not be the people that we are, we might not even still be married. If were not for a FAMILY that we belong to because of our faith connection.
    My hope, my desire, my demand from you is that you connect with your family. The family that raised you, encouraged you, built you up, was your biggest advocate and your biggest critic, was there when you needed them the most, discipled you and disciplined you.
    God has called us to live a Holy, set apart life and has given us tools to do that through FAMILY!!
    He has called us to live a life that is worthy of our calling
    Matthew 28:19–20 NIV84
    19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
    -------------------
    To God Be The Glory for what He has done!
    To God Be The Glory for that family!
  • You Deserve The Glory (JOE)
  • Today Is The Day (JOE)
  • Glorious
      • 1 Thessalonians 4:1–12NIV

      • 1 Thessalonians 4:1–2NIV

      • 1 Thessalonians 4:3–4NIV

      • 1 Thessalonians 4:3–4NIV

      • 1 Thessalonians 4:5–6NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 7:2NIV

      • 1 Thessalonians 4:7NIV

      • 1 Thessalonians 4:8NIV

      • 1 Thessalonians 4:9–10NIV

      • 1 Thessalonians 4:11–12NIV

      • Matthew 28:19–20NIV

  • I Surrender (JOE)

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