Preaching Outline Leviticus 19:11 Message Three

Message Three – A changed life Text: Leviticus 19:11; Ephesians 4:28;
And referring to Luke 12:15-21

As we noted two weeks ago in Leviticus –

Leviticus 19:11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

God set forth principles of life through His Law providing an opportunity for His people to be a testimony of Him to the world. They should see that He is righteous, just, and holy as well as merciful and loving, providing hope to a helpless people.

This principle of this truth dealing with man’s actions and attitudes as noted in verse 11 is restated in the New Testament. It is a blessing to know that understanding the principles of God helps us to have better understanding of His Word. Just consider the parable given in Luke chapter 12. He was greatly blessed by the Lord, but took no thought at all that the blessings were intended to be used to supply his needs and the needs of others.

While this is a parable, a story to illustrate a truth, we can still consider what may have been the situation of this man. Being a farmer in his day, he would have grown up on the family farm, working the fields all of his life. He lived on the same plot of land, even in the same house as his parents (the land that their parents lived on). He sold his produce in the same market and on the Sabbath attended the same synagogue. He knew but little change except to be in love, be married, have children, and labour day by day to provide for them, educate them, and teach them to work the farm that would some day be theirs. Every year he provided for his family, some a little less, some a little more, but just enough year to year. Life became so routine that he forgot that He was being blessed by God. He began to look at life instead of looking to God and when the big year finally came, He forgot about God, his neighbors, the poor, the travelers, and thought “I have finally gotten something for me”! “This is mine and I am going to keep it and use it for what I want to do”! He turned his back on God who had blessed him with the little, the just enough, the more than enough, and then the wonderful harvest. He had gotten frustrated because he had kept asking himself the question “What about me”?
This is the question that the Lord answers in Leviticus 19:9-11. It is not about us! It is about our place in His plan.

The man rejected everything the Lord had instructed and was completely serving himself instead of others. Being familiar with Leviticus 19:11 gives us understanding of Jesus’ purpose in teaching the Jews through this parable.

Not only do we learn from the parable, we are clearly exhorted in the New Testament to live out our changed lives. He is concerned that we be, not only witnesses unto Him, but good witnesses for His glory.

We are familiar with Jesus’ teaching in this matter in Matthew 5:14. A city that cannot be hid! – what a statement this is.

Cities have made names for themselves throughout history. Consider some of these names – what kind of picture or defining statement is made by these names?
Jerusalem, Babylon, London, Shanghai, Hiroshima, Rome, Sodom. Each name brings a testimony of either good or evil. The testimony is important.
Your name brings forth a picture or defining statement to those who come in contact with you. What statement would be made about you?

God is dealing with Christian character (known by characteristics) brought forth by the new nature – a new creature in Christ. Let’s look at Ephesians 4:28 today to help us measure (evaluate) ourselves and ask God to show us our character as He sees us – in Truth.

I. What we used to be. 28a …let him that stole, steal no more…

A. Positionally – we were separated from God – in a lost condition. Not able to know. We see that the –

1. Description is clear. He is talking about us.
Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

2. Description is simple. No confusion in what he is saying.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
3. Description is truthful – it reveals a spiritual difference.

B. Practically – we were sinners. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Cor 5:9-11; Romans 1:21-3

1. By nature, and –
2. By desire — “have pleasure in them that do them”

C. Purposefully – we were spiritually blinded.

1. We were naturally sinful.
2. We had an adversary who worked at keeping us in that sinful state.

a. He will blind the lost. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

b. He will try and destroy those that are saved. 1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

II. What we can be. 28b We are changed – no doubt …him that stole…
Using the same outline as above –

A. Positionally – we are alive. Moved from death unto life/ dark unto light

1. Saved from eternal death.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

2. Saved unto eternal life. Moved from darkness to light.
3. A completed transaction! Eternal security

Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

B. Practically – we are able to do good.

1. All things new are before us.
2. Set our minds on these new things. Put off the old and put on the new. Colossians 3:1-17

C. Purposefully – yet, even in this new position with our new ability, we accommodate the flesh.

1. We can do good, but some choose not to follow that which is good.

a. Demas was a servant of the Lord. Colossians 4:14; Philemon vs. 24
b. Demas followed his name “Popular” and we find that he chose to serve his lust in the world

2 Timothy 4:10 “…Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world…”

2. Thus we have the admonition from Paul to forsake the thoughts and acts of the past. “Let him that stole steal no more” We can, we should!

III. What we should be. 28c

A. Praising God. Thanking God for the labours at hand.

1. God has created man with the need to work. Note that Adam worked while in a state of perfection.
2. God uses man’s work to proved for his needs.
3. God intends for man to work that work which is good (good for all)

B. Preaching His Word.

1. People believe on the Lord through the hearing of His Word.
Romans 10:14, 17
2. People live for the Lord through the learning of His Word.
Matthew 28:20

C. Providing for others. Thanking God for the opportunities to give.
2 Corinthians 9:6-14

1. A new character – Look at the example of Barnabas
Acts 4:36,37; 11:22-24
2. A new testimony. Consolation has a twofold meaning.

a. Exhortation.
b. Consolation.

Consolation is not just through giving things. Consolation is through giving the Word of God and meeting needs through the provision of God – Belief in action. Stewardship.

Our text reveals the action of a changed person. The self is no longer primary, but the Lord and His will have been promoted to the first place in life. This is the principle of God brought forth in the Law and in Grace!

What kind of testimony do you have? You are not hid – people see your testimony. Can they see that Jesus Christ has made a difference in your life?

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Preaching outline for Mothers Day 13 May 2018

Mother’s Day “Mothers in the Bible

Today we will read of God’s description of the model woman, wife, and mother. When we think of a model, we see an article of clothing, accessory, makeup, or fragrance and we imagine how that would look on us – how it would become something positive in our lives. As we consider the model presented to us through the Word of God, imagine how these things will look on you.

I. Attributes Presented. Proverbs 31:10-28

A. Her character is precious. Proverbs 31:10

B. Her honesty is unquestioned. Proverbs 31:11,12

1. Cannot trust in material things. ie. Stock market
2. Cannot have faith in precious stones. Matthew 6:19
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:”
3. Can have confidence in her.

C. Her labour is disciplined and consistent. Proverbs 31:13-19

Though she labours, she is not selfish. We note –

D. Her compassion is extended to others. Proverbs 31:20

1. Aware of the situation of those around.
2. Active in meeting their needs also.

E. Her labours are rewarded. Proverbs 31:21-28

1. Her household is comfortable. 31:21
2. She is attractive. 31:22
3. Her husband is respected. 31:23
4. Her work is profitable. 31:24
5. Her ways are unwavering. 31:25
6. Her speech is careful. 31:26 (Not ashamed of what she says)
7. Her activity is productive. 31:27
8. She is loved. 31:28

II. Attributes in action. The testimonies of Women of God –

A. Sarah. Her testimony is given in Genesis chapters12-23

1. Comfortable in Ur, but left all, faithfully following her husband.
2. Blessed of God above measure.

Genesis 17:15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai (my princess or princesses), but Sarah (the princess) shall her name be.

She would set the spiritual standard for women born after her –

1 Peter 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

B. Jocabed. Mother of Moses. Exodus. 2:3 “…she hid him three months…” Courage
C. Hannah. Her promise to God Trust 1 Samuel 1:11

“… then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no rasor come upon his head.”

D. Mary, mother of Jesus. Loved God. (A women that the Lord would entrust His son to)

Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

E. Priscilla – partner with Aquila in the work.

These all glorified God through these –

III. Attributes applied to their lives –

A. They loved God.
B. They loved family.
C. They lived faithfully.

These records were given for more than just inspirational stories. They were set forth as examples – how to examine your lives to see those attributes that are exhibited and those that are lacking. They are set forth, not for just appreciation in other’s lives, but they should be –

IV. Attributes desired.

A. What do you want to wear in your life? Do you want to model the –

1. Faith of Sarah
2. Courage of Jocabed
3. Prayer of Hannah
4. Loyalty of Ruth
5. Beauty and strength of Esther
6. To listen like Mary
7. To serve like Martha
8. To work like Dorcas.
9. To be business-like as Lydia.

These are all strong points of each of these ladies.

B. What does the Lord want from you?

1. To have all of these things in your life.
2. The admonition is the same for all.

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Will you seek them today?

1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

The beginning in all of this is with this question – Are you a child of God today? The most important issue is your salvation!

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Preaching Outline Leviticus 19:11 Message Two

The command given in the first sentence of Leviticus 19:11 is a restatement of the Eighth Commandment Exodus found in Exodus 20:15

This command is given in four words. The effect of these four words on our lives is tremendous. Every area of life is affected.

I trust that this morning we will receive the Word of God in all of His power and that we will yield to its changing of our thoughts, values, and most importantly – our character.

I. God teaches us the importance that He places on private and personal property.

The Word of God does not teach the practice of communalism or communism. As we saw last week, God teaches compassionate giving, not compelled giving! Some may say that for Christians, we must give the tithe, which seems to be compelled giving. In truth, we are returning it, not giving it. The tithe belongs to God in the first place.

Now, if a believer gives of what he has to another – that is a blessing. It is no blessing when demands are made on the property of believers simply because of the personal desire to take ownership of what another has. God has given very clear instructions about personal property!

A. This is one of the primary lessons that children are taught, or at least should be taught. When they are left to themselves –

1. They will believe that they are the center of the universe.
2. They will believe that all things are for their use and for their enjoyment.
3. They must be told “No! That is not yours!”

B. This is one of the primary lessons that men should remember.

1. Man, as a part of creation, does not own God’s creation.

Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

2. Man has been given responsibility to manage God’s creation.
3. We had better take care of it – it belongs to God! We will give an account to Him.
Refer to the accounting of the unjust steward in Matthew 25:14-19; 25-30.

C. The lessons would fill volumes, but simply stated we see two things –

1. Do not take that which is not yours.
2. Do not misuse that which you have.

We also see that with this statement –

II. God teaches us the importance of personal integrity.

A. To be responsible for what you have.
B. To be responsible for what your neighbor has, which we will learn in a couple of weeks as we learn about Leviticus 19:13 “Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor…”

C. To be responsible to God’s laws of restitution. Exodus 22:1-17.

In many modern legal systems, a criminal may be found guilty of a crime and will be punished, but while the law provides for punishment, it does not provide for restitution. The victim must bring a civil suit in order to try and have property and damages restored. God’s law included both punishment and restitution.

Zacchaeus practiced restitution after he got saved.

1. The whole value was to be considered. Exodus 22:1
Loss of productivity
2. Both life and property value were considered. Exodus 22:2,3

a. At night, personal protection was condoned.
b. At daylight, confusion in the dark was no longer a problem, the thief could be identified and apprehended.
c. Being caught, he would make resitution immediately or he would work it out according to the law.
3. The law required double restitution for simply robbery. Exodus 22:4

4. The law required restitution of that which was taken or destroyed by accident or deliberately. Exodus 22:5,6

This is includes the whole value – as in point one

5. The law dealing with restitution for goods kept by others. Exodus 22:7-13

a. By neglect or by embezzlement. 22:7-10
b. No restitution was required if no neglect is proved. This was according to one’s word. 22:11
6. Restitution is demanded to pay for items damaged or destroyed that you have borrowed. (as with borrowed books) 22:12,13

Note: Do we see how God is protecting His people from having quarrels in the community? They knew what God’s standard was and could live together in harmony because there was only one standard to be applied to all men. God is no respecter of persons!

Through His principles stated in the Law –

III. God teaches us the importance of reliance on Him.

A. God will supply all of our needs. The Israelites were to trust God that He would give them a place, prosperity, and peace to live. Today we trust the Lord for the same as we are instructed in the New Testament –

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

B. God will use the work of a man’s hands to supply his and others needs.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

C. God will use the testimony of a changed people for His glory.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Israel had this testimony among the people of the world. God instructed them that they may be different, a testimony for Him. We also must have this testimony in this world. God is working a work in our lives to prove that He is Holy and Pure. He is also greater than the world and will change our lives as a testimony to Him. Israel, a nation of people, struggled with holiness of God and had very little peace and joy in their lives. Today – are we ready to learn from them that, if we want peace and joy in this life, we need to follow the principles of God.

You may say this morning, Pastor, what is this message all about? I am okay! That is wonderful! But the world is not okay – just look around. We need to know the principles of God, where they are to be found, and how they are to be applied. The Lord told us to be Salt in this world. Salt is a healing and preserving agent. We have to know something to be able to help. We need to be able to help Babes in Christ to learn what He wants of us. Now we can not only tell them that it is wrong to steal, but we can tell them why it is wrong according to the Word of God. It is not an opinion, it is the Truth of God.

There are many things that can be stolen –
A person’s –
Property, That which they have
Integrity, That which they are
Dignity, that which they do
We must have the testimony of the Lord showing that we respect all of these things and are submitted to the authority of God.

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Preaching Outline of Leviticus 19:9,10 Instructions to live by

Message One Preaching Outline Leviticus 19

Leviticus 19:9-10 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.

Also –

Moses reminded the people of the Lord’s command when the Law and Commandments were reviewed as recorded in the book of Deuteronomy, written shortly before Israel crossed the Jordan river to take the land that God promised them –

Deuteronomy 1:3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;

The people that had heard the first giving of the Law and Commandments had died in the wilderness. Those that remained had been 20 years old and under at that time. The people needed to know that the Law was for them as well as for their parents. It is the declaration of God given to His nation – setting them apart from all of the nations of the world. They would be a testimony to the world to the power and glory of God and the people of the world should come to God through Israel! Multitudes of people did come to God, more did not.

Deuteronomy 24:19-22 When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.

Back to the purpose of Moses’ message to the people. They were moving into a land that they would control. They would no longer be strangers in someone else’s land. God wanted them to know what He expected of them and so reminded them as we just read – “…thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.
We are going to see in the next few weeks some of the commands of God, His principles of life, dealing with man’s relationship to man. These principles will highlight the everlasting truth of God –

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

While reading Leviticus 19 verse 9, I noticed three words in particular –
‘reap, harvest, your land’ As I considered these words I thought of the –

I. Expected Blessings. Leviticus 19:9 “…when ye reap the harvest of your land…”

When the people received this first command of the Lord, they were refugees having just come out from the nation of Egypt. Their possessions were those things that they could carry. Their provision was daily from the Lord. Their protection was completely of the Lord. Their path was directed by the Lord, a cloud in the day and a fire in the night. The promise to the nation is anticipated by the declaration of the Lord –

“…when ye reap the harvest of your land…”

God was going to give them –

A. Possessions – “land”
B. Prosperity – “harvest”
C. Peace – “reap”

With these blessings, God declared that they come with responsibilities.

II. The Benevolence of the people.

The Lord instructed the people to care for others. Actually, He commanded them to provide for those in need. I use the word ‘benevolence’ which strictly means kindness, goodwill, compassion, the desire to do good to others. We may ask ourselves, “can benevolence be commanded”? Is it possible to make someone do good from their heart. The answer is no, you cannot force anyone to be truly kind from their heart. So why the command? Because we must be instructed in what is good. Remember that we are naturally sinful by nature and any good thing must be taught – a learned behavior. The love of God is noted in the possessions, prosperity, and peace He bestows upon His people. We are to learn from Him, love Him, and in return, do good to others, loving them.

We are currently living in a world where the children are left to themselves, not being instructed to do good. The standard of this day is that they should be able to do what they want, not being placed under the burden of guilt through moral instruction. Look around at the results – chaos everywhere.
God blessed us by teaching us that we should care for the good of others and give of ourselves to meet their needs. The command should grow into care and then love. How were they to show their love and care. By providing for the poor and for the travelers. Not by just giving them food, but by giving them opportunity – not welfare but workfare, allowing the individual to keep his dignity by earning his way in life.

God’s instructions were clear – They would supply –

A. The basic needs. Leviticus 19:9

1. Provision for the travelers. “…thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field…”
2. Provision for the community. “…neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.”

They would also supply –

B. The blessing of abundance. Leviticus 19:10

See also Deuteronomy “…. When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.”
In God’s care, He supplies that which we need and in His love, He gives us above all that we can ask or think. The Lord commanded that grapes and olives be made available to those in need. We remember also as the Lord was on His way into Jerusalem, He stopped at a fig tree to take some of the fruit. We note that God’s care extended beyond the specifics of grapes and olives to the common fruit of the land.

I certainly can be thankful for a bowl of oats that will keep me alive, but I can really enjoy a bowl of oats mixed with some fruit! God is always good!
In the New Testament, the Apostle John advocated God’s love to be shown to others through providing for those in need –

1 John 3:17-19 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
And the pastor of the church in Jerusalem, James the Lord’s brother declared that faith in God must be seen in action –

James 2:14-18 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

God created a system by which His people could show the world that He can truly change our hearts. That we can learn to care as He cares, that we can learn to love as He loves, that we can learn to give as He gives – meet the necessities and even above that, give abundantly. Through this we come to understand a little more about His giving, and the ultimate Gift, His Son.
He still gives provision that we might live. The basics for life.

He gave His Son that we might have life – eternal. The blessing for eternal life – above measure He gave!

Have you turned to Him in faith?

We thank the Lord that we are with you all here in Ipoh – a giving people. We must remember, though, that we must teach what we have learned. It is not an automatic response – it is through the love of God

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Preaching Outline First Thessalonians Message 18 – Conclusion

First Thessalonians Message 18 – Conclusion

1 Thessalonians 5:24-26 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

We recently were visiting with friends and the conversation turned to renovating houses. We started talking about tools, recommending brands to each other. We were soon reminiscing about Craftsman tools sold by a store called Sears. When you bought a tool, say a hammer, from Sears it came with a lifetime guarantee. If the hammer ever broke, ever, you would just return it to a Sears store and they would replace it immediately, no questions asked. They had a confidence in their products and stood behind them. It is interesting how their guarantee built a bond of trust between the customer and the company. A guarantee means a lot.

Here we find that Paul concluded this letter to the Thessalonians with a guarantee. All that he has written is backed up one hundred per cent by the promise of God – He is faithful!

A few years later Paul wrote –

1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

And at the end of his life he confirmed this truth to be true –

2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” This morning we have the opportunity to look at the faithfulness of God.

We will review the letter and learn why the people would rejoice that the Lord is faithful – We read that –

I. God changes us. I Thessalonians 1:3,6,7

We learned that He prepares us to work out our salvation for His glory –

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

– and those around us are aware of that change. Our prayer is that they will want to trust God as their Saviour, but, sad to say, often, they reject God and us, becoming angry with us.

1 Peter 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

We can thank the Lord that, while those that we were with before may reject us, we have a new family that loves us and are encouraged by our testimony in the Lord!

The change was seen by their personal devotion to God. 1:9
“…turned to God from Idols to serve the living and true God.”

God is faithful and worthy of our devotion! We then read that –

II. They did not change their message 2:2
Look again at the message preached – the Gospel –

A. The message that was preached to the Macedonians.

Acts 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

After being forced out of Thessalonica and Berea, Paul arrived in Athens. Look at –

B. The message that was preached to the Athenians.

Acts 17:31-32 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.

And having little influence in Athens we see –

C. The message that was preached to the Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

He will not change the message!

He is the same, unchanging glorious God who is holy from eternity past to eternity future. Praise God He is faithful to His Word.

We also see that the exhortation from God is that He commands us to live –

III. Pure Lives. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

We noted that the missionaries had come from a society with morals founded on the Law of God –

Exodus 20:13-17 (KJV) Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

This is not to say that they did not sin. If they had no sin, God would not have given the Law to guide them. They did sin, but they had a moral value instilled in them to instruct them to live a pure life and knowing they would be judged by God when they broke the law. In the lives of the Macedonian’s there was no such guide and no requirement to morality. All of these things were part of life and part of their religious practice. The missionary’s learned they must preach salvation and also separation from the sin of the world.

This command includes all believers – men, women, married and single. “…every one of you…” 4:4
We are commanded to live holy lives and to teach others to live holy lives –

1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

We can only be holy if He is holy. He will never change! He will never disappoint us. He is faithful to Himself – to His own holiness.

We also saw that –

IV. He reminded them of the judgment to come – the wrath of God.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

“…peace and safety…” They knew of the lies the religious leaders in Jeremiah’s day told Kings of Judah that they would not be destroyed by sword or famine, yet the Lord said “…the prophets prophesy lies in my name. I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them…”. They believed the lies and were destroyed by the Babylonians.

As the unbelieving Israel and Judah of old did not escape the judgment of God, neither will unbelievers be safe now when God’s judgment comes. The only way to be safe is to be saved!

A. He reassured them of their position in the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

B. He revealed the reason for comfort. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

1. The Dead –

2 Corinthians 5:8-9 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

2. The Living –

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

– The wonderful comfort found in the Lord’s return.

The Lord has given instruction and promises, encouragement and comfort, in His Word, in this letter to the Thessalonians, as well as to us.

We conclude with this thought. Remember the hammer with the lifetime guarantee? It is not really your lifetime it is guaranteed for, it is for the lifetime of the Sears store. If they go out of business, the guarantee is no longer good. The guarantee that Paul is speaking of works the same way – God’s promise is good as long as He lives – is that a blessed thought! He is never going out of business!

We began these messages with the thought that God not only did a work through these missionaries, He did a work in the missionaries. By serving Him in preaching and teaching, they learned and grew stronger in Him. We can see from the letters written by Paul in the years following the ministry here to the Thessalonians that he continued to grow in faith and trust knowing that –
All that He has promised, He will do – forever!

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Preaching Outline First Thessalonians Message Seventeen

First Thessalonians Message Seventeen

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord has commanded in His Word, the Bible, for us to be sanctified (Holy, Pure). We are instructed to act –

1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct, life); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
We are commanded to act toward this end –

Colossians 3:1-10 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin (sin not practices); for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Things are different now,
Something happened to me
When I gave my heart to Jesus,

Things are different now;
I was changed, it must be,
When I gave my heart to Him
Things I loved before have passed away,
Things I love far more have come to stay.
Things are different now;
Something happened that day
When I gave my heart to Him.

Now we understand that God does not command us to do the impossible. What He has told us to do, He makes us able to do. Paul instructed the church at Thessalonica to be blameless until the Lord Jesus returns. He taught them that the Lord saved more than just their lives (their souls). He has saved them wholly and completely, their spirit, their soul, and their body. They belong to God –

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

I am afraid that many believe that they are God’s people on Sunday and they are their own from Monday through Saturday. They believe that God has saved them from going to Hell and they appreciate it. He is more than welcome to have them completely when they die, they will go to Heaven to live with Him forever, but for now they have things that they want to do and will live their lives for their own purpose and enjoyment. They believe that God’s ultimate purpose is for them to be happy!

People must realize that the only control man has over his dead spirit is his dead conscience. The conscience is programmed by the standards of the world which change from time to time and place to place. The dead conscience guarantees the dead spirit has no option at death except to spend eternity in Hell, separated forever from God. Your conscience entices you with the lie that you can be a better person than you are. All you need is to try harder. If you might change your environment, your circumstances, your standing in family or community you will be better. If you have more money or less pressure you will be better. Everything you desire to be in life, whatever it may be, involves change and you believe that change will improve you. You are wrong and must understand –
The change that we need comes only from God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

When we call upon the Lord for salvation, He works in us and changes us. He makes us able to be what He wants us to be. This is what Paul is writing about in verse 23. This morning we will look at three of the corresponding results of salvation in this verse –

And the very God of peace (Justification) sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless (Sanctification) unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (Resurrection).

We note that God has saved us from –

I. The Penalty of sin. Justified us, setting us apart unto Himself. The very God of peace…”

A. Our separation from God. Our sin nature separates us from God

1. We are separated now. The first death
2. We will be separated forever. The second death

Revelation 20:14-15 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

B. Our salvation in God.

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”

Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began”
God is saving us from –

II. The Power of sin. Enabled us to “sanctify you wholly… be preserved blameless…”

A. We are enabled to resist sin.

John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”

Philippians 2:12,13 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”

We have some huge Hemlocks in the back garden of our house in Virginia. The trees were majestic from a distance, but upon close inspection the trees were diseased. Specialist were called in and treatment was started. It is interesting that while the inspection showed the problem to be on the outside, the treatment was started from the inside. A solution was pumped into the ground around the drip line of the tree. The solution was then drawn into the heart of the tree through the root system and then worked from the heart to the branches. The tree surgeon did some work on the outside of the tree to help protect it. They removed the dying branches, open wounds that allow disease. Along with that, they removed dead branches that may break away and hurt people. Instead of attacking the problem from the outside, they went to the heart of the matter. Just as the tree’s recovery began from the inside, so must ours. Sin in our lives is a heart problem that is manifested on the outside. The inside must be healed and those harmful parts on the outside removed.

B. We are expected to resist sin.

God works in us, from the inside out. We read His Word and He applies it to our lives, working protect us from our own weakness. His strength is our protection.

Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

We need the spiritual healing of God to be continuously applied in our lives. We need to put away the old dead and diseased things. They make us weak and break down our defenses to resist sin.

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

A day is coming that God will save us from –

III. The Presence of sin. “…the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 John 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Our everlasting life in the Lord Jesus Christ began the moment we trusted Him, believing in Him for salvation. A most blessed change will take place in this life and interestingly so, it will be at our physical death or if we are living, the coming of the Lord. At this time we will no longer facing daily the power of sin because the Lord will remove us from the very presence of sin.

Conclusion –

Today, can we say with the Apostle Paul –

Philippians 1:21-25 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
I look forward to the day that we will be removed from the presence of sin, but until then, I will serve the Lord, seeking to bring others to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ!

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Preaching Outline First Thessalonians Message Sixteen

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We often hear God characterized by those who are not really familiar with Him as a God of Judgement.

When they do recognize Him as having a personality, they speak of Him only as a harsh, hard hearted Being. They come to their conclusions through a misunderstanding of the evidence at hand: The World condition and the Word of God.

A. The World condition – revelation through experience.

The world is wrecked by sin and ruled by evil. In every age and in every place injustice and wickedness prevails. Natural phenomenon such as earthquakes, typhoons, floods, and fires kill millions yearly. Photographs of innocent children decimated by disease and starvation are flashed before a horrified public, yet with little help forthcoming. As one disease is erased, another takes its place – worse than the one before. And the cry goes forth “Is this what God has created”?

Not only are the conclusions drawn from personal experience, they also look to

B. The Word of God – revelation through erroneous interpretation.

Joshua 10:40 So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded.

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

They accuse God of evil acts in ordering and abiding the destruction of the men, women, and children, the evil and the good, the innocent with the guilty, the informed and the ignorant.

The accusers use warped imaginings to form their arguments on foundations of ignorance and wrong perceptions.

Instead of reading the Word as God intended it to be read “…rightly dividing the Word of God…”, text are removed from context and used as proof text to prove the theories of man.

God rightly portrays them as the “blind leading the blind”. Choosing to reject God and as Pilate did, they wash their hands of the whole situation. When pressed for a decision they will, as the Stoics did when faced with the truth from the preaching of Paul, excuse themselves by saying “We will hear thee again of this matter”. They claim to be innocent when they come face to face with God, not realizing that the Lord has already informed them that they are “without excuse”.

The heartbreaking truth of the matter is that they do not understand that God is not what they consider Him to be at all for He is certainly “…the very God of peace…”

This morning we will try to learn why God, who knows Himself perfectly, defines Himself as the God of peace.

I. The Potential of His Peace.

The God of peace is recognized through the relationship that He has as Creator with His creation. In His infinite wisdom and power He created by the power of His Word all things. In six days God created all that exists and at final inspection declared that “it was very good.”

A. The purpose of His creation is stated by the Apostle John –
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

B. The proposition to His creation is that they would delight in one another by choice.

Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

C. The pride of His creation.

Adam and Eve chose to obey their own selfish desire instead of God and introduced sin into the world –

1. The condition of man

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

2. The condition of creation –

Genesis 4:17-19 “…cursed is the ground for thy sake … Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee … in the sweat of they face shalt thou eat bread…”

Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Man cries out as described by Jeremiah “peace, peace, but there is no peace…” and man in his frustration blames God for this condition which in fact was brought on himself.
Romans 3:10-18 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.

II. The Presence of His Peace.

A. He overcomes fear. Mark 4:38-40

Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

B. He overcomes grief.

John 11:25-26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

C. He overcomes ignorance.

In 2013 a lady was trekking the length of the Appalachian Trail in the Eastern part of the USA. The trail is about 3,400 km and she had walked about half of the trail, about 1,600 km. She was trekking this portion alone. She needed to relieve herself and walked off the trail to find a private area. She somehow lost her direction and spent 26 days in the forest, finally dying alone. Her body was found 2 years later, only 30 minutes away from a cabin. She was lost not knowing how to be found, and yet she still died. She had no guide to help her, no one to show her the way. The world is lost and dying – confused and afraid. Jesus has come to give peace through Himself. He is “the Way, the truth, and the life”

1. He replaces confusion by His Word – “He will guide you into all truth…”
2. He rewards faith with confidence. –

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

And He has promised to His children – “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee…”

III. The Provision of His Peace.

A. We were the enemies of God. Colossians 1:21 “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works…”

B. We had no hope, no power to help ourselves –

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, … having no hope, and without God in the world:

C. We were loved by God who gave Himself for us that we might have life everlasting in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Ephesians 2:14-17 For he is our peace…

Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

IV. The Promise of His Peace.

Romans 10:9-13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

“…The very God of peace…” Is He your peace today? Have you trusted Him for salvation?

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