First Thessalonians Message Eleven
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.
Paul instructed the church, each member, to love the brethren which includes –
Respecting and encouraging the pastor, 15:13a
Regarding one another in love as family, 15:13b
Reminding all to observe the word of God, fulfilling His will, 15:14
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
We are to have the testimony of single minded obedience to the Lord. This is not, as the world often accuses, a blind obedience. It is an informed obedience!
“…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Paul set forth four actions in this verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:15, which we are to take note of.
We are to –
A. Refrain from attacking those that attack you. “See that none render evil for evil unto any man…”
What does he mean when he writes of “evil”. The word literally means “wickedness, evil, harmful”. Throughout our lives there are people who will, on purpose, try to hurt us emotionally, physically, materially. The things that they say and do are wicked and evil. We are not to be like them! The Lord explained the difference of good and evil as recorded in –
Matthew 12:34-35 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
God will help us to bring good things out of our hearts. He has made us able to do what was impossible for us to do before being saved. We were not able to do any good thing. Even those things that we thought were good, He rejects as being evil –
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
But after being saved, the Holy Spirit has moved in and directs us in throwing out the old things –
Colossians 3:8-10 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:
And the Holy Spirit enables us to move in the new things –
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
By changing us, He makes us able to –
B. Pursue after all that is good. “…but ever follow that which is good…”
How is this accomplished? By surrendering our lives to Him –
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The Lord instructed Paul to explain to us how our minds can be transformed –
Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
When we are right, we are ready for the next step –
C. Promote care among the brethren. “…both among yourselves…”
We are to set the example for one another and through this –
D. Present the work of God to all the world. “…and to all men.”
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Acts 1:8 “…and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”
Psalm 79:9,10 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God?
Knowing the will of God and doing the will of God – how do we accomplish His will?
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
We know that what God wants from us is difficult for us. We know that our flesh is weak and we wrestle with ourselves to do good. The thing is – we can obey Him in His power.
Truly, this is a test of the work of God in our lives –
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.
If you have a new heart, you will not have a storehouse for evil but your heart should be filled with good.
How is your heart today? As you think about your life since the Lord saved you, do you see a definite difference in the new man from the old man?
The instructions we have received will test our love for the Lord! They make a demand upon us that often seems beyond our ability to obey. We do not want to leave a matter for the Lord to settle when we are, at the moment, able to act on our own!
Do you still want to pay back evil when someone is evil to you?
Then this morning do what He has told us to do –
Surrender you life to Him
Fill your mind with His Word
Pray for the Holy Spirit to direct you through this Word to clean out your heart, replacing the old with the new: love, joy, peace, longsuffering…
Ephesians 5:26-27 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.