The Ideal Church Life
Updated: Aug 23
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
God has called us to a new way of life. We may not be able to live a perfect life considering the fallen world we live in, but if we are to be identified with Him, we are to live as close as possible like Him and for Him. We struggle daily to reflect Jesus’ life.
As Paul closes his first letter to the Thessalonians, he urged them to further increase their efforts in living the ideal church life. They must make increasing progress in their determination to be the kind of church that God has called them to be. And the first thing Paul urged the believers to do was to…
1. Think rightly and lovingly of your leaders. vv. 12-13
“12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.”
· Not because of their pleasing personality.
· Not because of their influence.
· But because they biblically care for your souls.
· Paul was urging the church to hold these leaders in the highest regard in love.
· Godly leaders are living an example for godly life and ministry.
· They motivate and encourage you to follow Jesus.
2. Practice regularly the basics of Christian living. vv. 14-20
14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit.”
· Get back in line: live a disciplined life. vv.14-15a.
· Don’t just sit there, do something! v.15b.
· Loneliness is a relational issue: Get to know Jesus deeper and rejoice. v.16
· Talk privately: Pray.
· Force yourself to: Give thanks to the Lord ALWAYS.
· Surrender your throne: allow the Holy Spirit to infill you.
3. Don’t be too naïve: Examined all claims in light of the Bible. vv. 21-22
“20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.”
· Prophecies in this verse is prophēteúō in Greek.
· This word occurred 28 times in the New Testament.
· It usually refers to the forthtelling or revealing of the mind of God (as written in the Bible) in a particular situation.
· We forthtell what has been written in our Scriptures with regards to specific situations.
· The mind of God has always been known as the absolute truth.
“Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God. Even more to the point: Truth is the self-expression of God. That is the biblical meaning of truth. Because the definition of truth flows from God, truth is theological.” John MacArthur, Grace To You, What is Truth?
· Treasure God’s Word and do not take it lightly.
“My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; 2 keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; 3 bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 7:1-3.
· Keep the word of God in your heart and make it your code. Don’t take your eyes off the Scriptures.