- Pastor Luis Cruz
The Passion of A Model Church
Lessons from a Faithful Church Series
1 Thessalonians 1:1-8
Paul would always remember this church whenever he prayed to the Lord according to verse 2. And it was rightly so because the apostle was deeply encouraged by how this church had become a model church to their surrounding communities and cities. If he is alive today, Paul would have recommended them highly to us to imitate. What do we imitate from them? Their passion for God and the gospel! Passion brings willingness to greater heights and is a great mover in becoming the kind of church that God wants us to be.
There are three important values we need to imitate from the Thessalonian church.
1. Their passion for good works was commendable.
“3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith…” 1 Thess. 1:3a.
· Paul commended thee Thessalonians church for their good works produced by their faith in the Lord.
· Their faith was deeply tested through persecutions and proven to be worthy of praises and thanksgiving to the Lord.
· They have an inspiring faith.
“10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10.
· The ministry of the Holy Spirit had not only brought them salvation, but also has given them deep spiritual conviction of doing things that would bring glory to God.
· The Thessalonian church craved to spread the gospel in their communities and surrounding cities. See v.8.
· Macedonia is north of Greece, while Achaia is south of Greece, which means, they spread the gospel all over Greece!
· They were opposed and persecuted for doing the work of the gospel and yet they continued the work of the gospel. See 1 Thess. 2:14.
2. Their passion was a response to God’s love for them.
“3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love…, 4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you,” 1 Thess. 1:3b-4.
· The Thessalonian church loved Jesus, thus, they were moved to serve him.
· They were deeply moved by God’s love so much so that they were also willing to follow Christ’s sacrificial love.
· They have become 3rd generation mimics of Christ as they make sacrifices for the spread of the gospel.
3. Their passion for God helped them to developed spiritual endurance.
“3 and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:3c.
· When we go through trials, we train our mind and body to respond in a way that we built the spiritual endurance to overcome.
· The right way to develop spiritual endurance is to depend on the Lord through His words which reveal principles to apply.
· As we go through trials, our pain threshold improves, and we become less sensitive to emotional pain.
“12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12.
· Trials are meant to reveal the true state of our faith.
· Trials are meant to strengthen our faith and not to weaken it.
· Trials are also meant to help us become like Christ.
Romans 8:29 says, “29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
A friendly reminder:
There is no perfect church but there is a model church in the Thessalonians. We can never be exactly like them, but we can be as close to them as God may allow. However, the choice is ours, should we become like the Thessalonians in their passion for God and the gospel?