Part 4, Why Church is Important
1 Thessalonians 5:9-22
The church that gathered in Thessalonica was a model for its thriving faith. The opening chapter of 1 Thessalonians gave as a further description of this church, “The church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The apostle Paul wrote this letter to affirm that all believers in Thessalonica belonged to God and they belong to each other. Although they were well-known for their faith even beyond Macedonia, they still needed instructions on how-to live-in harmony with one another, proving that they were not a perfect church after all.
If you are looking for a perfect church, you will never find one. All churches, big or small, have their own struggles or issues to contend. Our church has its own struggles that we need to overcome together to become a model church, like the Thessalonians. And we are stronger when we do things together. More importantly, we have the Holy Spirit to help us become the kind of church that God intends us to be. Under His guidance and direction, there are some things we can do in order to become a model church.
1. Work out our vital union with Christ.
“9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
Understanding our vital union with Christ stimulates togetherness.
Our unity with Christ also binds us with others.
Christ united all believers through the church.
2. Making church relationship work is our sacred duty to God.
“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. 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.”
Be respectful to those who labor for your souls. v.12
Be encouraging. v.13.b
Be biblical in counseling. v. 14, cf. Matthew 18:15
Be compassionate. v. a.
Be patient with one another. v.14b.
Be quick to forgive. v.15
3. Disciplining one’s life is a catalyst for becoming a model church. vv.16-22
“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. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.”
It helps you nurture your intimacy with God.
It helps you to love and live out the Word.
Obedience produces joy and strengthens the heart of gratitude.
Live out what is biblical sound.
Reject sin of every kind.