Oct 22, 2017 – God’s Word at Work
Preacher: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: 1 Thessalonians
1 Thessalonians 2:9-20 (ESV)
9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11 For you know how, like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!
17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
Our assumption about what the Bible is will greatly determine what the Bible does in our lives.
I) Accepting the Word of God
- v13 “you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God”
- this is important because of the one who is speaking (focus is not on the words, but who the words came from)
II) Rejecting the Word of God
- v15 “killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out”, v16 “hindering us from speaking”
- vv11-12 analogy of a father exhorting, encouraging, charging to help us understand how to receive God’s word
III) The working of the Word of God
- v13 “which is at work in you believers”
- Jesus “the word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14)
- v14 “for you, brothers, became imitators”
Questions for Reflection
- What interests you most about the Bible? What about it (or in it) is most compelling? What do you enjoy the most (particular books or passages, particular stories, sayings, teachings, lessons, etc.)?
- What do you find most challenging about the Bible? What parts of it are hardest to read, and why? What in, or about the Bible, do you need convincing of?
- Within the Bible there is the perspective that this book is the very word of God. How does that make this book unique? How does that effect how we read it? What implications are there if that claim is true?
- Have you had any experiences where you submitted to what is in the Bible (obeyed what is taught) and it proved to be good for you? Any experiences where you submitted and it didn’t work out well?
- How can you read the Bible intelligently? What does it look like to be a thinking believer who also trusts? What principles can guide your reading and studying of the Bible so that you learn and grow personally?
- John 5:39-40 “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” How can you read the Bible so that your reading helps you understand Jesus and have life in him?