Worship is clearly centered and directed towards God. However, there’s more to Worship than this. It is not only done corporately, but actually has other Christians as the secondary audience. Understanding this truth helps us have a fuller understanding of Worship. Specifically how we become agents of God’s work to build up one another’s faith.
Paul seeks to comfort the Thessalonians as they grieve the loss of loved ones. Paul shepherds them to allow their faith to inform their grief. Loved ones who trusted in Christ will be raised when Jesus returns in glory.
These verses are an exhortation to this young church–who are doing well spiritually–to continue to increase in the kind of conduct that pleases God in the areas of sexual conduct and brotherly love. While the cultural context and circumstances may differ significantly from our own, there is still much here for the church today.
Paul, knowing the church in Thessalonica was experiencing affliction and persecution, sends Timothy to exhort and encourage them so that they are unmoved in their faith. Both Paul and the church were experiencing the effects of spiritual warfare such that Paul attributes their tribulation to satan. Upon Timothy's return to Paul in Corinth, he shares the good news that the Thessalonians have remained steadfast in their faith.
Paul begins chapter 2 by reminding the Thessalonians of how he and his companions came to them. They came boldly yet gently, faithfully not with error and eager to share the hope of salvation not selfishly. When among them, Paul lived above reproach and as such, the Thessalonians began to follow his example. He now urges them to walk in a manner worthy of God.
This week we begin a new sermon series in the book of 1 Thessalonians. In chapter 1, we learn how the gospel created the church in Thessalonica, we see the church spread the gospel and how the gospel shapes the church.
This morning we conclude our series in Deuteronomy. In the last chapter, we read the last recorded words God spoke to Moses. Moses was a prophet unlike any other in the Old Testament. He was a flawed, sinful man yet, God worked mightily through him. And though God denied him entry into the promise land, we learn God brought him into an even greater promise land.
In his final act, Moses beseeches God's favor upon Israel and blesses them. In doing so, he reminds Israel that God has redeemed them and forged them into a nation and he assures them that God will go with them into the Promise Land. The path forward is fraught with danger, but God shall be with them, his everlasting arms underneath them and He shall be their shield.
We are pleased to welcome back Pastor Kerry Day to preach for us this morning. Formerly at Journey Church, Pastor Kerry was sent out to help plan Redemption Church and now serves at Restoration Road Church.
Moses references a detail that modern people find shocking and strange. Israel’s God gave the nations and their “gods” to each other as a judgement for their collusion in disobedience. More than just a quirk of the ancient world—this dimension of the gospel narrative shows us that God has dealt with rebellion in multiple frames: individual, corporate and divine.