THE CHURCH TO JOIN
I Thess. 1:8-10
March 26, 1995
INTRODUCTION: In this text Paul is celebrating the
widespread influence of the witness of these Christians in
Thessalonica. Through Macedonia in the north and Achaia in
the south, their example and their faith became a source of
strength for others. The "work of faith" made them the elect
of God that turned to God from idols. Their "labor of love"
made them an exemplary and enthusiastic people as they lived
the word of God and shared the Gospel. Their "patience of
hope" made them an expectant people, looking for their
No church can spread the gospel with any degree of integrity,
let alone credibility, unless it has been visibly changed by the
gospel it preaches. We need to look like what we are talking
about. It is not enough to receive the gospel and pass it on; we
must embody it in our common life of faith, love, joy, peace,
righteousness, and hope.
Verse 7 refers to the Thess. as examples. This word originally
meant the imprint made by a stroke or blow, as the mark of a
hammer on the wood when you missed the nail. Then it came
to mean the impression left by a seal, such as we place on a
document by a notary public. Finally, it came to mean a
pattern, that which one would make a dres ...
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