Monday, November 12, 2018

Lifestyle Matters - Community Life

Paul addresses:  (1) first - the Gospel - how to access God
                Then  (2) - lifestyle - how to live afterward 
On one hand , all people need this instruction/exhortation - makes no difference how close we are to the Lord.   (The Jews already had the Mosaic Law - knew God's parameters for how to live)

However, is especially true of Gentiles in that day.  Because:
         (1)  people raised with a pagan worldview
and therefore (2)  practiced a pagan lifestyle - mostly very different from God's will.
This was pre-Christian time.

Comparison:  challenge to a post-Christian Society (which we in 21st. Century America seem to be in or heading in.)
On one hand, most = believers in God  (Christ)
However, NOT versed in the Biblical Worldview!

POINT:  letters to Thessalonica - Still relevant today!

in 1 Thessalonians - Paul addresses:
(1)  Sexual purity
(2)  Brotherly Love - between those of the faith - brothers and sisters in Christ
(3)  Community Life/Christian Reputation - from a moral standpoint

1 Thess. 4:11-12 - (includes I.  Basic Instruction and II.  THE Reason for these Instructions.

I.  Pauls' Instructions 
live a quiet life;  mind your own business
            Contrast to:  gossip, busybody, disorderly, divisive.  This causes division rather than cohesion.
Work with your hands, make your own way -
        Contrast to:  idle, loafer, *moocher* - * Reference = those CAPABLE but unwilling"

Was this a problem in Thessalonica?  - 2 Thess. 3:6-15
Is it really a Big Deal?  - 2 Thess. 3:6
(these instructions are:  (1)  by the AUTHORITY of Christ
                                    (2)  according to the TEACHINGS of Christ
Not just from Paul himself.

II.  Paul's Reasons  - 1 Thess. 4:12
"daily life .... might win... outsiders"
on line here = (1) Reputation + (2) Salvation 
Your reputation can make a difference in someone's salvation

(1)  your daily life = not your religious profession BUT daily PRACTICE!!
By  "FRUIT" you REPRESENT --- the church, the Faith, God!!!

(2)  might WIN = convince/persuade/"win over"
      win respect therefore win souls - Dan. 12:3  Prov. 11:30

(3)  of outsiders - not outside your community, your influence, But = outside .... THE FAITH!!!
Compare to:  1 Tim. 3:7

Summary:  (1)  The Gospel Matters
But also     (2)  your Lifestyle Matters - make Adjustments to make an Eternal Difference.

Closing Scripture:  Matt. 5:13-16

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