3.12.17 Elements of a Mature Church “Faith”  2 Thessalonians 1:1-5

 

I. Love  v.1-3

– Paul said they ought to always thank God for the Thessalonians because:

  •    * Their faith was greatly enlarged – They learned from trusting God in the past that they could trust God in the present and future and were walking in that confidence
  •    * The love they had toward one another grew ever greater – When we do life together as a church family who shares a desire to walk in faith, we are each encouraged in our faith by how God is working in our brothers and sisters – This deepens our love for one another

– Their faith affected how they loved one another – Your faith impacts more than you

II. Perseverance  v.4

– Paul was proud of them and shared their story in other churches because:

  •    * In the midst of persecutions and afflictions: – Persecution – hostility and ill treatment – How they were treated– Affliction – Pain and suffering – What was done to them
  •    * They demonstrated faith and perseverance – Because their faith was genuine they were able to walk in confidence through terrible things

– Faith is learned by facing difficult times, learning how God works with you in the midst of them, and choosing to rely on Him when you face future challenges

– True perseverance reveals a life of healthy, growing faith

III. Relationship With the Lord  v.5

– When we exercise genuine faith God looks at our heart, saves us, and makes us worthy to be in a relationship with Him and participate in His Kingdom

  •    * Faith is required for salvation – Eph 2:8-9 -We are saved by grace thru faith
  •    * Faith is required to be pleasing to God – Heb 11:6 – Without faith it is impossible to please God – How can we please Him if we don’t trust Him
  •    * Faith is required to engage in His kingdom – James 2:5 – Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

– Only genuinely saved people are willing to suffer as a result of their love for the Lord

– Faith is the beginning, middle, and future of a vibrant relationship with the Lord 

CONCLUSION:

– So, let’s each take an honest look at our faith?:

  • * What’s keeping you from putting your faith in Christ? – Doubts about Him? Fear of having to give something up? – Realize you are putting your faith in something
  • * If you have trusted Him for your salvation – Our decisions to walk in faith follow the same pattern – Make a conscious decision to trust Him
  • * Allow God to bless others by sharing your journeys and how God worked thru them – Your story is meant to encourage others to grow in faith – Let it!

 

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