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1 Thes. 1:1-10 THE ELEMENTS OF A COMPLETE TESTIMONY

Intro: Paul was thankful for the Thessalonians and for the faith they so clearly and openly displayed. It is evident from reading this passage that this church made an impact in their day. But, they devotion to Jesus Christ still speaks today.

This ancient church gives us a clear example of what the witness of every church should be. As you know, when we speak of the church, we are speaking of the people who make up the church. Each of us has a testimony as an individual, and we have a collective testimony as a church. Paul is writing these words to the church. He is commending them for their clear testimony for Jesus Christ.

Now, whether we like it or not, our church has a witness in the community. People see us and they see how we conduct ourselves and they form opinions about us, and about our Lord, based on what they see. These ancient Thessalonian believers demonstrated a complete testimony in their day. We should desire to demonstrate nothing less before this world.

This passage reveals the elements that came together to allow these believers to display a complete witness. I would like for us to place our church alongside this ancient church. We need to examine ourselves and see whether the same elements that marked their witness mark ours. I us to see, from this text, that by possessing certain elements every church can manifest a complete testimony. So, let’s look together at The Elements Of A Complete Testimony.

 

I. v. 3-7 THE ELEMENT OF A CHURCH’S WORK

A. The Work Of Saving Faith Work of faith Salvation is not by works, Eph. 2:8-9. But, faith is an act of the heart and mind. It is the only act that allows Jesus to retain all His glory. This phrase refers to the moment of their conversion, v. 4-5. (Ill. In the Father’s eyes, I was saved before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1:4. In the Son’s eyes, I was saved when He died on the cross, Rom. 6:1-6. In the eyes of the Spirit, I was saved when He drew me to Jesus and gave me faith to believe.) In other words, Paul is saying that the church must have a saved membership! (Ill. If we don’t have salvation, nothing else matters.)

B. The Work Of Serving Faith Labour wearying toil involving sweat and effort. A saved people is a busy people! Saved people prove the reality of their salvation by their works, James 2:18; Eph. 2:10. This labor is born out of “love.” We love the Lord because He first loved us, 1 John 4:19. Therefore, we serve Him, Matt. 22:37-38. We serve others, whether they are saved or lost, because we love them too, Matt. 22:39. Salvation = Fruit – John 15:1-8; Matt 12:33; Gal. 5:22-23.

C. The Work Of Sustaining Faith Patience hopeful endurance The hope of a much better world sustained them through the afflictions they faced, v. 6 and it caused them to be faithful to the Lord. One of our greatest testimonies is our faithful service of love to God and others, in spite of our afflictions. (Ill. This hope sustains us too!)

 

II. v. 8 THE ELEMENT OF A CHURCH’S WITNESS

(Ill. They did more than work; they had a vibrant witness too. Verse 7 says they were “ensamples. This word refers to a “metal stamp; a type. These people, by their witness, were an encouragement to the saints and evangelists to the sinners.)

A. The Message Of This Witness the word of the Lord The Gospel was the heart of their message. They did not promote self or their church, they promoted the Savior. (Ill. The Gospel – 1 Cor. 15:2-4; and the power of that message, Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18-24.)

B. The Method Of This Witness sounded out and spread abroad They opened their mouths and they shared the Gospel. As they did, and as they lived out their faith, others talked about them.

C. The Ministry Of This Witness Their witness was so effective that everywhere Paul went; he found their message had preceded him. Ill. The same should be true in Lenoir! We should saturate our world with the message of salvation!

 

III. v. 9-10 THE ELEMENT OF A CHURCH’S WALK

A. It Was A Holy Walk When these people met Jesus, everything in their lives was changes. They abandoned the false gods of the pagans; they turned to Jesus and manifested a changed life. Nothing declares the Lord’s power to save to a lost world than a believer who is letting his light shine, Matt. 5:13-16. Nothing says, “There is no power in the blood, than a professing Christian who still lives like the world.

B. It Was A Hopeful Walk These people lived their lives in view of the coming of the Lord Jesus. They were expecting Him, 1 Thes. 4:17-18, and they lived like it. When we are looking for Him, it will tell on us in three ways. It will cause us to be active, John 9:4; clean, 1 John 3:3; and joyful, Titus 2:13.

 

Conc: From these verses, it is clear that God’s saved ones are An Elect People, v. 1-4; An Exemplary People, v. 5-7; An Enthusiastic People, v. 8; and An Expectant People, v. 9-10. That is what we are supposed to be! Is that what we are? Do we live out a 1st Century witness in a 21st Century world? As individuals and as a church, do we possess The Elements Of A Complete Testimony?

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