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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.
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. (
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.
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. (
II. v. 8 THE ELEMENT OF A CHURCH’S WITNESS
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. (
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.
The Ministry Of This
Witness – Their witness was so effective that everywhere Paul
went; he found their message had preceded him.
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?