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Give Thanks to God

Give Thanks to God

Aug 09, 2015

Passage: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Preacher: Jared Longshore

Series: Book of 1 Thessalonians

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: assurance, judgment, remembering, salvation, thanksgiving


Pastor Jared Longshore continues his series on 1 Thessalonians with a message entitled Give Thanks to God based on 1 Thess 1:1-10. While Christians have much for which to be thankful they are also subject to spiritual amnesia, forgetting God’s salvation, presence and blessing. We, therefore, need to actively remember the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our daily lives just as Paul does in this passage.

As we consider the great salvation given by God, thanksgiving should be manifest in four specific areas. First, Christians should evidence the character produced by salvation. The Thessalonians provided proof of the reality of their salvation. Each leg of the biblical triad, faith, hope, and love, was confirmed with an action: works of faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope. For example, the resolved confidence in steadfastness comes as a result of confidence in a trusted source of revelation, here God’s Word. Rather than complementing the Thessalonians on their good works, Paul gives thanks for these evidences of the Christian life.

The second area of thanksgiving is in the assurance of salvation. V. 4 asserts God has chosen His children. The evidences of the Christian life discussed above coupled with God’s choosing ought to remind us of God’s great sovereign provision for us which, in turn, ought to be reason for great thanks. Remember, Acts 17 last week showed Paul reasoned with the Thessalonians with Scripture. This salvation came as a result of the Holy Spirit applying the Word to the hearts of these Thessalonians. Their faith enabled them to bear much affliction (v. 6) and become examples to others (v. 7). As with Paul, we should be thankful for not only our salvation but the salvation of the Thessalonians and believers worldwide today.

Thanksgiving is also due to the result of this great salvation. The example the Thessalonians set has enabled the Word of God, the message of the Gospel, to go out from them. Other peoples have heard of the real difference Christianity has made. Renouncing idols, being ostracized by family and friends receiving harassment from ruling authorities, all examples of Christian suffering are endured for the Name. Finally the fourth cause for thanksgiving is the precise nature of salvation. Vv. 9 and 10 show key characteristics of this salvation. The Thessalonians have turned from their idols turning instead to God. Next, they serve the living and true God, thus being marked not only but what they had stopped but what they did in exchange. Lastly, they became a waiting people, waiting on the coming One.

When Jesus does come again, a fact assured in the Bible, He will deliver His saints from all further suffering. There is another side, however, to His Coming. He also comes to judge those who have not turned to Him for deliverance, for salvation. “Depart,” He will say, “from me, you cursed, into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Still, while it is day, each of us can have the salvation Jesus provides by calling on Him whose name alone is the one whereby men may be saved.