Grace Baptist Church

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Instructions for Building Up the Church in Holiness

Instructions for Building Up the Church in Holiness

Oct 18, 2015

Passage: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-28

Preacher: Jared Longshore

Series: Book of 1 Thessalonians

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: holiness, instructions, leadership, obedience, sanctification


Pastor Jared Longshore continues his series in 1 Thessalonians with a message on 1 Thess 5:12-22 entitled “Instructions for Building up the Church in Holiness.” God’s call to Christians is to live a life of holiness, a life that brings glory and honor to the Father, a life reflecting the holiness we received through the salvation work of Christ on the Cross. Here, near the close of the letter, Paul gives to the Thessalonians some specific instructions for godly living.

Paul’s instructions, addressed to “brothers” suggest his directions are geared for believers rather than the world at large. These instructions fall into one of three categories: the church’s relationships to leadership, to one another and the world, and, finally, to God. First, believers are to submit to church leadership. Interestingly, church membership seems to be a given, assumed by Paul as normative. Being a church member requires glad submission to leadership. Submission to authority is difficult for humans yet God clearly calls the church to esteem and respect those appointed to labor, lead, and admonish.

Verse 14 begins Paul’s address regarding relationships with others. Christians are to “admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.” The different verbs used are specific to the different specific problems. Each verb seems custom crafted to meet the needs of the suffering or sinning individual, all in an effort to build up the brethren. Believers are not to repay evil for evil but rather to leave vengeance to the one Judge who always judges aright. That wrong has to be punished is clear in Scripture. But when one considers the great weight and wrong of their own sin, when one considers the great forgiveness believers have received, when one considers it was Jesus Who was punished for our wrongs, Who suffered on our behalf to provide salvation, there comes a confidence in God’s ability to judge wrongs. God will not clear wrongdoers, judgment will come. Unbelievers need to be made aware of coming judgment and the provision for that judgment made by Christ, in order that their judgment can be avoided.

Lastly, Paul addresses relationship with God. We are to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, [and] give thanks in all circumstances” (v 16). As difficult as these may be in certain circumstances, all can be accomplished by consciously turning to Jesus, meditating on Him considering all He has done and even just Whom He is. Paul reminds believers not to quench the Spirit. They do this quenching both in turning from God’s Word and sinning. Both are the antithesis of being lead by God’s Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity.

God’s love is evident as he gives His children instruction. Obedience to these instructions brings peace and joy that only God can give. Disobedience only results in estrangement from a loving Father for believers and eternal doom for those who refuse Jesus’ offer of life eternal.