Action Oriented Family

March 18, 2006 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22

Introduction:
1.  We’re in week 9th week of our study: The Disciple Making Church – subtitled: 10 Habits of Highly Effective Churches!
[remember our 2006 Theme: Gearing Up for Greater Effectiveness
2.  Last week we studied “The Day of the Lord” = a time when God will judge the world and punish the nations; it describes God’s cataclysmic future judgment on the wicked! (Wiersbe/MacArthur)
> Paul made that clear in 5:11 – we are to be encouraging one another and building up one another – and it wasn’t that they were NOT doing this (‘just as you also are doing’) – but that they needed to ‘excel still more’ (4:1, 10)
3.  5:12-28 give us Paul's closing remarks to this church
Q:  Why is it that we should give special attention to what is said in these closing remarks?
(he wants to leave them with some very particular thoughts)
4.  What we are about to read (Paul's closing exhortations for growth in the church) is an effective way of building each other up in Christ (5:11)
[READ 1 Thes. 5:12-22]
- he begins v. 12 with "brethren" (favorite term of Paul, uses it in 97 verses of his epistles)
> for Paul, this is his "family time" with this church
Q:  Do you ever have those times in your family?  A time where everybody comes together and listens intently to what dad or mom has to say
> Paul's sort of getting the family together and giving them some last minute instructions
- it's tragic when believers neglect or ignore the local church
>  no family is perfect and not local church is perfect,  but without a family to protect him and provide for him, a child would suffer and die
> the child of God needs the Church Family if he/she is to grow, develop their gifts, serve God
- that’s why we have
 Church Family Nights (explain purpose of hearing testimonies of new members, we love them and want them to know it, + the Lord’s Table, and great time of singing and hearing how God is at work in the lives of others!);
 Ministry Option Nights  (explain variety of outreach, time with family, ministry to others, etc.), and
 Home Fellowship Nights (explain tonight is about inviting folks into your home, or maybe we should call it “Hospitality Night”)
5.  Some q's we need to ask as we study this passage: 
1) What are some areas in your life you need to change and thereby affect the way our church family functions?
2) How can we as a church change/grow to bring more glory to God? 
- there are 17 verbs in these next few verses so let’s take a look at them – these are things we are commanded to be doing to make us an “Action Oriented Family”
- we’ll divide our study into 3 parts & see what ACTION we need to take in connection with that area:


  I.  ACTION Oriented Toward Our Church Leadership


- he begins by telling us who this respect and honor are to be given to and describes their leadership in 3 aspects of that leadership:
1.  Those who labor among you
"labor" = to grow weary, to work with great effort
- for the Thess, Paul was reminding them how he and his co-workers had worked unselfishly to support themselves while sharing the gospel with them
- he is saying those who took up the leadership roles when he had to leave were working hard, so he instructs them to treat the leadership with the same respect and high regard as he was treated!
- those in these leadership positions had become examples of how LOVE WORKS HARD to meet the needs of others
2.  Those who are over you in the Lord
"over you" (one word) =  to stand before someone (as a leader, overseer)
3.  Those who admonish you (admonishing)
"admonish" = to put one in mind, to advise, to warn
(he uses it again in v. 14) – we get Nouthetic Counseling from this word, it involves:
1) discerning thinking and behavior that God wants to change
2) using God's word to change that thinking and behavior
3) for the benefit of the other person and the glory of God
Point:  While it is not clear that they had a "pastor" at this time, there were those who were carrying out pastoral duties of leadership and shepherding the flock
- and Paul said you have a responsibility to them
Input:  What can we learn from the fact that Paul started with our relationship to authority?
- our response to human authority reflects our view of God's – just like Adam did in the garden – God told him ‘don’t eat of the tree . . . “ (the rebellion was toward authority!)
- Paul was basically saying:  if we are going to edify each other, it will start with a right relationship to the leadership God has placed over us
Q:  What is our responsibility to spiritual leaders? [2 fold]
Action #1:  Appreciate (know) those in leadership
-this has the idea here of paying proper respect to (specifically to those in authority over us)
- it’s amazing how much our growth is determined by our attitude to leaders (authority)
- there is nothing wrong with honoring faithful servants of God, so long as God gets the glory
 Romans 13:7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
- we're not just talking about pastor -- we talking about all spiritual leadership positions -- which of course are an extension of our pastor's ministry
- we're also told to ...
Action #2:  Esteem them very highly in love
"esteem" = holding in high regard
- this is NOT talking about putting them up on a pedestal or blind loyalty, but to keep in the front of your mind [same word in Phil 2:3 (read)]
 Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
- what does Paul expect them to do?
* He wants them to treat their present spiritual leaders the way they treated him
* thinking of them - their responsibilities – not  their own desires and wants and wishes
It is not easy to serve as a pastor, elder, deacon, or other spiritual leader. The battles and burdens are many, and sometimes the encouragements are few. It is dangerous when a church family takes their leaders for granted and fails to pray for them, work with them, and encourage them. 
Input:  What are some ways you can show your love and respect for the spiritual leaders God has given our church?
 pray for them! - (I pray for him every day!)
 tell them
 be faithful in attendance
 listen well when the word is taught
 come asking questions
 vol. to help them
Action #3: Live in peace with one another
- part of learning to solve problems is understanding biblical authority and practicing submission
- we are told to live in peace with one another – part of the curse of sin is divisiveness (go back to Gen. 4 – Cain killing his brother)
- a disciple making church is a church that knows how to live at peace with one another
Input: What are some things we can do/think that will help us to live at peace with one another?
[various answers – 4 Rules of Communication, practice Matt. 5 ‘go to your brother’ and Matt. 18 steps, follow 1 Cor. 13 characteristics of love, etc.]
Final passage to consider:  cf.  Heb. 13:7, 11 (READ)
- though it's not mentioned specifically here in 5:12-13- Paul would know that part of respect and honor for  spiritual leadership is following it
- when that leadership is basing decisions and actions on the principles from God's word, the Lord expects us to be submissive and follow that leadership
Input:   When do conflicts or problems with leadership tend to surface?
- at the point of admonishing or confronting – leadership is easy to follow for the most part as long as you agree with it, it’s when you’re challenged that your submission is truly revealed!
- Paul’s urgency is revealed in v. 14 – this is where he transitions from the leadership focus to focus on the Body Life of the church


II.  ACTOIN Oriented Toward Our Church Family – 5:14-18


Action #4:  Admonish the unruly
Admonish = to instruct, teach, to warn, confront them
- notice the different ways we are to act with various types of people
- the admonition is for the ‘unruly’ those out of line, must be warned and taught to get back in line – in line with God’s authority and get under submission
- that means helping them to get back to God’s Word and to acting/thinking like Christ is really the King of Kings!
Action #5:  Encourage the fainthearted
Encourage = to console, comfort, or cheer up
- the “fainthearted,” those in fear and doubt, must be encouraged and made bold.
- remember the context – for some, their loved ones were dead, others were questioning whether or not the rapture had occurred or when the Day of Lord would appear
- what do you do?  Go to the Word and use the Word to encourage them – that’s exactly why Paul was writing this letter – esp. 4:13-18 and 5:1-11
Action #6: Help the weak
Help = to hold up
- The “weak,” those without spiritual and moral strength – we need to come alongside them, mentor them, even help hold them up if necessary
- but again, it comes back to getting them into the word and recognizing they need God’s help to like this life
Action #7:  Be Patient with everyone (all the groups just mentioned!)
- patience, forgiveness and acts of goodness must prevail between all the people.
Input: How does the scriptures say we can get patience?
- it’s a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5), and it comes through trials (Jam. 1)
Input: What can we think about that will help us be patient with others?
[various answers – but God’s patience to us is a BIG one!]
Action #8: See that no one repays another with evil for evil
- refer to Romans 12:17-21
* There are two reasons why you should/can’t return evil for evil
1) You don’t have the authority – God strictly says that vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord.”
2) You don’t have the ability – only God knows the heart, and His omniscience allows Him to know what a person is thinking, and truly how or to what degree they need to see justice!
Action #9:  Seek after what is good for one another – 5:
-this is sort of the ‘put on’ after the put off of the preceding command
- it’s not about what’s best for you, but for others
Action #10: Rejoice always
- notice the always – not just when things go your way
- joy takes the burden out of service (cf. Neh. 8:10 ‘the joy of the Lord is your strength’)
Input: What are some reasons why we have grounds for ‘rejoicing always’?
Summary:  The four spiritual characteristics Paul mentioned are part of the fruit of the Spirit named in Galatians 5:22
“We cannot manufacture these spiritual qualities; they only come as we yield to the Spirit and permit Him to control us.” 
- the third category of commands come under the heading of


III. ACTIONS Oriented Toward Our Church Worship


“Worship is the most important activity of a local church family. Ministry must flow out of worship, otherwise it becomes busy activity without power and without heart. There may be “results,” but they will not glorify God or really last. Many church services lack an emphasis on true worship and are more like religious entertainments, catering to the appetites of the congregation.” 
- Paul names the various elements that make up the worship ministry of a church:
Action #11:  Pray without ceasing
- this doesn’t mean non-stop – but constantly recurring, not constantly occurring!
Input:  Why is prayer such an important part of a disciple making church?
[various answer – but one is, it shows our dependence upon God]
Action #12: Give thanks in everything
- and he even gives the reason why: for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus
Input: Why is it that we can give thanks for ‘everything’? [various answers – God is in control, as the previous verses remind us and He can use anything to bring Him glory]
Action #13: Do not quench (restrain; extinguish) the Spirit
- The” fire” of God’s Spirit (speaking of purity, power, light, warmth, and if necessary, destruction 5:1-8) is not to be doused with sin.
- We are commanded not to GRIEVE the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30)
- but we are to be CONTROLLED by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18) and to WALK by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16)
Action #14: Do not despise prophetic utterances (gifts)
- - This word can refer to a spoken revelation from God (cf. Acts 11:27,28; 1 Tim. 1:18; 4:14), but most often refers to the written word of Scripture (cf. Matt. 13:14; 2 Pet. 1:19–21; Rev. 1:3; 22:7,10,18,19).
- These “prophecies” are authoritative messages from God through a well recognized spokesman for God that, because of their divine origin, are not to be treated lightly. When God’s Word is preached or read, it is to be received with great seriousness.
Action #15: Examine everything
- This call for careful examination and discernment is in response to the command of v. 20.
Action #16: Hold fast to what is good
What is found to be “good” is to be wholeheartedly embraced.
Q: What are you holding on to this morning?
Action #17: Abstain from every form of evil
- What is “evil” or unbiblical is to be shunned – this is not saying anything that ‘appears’ to be evil (bad interpretation), but wherever evil appears, abstain from it!
Apply this ACTON ORIENTED CHURCH to Gearing Up for Greater Effectiveness – they were doing this, but Paul wanted them to excel still more (4:1,10)
Conclusion: Mar. 26:  #10: Thoroughness –5:23-28 – Conclusion

ABF Series: The Disciple Making Church #9
Action Oriented Family – 1 Thes 5:12-22

Introduction:
Q:  Why is it that we should give special attention to what is said in these closing remarks?

*  Some q's we need to ask as we study this passage: 
1) What are some areas in your life you need to change and thereby affect the way our church family functions?
2) How can we as a church change/grow to bring more glory to God? 

  I.  ACTION Oriented Toward Our Church Leadership
1.  Those who labor among you – "labor" = to grow weary, to work with great effort
2.  Those who are over you in the Lord – "over you"  =  to stand before someone
3.  Those who admonish you – "admonish" = to put one in mind, to advise, to warn
Input:  What can we learn from the fact that Paul started with our relationship to authority?

Action #1:  _______________ (know) those in leadership
“appreciate” = paying proper respect to

Action #2:  _____________ them very highly in love
"esteem" = holding in high regard

It is not easy to serve as a pastor, elder, deacon, or other spiritual leader. The battles and burdens are many, and sometimes the encouragements are few. It is dangerous when a church family takes their leaders for granted and fails to pray for them, work with them, and encourage them. Wiersbe
Input:  What are some ways you can show your love and respect for the spiritual leaders God has given our church?


Action #3: ___________ in peace with one another
Input: What are some things we can do/think that will help us to live at peace with one another?

Input:  When do conflicts or problems with leadership tend to surface?


II.  ACTION Oriented Toward Our Church Family – 5:14-18
Action #4:  _____________ the unruly
Admonish = to instruct, teach, to warn, confront them
Action #5:  _____________ the fainthearted
Encourage = to console, comfort, or cheer up

Action #6: _____________ the weak
Help = to hold up
Action #7:  ____ _______________with everyone (all the groups just mentioned!)
Input: How do the scriptures say we can get patience?

Input: What can we think about that will help us be patient with others?


Action #8: _________that no one repays another with evil for evil
* There are two reasons why you should/can’t return evil for evil
1) You don’t have the _____________
2) You don’t have the ____________

Action #9:  _____________ after what is good for one another – 5:

Action #10: _____________ always
Input: What are some reasons why we have grounds for ‘rejoicing always’?

“We cannot manufacture these spiritual qualities; they only come as we yield to the Spirit and permit Him to control us.” Wiersbe
III. ACTION Oriented Toward Our Church Worship
“Worship is the most important activity of a local church family. Ministry must flow out of worship, otherwise it becomes busy activity without power and without heart. There may be “results,” but they will not glorify God or really last. Many church services lack an emphasis on true worship and are more like religious entertainments, catering to the appetites of the congregation.” Wiersbe
Action #11:  _____________ without ceasing
Input:  Why is prayer such an important part of a disciple making church?

Action #12: _____________ _____________ in everything

Action #13: Do not _____________ (restrain; extinguish) the Spirit

Action #14: Do not _____________ prophetic utterances (gifts)

Action #15: _____________ everything

Action #16: _________ ________ to what is good

Action #17: _____________ in from every form of evil

Apply this ACTON ORIENTED CHURCH to Gearing Up for Greater Effectiveness

ABF Series: The Disciple Making Church #8
Informed – 1 Thes 5:1-11
Introduction:
Q:  Why is it that we should give special attention to what is said in these closing remarks?
*  Some q's we need to ask as we study this passage: 
1) What are some areas in your life you need to change and thereby affect the way our church family functions?
2) How can we as a church change/grow to bring more glory to God? 
  I.  ACTION Oriented Toward Our Church Leadership
1.  Those who labor among you –
"labor" = to grow weary, to work with great effort
2.  Those who are over you in the Lord –
"over you" (one word) =  to stand before someone (as a leader, overseer)


3.  Those who admonish you (admonishing) –
"admonish" = to put one in mind, to advise, to warn
Input:  What can we learn from the fact that Paul started with our relationship to authority?
Action #1:  Appreciate (know) those in leadership
“appreciate” = paying proper respect to
 Romans 13:7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
Action #2:  Esteem them very highly in love
"esteem" = holding in high regard
 Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
Quote
Input:  What are some ways you can show your love and respect for the spiritual leaders God has given our church?

Action #3: Live in peace with one another
Input: What are some things we can do/think that will help us to live at peace with one another?
Input:  When do conflicts or problems with leadership tend to surface?
II.  ACTOIN Oriented Toward Our Church Family – 5:14-18
Action #4:  Admonish the unruly
Admonish = to instruct, teach, to warn, confront them
Action #5:  Encourage the fainthearted
Encourage = to console, comfort, or cheer up
Action #6: Help the weak
Help = to hold up
Action #7:  Be Patient with everyone (all the groups just mentioned!)
Input: How does the scriptures say we can get patience?
Input: What can we think about that will help us be patient with others?

Action #8: See that no one repays another with evil for evil
* There are two reasons why you should/can’t return evil for evil
1) You don’t have the authority
2) You don’t have the ability
Action #9:  Seek after what is good for one another – 5:
Action #10: Rejoice always
Input: What are some reasons why we have grounds for ‘rejoicing always’?
Quote
III. ACTIONS Oriented Toward Our Church Worship
Quote
Action #11:  Pray without ceasing
Input:  Why is prayer such an important part of a disciple making church?
Action #12: Give thanks in everything
Action #13: Do not quench (restrain; extinguish) the Spirit
Action #14: Do not despise prophetic utterances (gifts)
Action #15: Examine everything
Action #16: Hold fast to what is good
Action #17: Abstain from every form of evil