Thanksgiving for the Entire Family of God

Josh Greiner May 22, 2022 1 Thessalonians 5:8-18
Outline

3 ways to show thanksgiving for our church leaders and family

I. Rejoice in Our Common Salvation (v8-10)

1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 - But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.

A. Live gospel-centered lives in contrast to deeds of darkness

Galatians 5:16-23 - But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

B. Pursue community as we are brothers and sisters in Christ

“But God has put this Word into the mouth of men in order that it may be communicated to other men. When one person is struck by the Word, he speaks it to others. God has willed that we should seek and find His living Word in the witness of a brother, in the mouth of man. Therefore, the Christian needs another Christian who speaks God's Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself he cannot help himself without belying the truth. He needs his brother man as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation. He needs his brother solely because of Jesus Christ. The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain, his brother's is sure.” (Life Together, Dietrick Bonhoeffer, p. 23)

C. View life with an eternal focus

2 Corinthians 4:18 - …while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

1. Rejoice that we are not destined for wrath, but salvation

1 Thessalonians 1:10 - …and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

2. Live soberly, looking forward to the return of Christ

1 Thessalonians 5:8 - But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

Ephesians 6:11-12 - Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

II. Understand the Ministry and Role of Church Leaders (v12-14)

1 Thessalonians 5:12-14 - But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

“New Testament word oida, which means to know by experience…The connotation here is that believers are to know their shepherds deeply and respectfully and to value their service. Such knowledge is much more than the mere recall of their names or the general awareness of some facts about their personal lives. Instead, it entails a close, personal acquaintance that results in the caring appreciation of the Lord’s servant. It is common for people to be unkind, critical, and indifferent toward their pastors when they do not know them well. But believers will not be as likely to have such negative attitudes toward pastors they truly know. Rather, they are more likely to treat them with heartfelt respect and gratitude.” (John F. MacArthur Jr., 1 & 2 Thessalonians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press, 2002, 172)

“In secular Greek kópos means a. “beating” or the “weariness” caused by it, and the “exertion” (e.g., of manual work) that brings on physical tiredness. kopiáō, then, means “to tire,” “to wear oneself out.” The LXX uses it for tiring in battle (2 Sam. 23:10), for exertion in work (Josh. 24:13), and for the groans of the afflicted (Ps. 6:6). Present toil is contrasted with future rest (Is. 65:23). God, who never wearies (Is. 40:28ff.), will grant rest to the righteous (33:24).” (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1985, 453)

John 4:5-6 - So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; 6 and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

A. Exercising oversight

Hebrews 13:17 - Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

B. Providing instruction

1 Timothy 5:17 - The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.

C. Admonishing, encouraging, helping

1 Thessalonians 5:14 - We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

D. Responding in appreciation and honor those who minister to you

“Paul intensified this responsibility even further by telling the Thessalonians they must have high esteem for their shepherds in love, not because of their personalities or the favors they rendered, but because of their work. So beyond appreciating the man because they know him, the saints are to hold him in even greater regard because of his divinely designed and energized calling. Love is the familiar word agapē and refers to selfless, sacrificial service for others. The work the shepherds do is their ministry of the Word, which feeds the souls of the flock…God has called pastors and set them apart for the important work of leading His church (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; cf. Mark 3:13-19; Acts 6:3-6; 13:1-3). Therefore the people under them are to lovingly acknowledge their ministry labors, greatly respect them, overlook their non-sinful human frailties (cf. Prov. 10:12; 1 Peter 4:8), speak well of them, encourage them, and give their best for them.” (John F. MacArthur Jr., 1 & 2 Thessalonians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press, 2002, 173)

III. Continue to Encourage One Another and Build Up One Another (v11, 13, 15-18)

1 Thessalonians 5:11 - Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

A. Live at peace with one another

1 Thessalonians 5:13b - …and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.

B. Return good for evil and proactively seek after what is good for others

1 Thessalonians 5:15 - See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

Hebrews 10:23-25 - Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

C. Pursue joy, prayer, and thanksgiving in Christ

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

We heard about from Pastor Viars last week how the church at Philippi was involved in planting the church at Thessalonica.

How the Philippian Church, out of the deep poverty, gave generously to support and start more local churches…do you guys remember that?

Do you need me to just redo his sermon 😊

Well, that was, if you were here and paying attention concluded the book of Philippians…so right about now you should be thinking…what are we going to be doing?

This Sunday we have a “bi-week” if you will. We had one at the beginning of the preaching series and we have one at the end as well.

Then, we are going to start up our summer series on how to handle criticism.

We obviously could not have known what God had instore for us this past year, but oh boy did he have some things…weather it was 31-21 and all the media attention that this brought, or more recently the protest and petition…

There has been a fair amount of criticism about not just for Christian, not just for Faith Church, but I am sure that you have experience some criticism in your own life either for some recent events or some other aspect of how you live your life.

Well, does the Bible have principles and guiding truth for God’s people to handle such activity?

Absolutely. I’m looking forward to that sermon series a lot, and I think that it will not only help me grow, but I am confident that it will be good for our church family.

But we are not starting that series today. Today…we have that one-off…

So, we are going to look at the last book of 1 Thessalonians, focusing particularly on verse 8-16 as we attempt to continue

Growing in Gospel Gratitude

This morning we are going to consider

Title: Thanksgiving for the entire family of God

What I hope that we will see are…

3 ways to show thanksgiving for our church leaders and family

Here is a little background about the epistle before we dive in.

  • Paul had planted a church here, and they were growing.
  • While some churches like Corinth were a hot mess…that was not this church.
  • But, like most of the Pauline letters, the occasion for the letter is a problem.
  • Their problem was theology, not practice being lived out per se.
  • Paul had sent young Timothy to the church and a few of the members had died in a short period of time.
  • Folks started to get worried because they had come to fear that those who had died would miss the second coming of Christ.
  • There are some other things that may be happening, but most scholars believe that to be the occasion.

I. Rejoice in our common salvation (v8-10)

Do we all agree that spending time rejoicing is not what most of us do well and it is not always natural?

Paul is encouraging his readers to live out their identity…

Each one of us has various identities that we chose to live out of…and for those who are in Christ…being a Christian is the most important identity that we have.

For the section that we are studying, notice how we grounds what we are to do with who we are…we are of the day…

“But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8–10)

At Faith Church we believe that in Christ….

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

In a nutshell, that each person here has sinned in more ways than we have time to count, and in that sinning we have alienated ourselves from God and from each other.

That sin is not jus a painful thing, like stepping on a nail, it is rebellion from God and is literally destroying us.

That was the bad news…the Good news is that Jesus Christ came, to live a perfect life and die the death we all deserved, in order to handle the problem of sin that each person had in this room.

All that was required is trusting in his work and nothing else…nothing.

So, from the identity of being “of the light” there is a level of activity that this identity should motivate…and one of those things is that there should be times of rejoicing in the salvation that we have.

That is in part why coming to church, being in a small group…being in a community with church members is so important.

When you gather with other believers….one of the things that regularly happens is you rejoice in what God has done…

You end up talking about it with others…you sing about it…

I’m not saying that dynamic cannot happen when you are alone…I’m not saying that when you are watching the sermon online (please note I’m not saying you are watching church online…that is impossible…you can’t watch “church”…you can watch a sermon and you can participate in singing…but to say you watch church online is like saying you watched your family thanksgiving).

So, you can rejoice when you are alone…but the reality is that is far less likely, and far less impactful for you and for others…

We also see here that from our salvation we are to…

Live Gospel Centered lives in contrast to deeds of darkness

This dynamic is all over the Bible. This command is not new.

While Paul does not unpack what living out deeds of darkness looks like…you are probably familiar with his most extensive list…it’s not exhaustive…it’s extensive…

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh... Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:16–21)

He is painting the picture of what it looks like to walk in darkness.

In both of these passages, Paul is highlighting that living a life that is characterized by the deeds of darkness and not the deeds of light…when that is the summary of your life…then you need to know that your assurance of salvation is gone.

I don’t think that the text is saying, for instance, if you struggle with jealousy, that you are damned…I think we all would be in trouble.

Rather, the text is saying two things: (1) all sin is punishable—there are no small sins.

(2) that if your life has not exhibited change, radical change, over time…then you may not have the hope that you should have.

In our text, we see that we are told to live a particular way…if you find yourself as a Christian struggling with these sins, or others…then it might be time to get help.

Faith has people and resources that are ready to serve you…so that you can not walk in darkness but walk in light…and what will that result be?

What will the fruit of that be?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23)

I mentioned a moment ago the powerful dynamic of community, and we see that in a few ways of the words that he uses like, “together”, plural you …us…we…

I think one thing we can take form the text is that we are to….

Pursue Community as we are brothers and sisters in Christ

I think we all have seen over the last 10-20 years a seismic shift in our culture…moving more and more away from embodied local groups of community.

Notice these powerful words from Dietrick Bonhoeffer written right before WW2…

But God has put this Word into the mouth of men in order that it may be communicated to other men. When one person is struck by the Word, he speaks it to others. God has willed that we should seek and find His living Word in the witness of a brother, in the mouth of man. Therefore, the Christian needs another Christian who speaks God's Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself he cannot help himself without belying the truth. He needs his brother man as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation. He needs his brother solely because of Jesus Christ. The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain, his brother's is sure. (Life Together, Dietrick Bonhoeffer, p. 23)

The point that both Bonhoeffer and myself are trying to make is that community is an essential aspect to the Christian life…and we see that as part of what it means to rejoice in our common salvation.

That community is part of what it means to be in the body of Christ.

To anyone who is here and is not living out the community that the Bible talks about…I know myself or one of the pastors would love to help you get into that community.

This church should feel like family…that is one of the ways the Bible talks about the church…and if that is not how you feel about Sunday…if that is not how you feel about church…then let’s see what God may want to change.

The text also shows us that we are to have…in our rejoicing…that to

View life with an eternal focus

We are all really bad at that…the church at Thessalonica did have that focus…they were concerned about their brothers who had died…and we would do well…as Paul reminds us…

“while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)

What that means practically then is we should….

  1. Rejoice that we are not destined for wrath, but salvation

“…Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

But we should also…

  1. Live soberly, looking forward to the return of Christ.


“But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8,)

We also see in our text another familiar metaphor from other parts of Pauline literature….he is talking about putting on armor…you may know, like the deeds of the flesh fruit of the Spirit, the more expansive version of this..

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:11–12)

But what is Paul saying and meaning when we are to live soberly and to put on the armor of God.

Well first, I think the metaphor of drinking and getting drunk is probably pretty straight forward. The passage is not a probation of drinking…although I am sure that Paul would not want anyone getting drunk…

It is primarily about considering carefully what you have imbibed in your heart.

When you drink too much alcohol, you are impaired.

It changes the way you think…the way you act…the way you speak…and so on. It is also really obvious to everyone around if you are intoxicated.

Paul is arguing that the same thing can happen with the world…you can imbibe the world in such a way that you are intoxicated with it…

Let’s be honest, many of us in the room are intoxicated…to some degree and in some ways by the world.

We have drank in the world through music….we have drank in the world through television…through shopping…and so on.

Many of us here…in some areas…are spiritually drunk.

---

If I came to church today drunk on alcohol, I’m fairly certain many of you would do something about it…and Lord willing you would not let me up here 😊

---- We should have that same level of concern for being intoxicated by the world.

The solution is simple…we are of the day….live like that…and put on the armor of God.

If you are putting on this armor…that only means one things…you are ready for battle.

Even today…when you see a policeman or a soldier with all their gear on…the armor…their guns..etc...…there is one reason…they want to be ready.

They want to be ready to respond to any situation that may arise.

You can have your thoughts about community policing…but the reason they wear all the gear is to be ready and to be safe…the goal is to go home.

Yet, we do not live that way with sin.

We want to see how much of it we can get away with.

We want to see how close we can get to it.

Clearly, God wants us to have a different view.

My exhortation to everyone here today is…don’t leave your home without putting on the armor of God.

Don’t leave you home without time in the word…time in prayer…time putting on the full armor of God…

You may not fully need ever aspect of it that day…but, you will need it…and when you need it and don’t have it…you will regret it.

The next major part of the text tells us to….

II. Understand the Ministry and Role of Church Leaders. (v12-14)

But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12–14)

Now, if you are not reading in the NASB, your translation may look different…here are some examples…

[make these next 5 snippets all one click, and you do not need to put it in your notes]

‎NASB that you appreciate those

‎NIV to acknowledge those

‎NET to acknowledge those

‎ESV to respect those

‎NLT honor those who

You might be wondering…what is going on?

Remember, that translators often have to make choices when they are working…here is what MacArthur says…and it really sheds light on why translations do what they do…

New Testament word oida, which means to know by experience…The connotation here is that believers are to know their shepherds deeply and respectfully and to value their service. Such knowledge is much more than the mere recall of their names or the general awareness of some facts about their personal lives. Instead, it entails a close, personal acquaintance that results in the caring appreciation of the Lord’s servant. It is common for people to be unkind, critical, and indifferent toward their pastors when they do not know them well. But believers will not be as likely to have such negative attitudes toward pastors they truly know. Rather, they are more likely to treat them with heartfelt respect and gratitude.

So, the is saying that you need to have this attitude toward those who “labor” generally this is talking about those who are pastors…notice how the text describes the that work…

In secular Greek kópos means a. “beating” or the “weariness” caused by it, and the “exertion” (e.g., of manual work) that brings on physical tiredness. kopiáō, then, means “to tire,” “to wear oneself out.” The LXX uses it for tiring in battle (2 Sam. 23:10), for exertion in work (Josh. 24:13), and for the groans of the afflicted (Ps. 6:6). Present toil is contrasted with future rest (Is. 65:23). God, who never wearies (Is. 40:28ff.), will grant rest to the righteous (33:24).

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1985), 453.

You actually see this word powerfully used…so if you can pick it out in this text…

So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.” (John 4:5–6)

Now, that is not my attempt to guilt trip this congregation…rather why is Paul saying this…

First, those who are doing the work of the ministry should be working hard. That is part of the divine job description.

Second, Paul describes the job that Pastors are called to do…

Exercising Oversight

We see that not just here, but elsewhere…

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

The job of the pastor is to exercise leadership and oversight..

Notice that even the writers of Hebrews gives an extra reason why…it is unprofitable for you if we do our jobs in a bad way…pastors who exercise leadership are doing it for the benefit of the congregation.

I know that in a room like this, there are countless folks who have had a bad dealing with authority…you might even have had a bad memory of a pastor…or maybe even one of the Faith pastors…even me.

Here is my point…you can’t just write off authorities because you have a problem with them.

This is part of how God setup his church…if there is a problem…then let’s go solve that problem…

Part of being the family of God…is following those who labor and lead…they do this primarily by….

Providing Instruction

1 Timothy 5:17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.

The other thing that they do is…

Admonishing, Encouraging, Helping

“We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

Those can be some of the most challenging meetings and times but also some of the most profitable ones. I don’t know of anyone that loves having those types of pastoral meetings…but God does want it of those who are charged with leading the church.

And Paul concludes….we are to…

Respond in appreciation and honor those who minister to you.

MacArthur, again, I think helps illuminate what is happening.

Paul intensified this responsibility even further by telling the Thessalonians they must have high esteem for their shepherds in love, not because of their personalities or the favors they rendered, but because of their work. So beyond appreciating the man because they know him, the saints are to hold him in even greater regard because of his divinely designed and energized calling. Love is the familiar word agapē and refers to selfless, sacrificial service for others. The work the shepherds do is their ministry of the Word, which feeds the souls of the flock…God has called pastors and set them apart for the important work of leading His church (1 Tim. 3:1–7; Titus 1:5–9; cf. Mark 3:13–19; Acts 6:3–6; 13:1–3). Therefore the people under them are to lovingly acknowledge their ministry labors, greatly respect them, overlook their non-sinful human frailties (cf. Prov. 10:12; 1 Peter 4:8), speak well of them, encourage them, and give their best for them

John F. MacArthur Jr., 1 & 2 Thessalonians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 2002), 173.

Now, that can be a bit weird to preach as a pastor…can I say that.

One, it can sound a bit self-serving.

Second, by and large, our church did not need that little chat, so that is why I moved through it rather quickly.

By and large, our congregation does an amazing job of following the leaders of the church and showing the appreciate that the text demands.

But, I do know how deceptive sin can be…plus…let’s be honest, if you stick around here long enough…one of the pastors or leaders here is going to say something that might offend you…and let’s be real honest…more than likely… at this congregation…it will be me 😊

So, let’s just tuck away this verse on the rare occasion you might need it…and let’s commit to solving any problems that come our way…and let’s remember that your pastors love you…they work hard for you…and they exercise their leadership for your benefit.

Lastly, by way of large structure to our text…we see that we are to…

II. Continue to encourage one another and build up one another (v11, 15-18)

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

You might have even learned the kids song that goes along with that…don’t worry I won’t sing…but that is a command of the text…you are to do this…

Just pause and ask yourself for a moment…when is the last time you did this?

When is the last time you sought to purposely encourage someone or build them up?

If we are honest, most of us in this room will say…it’s been a while.

I know that some of you have this gift…and I have even been the benefactor of that gift.

But, while some folks may be ‘gifted at this’

Let the text do it’s work…we are all called to do this.

I’ll be the first in line to admit that I am terrible at doing this, and rarely is that my disposition.

Tell you the 100 ways you are wrong, failing, and need to change…I can do faster than before the end of the hour.

List 5 ways you are excelling…it might take me a week 😊

So, I get it.

But, there is this call in the church of Christ to do this…

So here is my encourage me to you…as you consider your identity in Christ as all he has done for you…

As you respond to the leading of your pastors…

This week, purposely, volitionally…meaning you planned this out…encourage and build up 3 different people.

I don’t mean that you would say, “hey, nice jeans”

I mean you took some time to consider how you might encourage someone…and you put some thought into it.

I need to see some eyes that are agreeing on that one…don’t make me have a mixer next week where we all share how we did that for a bit of accountability 😊

You don’t want that do you 😊

In this building and encouraging…we do this in part by…

Live at peace with one another

Live in peace with one another.” (1 Thessalonians 5:13b)

Christ gave us his peace…we have to work on keeping and living at peace.

There are 1,000,000 things that we could as a congregation, as a family get all bent out of shape over.

Over the years…folks that I have had the privilege of working on some things with would tell you…even the smallest thing can create conflict in the family.

Our charge is to live at peace with one another.

But here is what that DOES NOT MEAN.

(1) that does not mean we are not going to confront sin. Right—we need to talk with each other about sin.

(2) that does not mean we are going to live in fear of one another. We don’t want to offend, but that doesn’t mean we are going to live in fear.

(3) that does not mean we are going to not have convictions and personally preferences. I am not saying that we need to give up all things that we hold dear in order to keep the peace.

Rather, those things that we hold as secondary and tertiary importance, we are going to keep there…and we are not going to allow those things to create division.

Further, when there is a problem…maybe sin, maybe someone offended us…we are going to pursue peace with each other.

Meaning, we are going to go to our brother or sister…not tell ourselves…well, if they want to talk they know how to find me.

Can we all agree that this type of thinking is lame…and it has no place in the church.

The Bible is clear…if you have something against your brother or sister…you go to them

And…it also is clear…if you know they have something against you…you go!

You are always the one in the Bible going to the other person…it never says, “wait for them to come to you.”

So our job is to be at peace…and being at peace means we are pursuing peace…

But it also means that we are going to…

Return good for evil and proactively seek after what is good for others.

“See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

See to it…that means again, that we are not only going to have to go to each other, but we are going to have to keep one another accountable.

Here, we are to help each other not repay evil when they are treated poorly….

Pursue joy, prayer and thanksgiving in Christ

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18,)

There is a lot that goes into being a part of the family of God.

Our job is to rejoice in our common salvation, to ensure that we are honoring those that God has placed in our lives…and seeking to foster and develop the type of community that God is calling us to.

It is my hope and prayer that you will be apart of that, even this week.

Authors

Josh Greiner

Roles

Pastor of Faith West Ministries - Faith Church

Director of Faith West Community Center - Community Ministries West

Vice-Chair of the CDC Board - Northend Ministries

MABC Instructor - Faith Bible Seminary

Director of the Biblical Counseling Training Conference - Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries

Bio

BA - Political Science, Purdue University
M.Div. - Faith Bible Seminary
Th.M. - Biblical Counseling, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Ph.D. - Biblical Counseling, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (a.b.d.)

Pastor Josh Greiner joined the staff at Faith Church in 2013 after being a part of the three year internship at FBS and oversees the Faith Church West Campus. He also serves as an ACBC certified counselor, grader, and fellow in training; he teaches in Faith’s Biblical Counseling Ministries and serves as an adjunct professor for Faith Bible Seminary (M.Div. and MABC); and serves his community on the Board of the Faith Community Development Corporation and as the chaplain of the West Lafayette Fire Department. Josh is married to Shana and has four children: Winston, Cecilia, Lorelai, and Edwin.

Read Josh Greiner's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Greiner to Faith Church.