Practical Christian Living | 1 Thessalonians 4:9-5:11

1 Thessalonians 4:9-5:11 | Practical Christian Living

Christianity is a very practical religion. The Christian faith just does not remain in the scripture that God has given us, but the Christian faith translates into the very lives of the people who read this book. A true Christian demonstrates the relevance of Christianity in every dimension of his/her life. Christians must communicate the importance of the faith by exhibiting a lifestyle based upon a Christian philosophy of life. There is a need of practical Christian living.

How should a child of God live? How can our life reflect the faith that we profess?

This sermon deals with four areas that apostle Paul writes to the Thessalonian believers, as to how to practically live out our Christian faith.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-2

1As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact, you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

Paul has already told them this when he pioneered this church in Thessalonica, here is a fresh reminder. So when he evangelized them along with Timothy and Silas, he certainly told them about lifestyle Christianity. So here is a fresh reminder of the Christian lifestyle.

What we believers need is not fresh revelation or fresh mysteries from the word. What we need today is fresh reminders. We all know how to live our Christian lives, but we need fresh reminders time and again to continue in them. So what I am saying week after week is nothing new, but a fresh reminder from the Holy Spirit for our daily living.

Let’s us see what Paul has to say to these believers about practical Christian living:

1 Thessalonians 4:3

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

9Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

The context of this passage is in

1 Thessalonians 4:1

to live in order to please God.

Paul is then telling about the practical ways that we are to live to please god. And so you have from verse 3 clear to the end of this letter in chapter 5, a listing of the various implications of practical Christian living. Christian life affects the way we live.

Four Areas Of Practical Christian Living

Live A Pure Life
Love One Another
Lead A Quiet Life
Live In The Hope Of Christ’s Return

C-Living-English-TABLE

Basically, I am just going to explain this in today’s message.

1. Lead A Pure Life

1 Thessalonians 4:3

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality…

God’s will is that we be sanctified, which means sexually pure, morally pure.

How Can I Live Pure?

a. Don’t Let Your Body Control You
b. Don’t Act Like People Who Do Not Know God
c. Don’t Take Advantage Of Others
d. Understand The Power Of The Holy Spirit In Your Life

 C-Living-English-TABLE-2

Moving then from the issue of sexual sin, to which we gave some great attention last week, we go to the next category of discussion in verses 9 to 12.

These are the simple attitudes and duties of Christian living. This is very practical. And what Paul is saying is that this whole matter of sanctification touches the very basics of our lifestyle. In fact, the Christianity that doesn’t change the way you live is not the real thing.

2. Love One Another

1 Thessalonians 4:9-10

9Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more.

So, Paul says the first principle of Christian living is: Don’t lust. The second one, do love. And if anything is to characterize the church it is purity on the one hand and love on the other hand. Pure moral conduct and love go together.

The requirement of love in the new covenant community is both a gift and a command. This love is always expressed in service, meeting needs, and caring for people.

Paul says that it is God who taught us love one another.

1 Thessalonians 4:9

Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.

You and I have been taught by God to love one another.

How did God teach us to love?

Through the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:5

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

The Holy Spirit comes, the Holy Spirit is a teacher, He teaches you to love. So, if you are a believer, you have been taught by God to love one another. I have people tell me, “Pastor I am a believer but I cannot love this brother or this sister.” I would say, “You are not a true believer if you cannot love one another.”

When we go for our church camps, sometimes we do bonfire. Have you noticed that when sit in the smoke and come back to your room, our clothes will smell the smoke? Likewise, if one has a genuine experience of God, it will result in them growing in love for others.

1 John 2:9-10

9Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.

1 John 3:14

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

1 John 4:7-8

7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:11-14

11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.

God has taught us to love one another through the Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 4:10

And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more..

Thessalonica was the capital city of Macedonia. They showed hospitality to all the churches in Macedonia. They showed kindness. They did everything that expressed love and now Paul is asking them to grow in it. You are doing well, but you could do better. There’s plenty of room for improvement.

Ask the question, “Is there anyone whom God wants you to love that is not lovable?” God will speak to you.

3. Lead A Quiet Life

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

11and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Lead a quiet life. What is a quiet life? Quite life here does not mean to be silent but in this context Paul is basically saying, “Life a life without unnecessary conflict.” This is about social relationships. Don’t disturb people unnecessarily. Do you know that there are people out there, sometimes believers who keeps meddling with people’s life. Don’t meddle around with people’s life. Do not gossip about people.

Do you know that there are so many people who are always concerned about other people? They want to gossip about others, interfere in their life, advice others, correct others. Paul is telling don’t meddle around with people’s life. Don’t be disruptive or be a busybody.

1 Thessalonians 5:14

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive…

Don’t go around making trouble for others but lead a quiet life by minding your own business.

By the time Paul is writing his second letter to the Thessalonians, this problem is still unresolved, so Paul has to write again.

2 Thessalonians 3:11

We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.

To lead a quiet life: Means don’t have unnecessary conflict with people, mind your own business but be concerned about people’s interests.

Philippians 2:3-4

3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

One way of leading a quiet life and not being a busybody is to be busy at your own work.

Work With Your Hands

1 Thessalonians 4:11-13

11…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

There were believers in Thessalonica who were not working and going around and causing trouble for others. This is the context.

Mind your own business by working with your own hands. That means a majority of the congregation members are laborers or artisans in Thessalonica. They work with their hands.

Mind your own business: Means work very hard at your own work.

What Happens When We Work?

1 Thessalonians 4:11-13

…You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

A. Work Brings The Respect Of Outsiders

A believer’s daily life of work will win respect of outsiders. When they respect us they may hear our gospel, otherwise we are distancing them from the gospel. When we are not doing our work or we are lazy, then people are not going to hear our gospel.

What does people around you at your work say about you? Are you slack in your work and talk about Jesus? There is no use of such gospel. So when we genuinely work hard, we win the respect of outsiders.

B. Work So That You Will Not Be Dependent On Anybody

1 Thessalonians 4:12

so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

When you work you do not put your burden on others unnecessarily. Yes, there are times when you have to take the help of others. But there is no need to unnecessarily put your burden on others. So there are people in this church who are not working but they are still eating, finding a way to put their burden on others.

This problem continued even when Paul write the second letter to this church:

2 Thessalonians 3:6-10

6In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

Paul has the right to say this because he has shown them by working with his own hands.

See the whole theme of financial burden? Who pays for your food is the question we must ask. If you don’t work, don’t eat. If you want to eat without wanting to work, you are putting your burden on someone else.

2 Thessalonians 3:12

Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.

Settle down at work, and earn the food you eat.

Third reason to work hard, not in this context:

C. Work So That You Can Be Generous

Ephesians 4:28

Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

We work so that we can be generous. You take other people’s burden. Generosity is an expression of love.

Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer. Believers are stealing? Of course Paul says believers in Ephesus steal. Which way were they stealing? By notworking and getting their food from someone’s earning.. Stop stealing instead must work.

Stealing is a substitute for working.

So when you work, you will gain the respect of outsiders, you don’t put your burden on others unnecessarily, and you can be generous. That is practical Christian living.

Remember, we must understand that both secular work and ministry work are God’s work.

So believers are to Live A Pure Life, Love One Another, Lead A Quiet Life by not troubling others but working with our own hands. As we are doing this, we are also to:

4. Live In The Hope Of Christ’s Return

The next section, 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 is a section on Christian living in the hope of Christ’s return.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

C-Living-English-TABLE-3

Return

1 Thessalonians 4:16a

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven

It is very clear that the Bible teaches that Jesus will return. It is going to be personal, it is going to be visible, and it is going to cosmic. It will be loud. This is what the early church has held onto. It was in the early church creed. Christians throughout the centuries including all mainline churches and others believed and also believe in the return of Jesus Christ. The Lord will return.

Resurrection

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

1 Thessalonians 4:16

For the Lord, himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

When Jesus comes, the dead in Christ will rise from their grace. We can be sure that all believers will be resurrected.

Rapture

Harpazo has the idea of snatch, almost a violent kind of snatching. We who are living will be transformed, caught up to the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:17a

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

Rapture of those living when the Lord returns.

Reunion

1 Thessalonians 4:17b

And so we will be with the Lord forever.

There is going to be a reunion with our loved ones. We are going to live with our loved ones and Christ forever.

What Do We Do Because Of The Dead?

Especially in days like ours, we find a lot of deaths. I have spoken to a lot of people whose loved ones have died because of the covid-19. What do we do because of the dead?

Grieve With Hope

How do we grieve?

1 Thessalonians 4:13

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.

Don’t grieve like the people who have no hope. Grief will be there, but we grieve with hope. We are going to meet our loved ones. There is going to be a reunion at the coming of the Lord. So we grieve with hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:18

Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Encourage one another with our hope of resurrection. This is our only encouragement. There is going to be a resurrection and we will meet our loved ones.

How Do We Live In Light Of The Lord’s Return?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 1Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.

C-Living-English-TABLE-4

We are called to live according to the left line (light, day, awake, sober) for the coming of the Lord.

We are to live in the hope of Christ’s return.

Apostle Paul has very clearly laid out for us four essences of practical Christian living. We must communicate the importance of the faith by exhibiting a lifestyle based upon a Christian philosophy of life.

Four Areas Of Practical Christian Living

Live A Pure Life
Love One Another
Lead A Quiet Life
Live In The Hope Of Christ’s Return

Are you living a pure life? Is there anything the Holy Spirit is reminding you to renounce today? Are you able to love your enemies? Are you able to love others or are you fully self-obsessed? Are you leading a quiet life? Are you a trouble maker for others?

Tell God that I am going to work with my hands and win the respect of others, I will meet my own needs, and be generous with my money.

In the midst of all this, let us live in hope of Christ’s return.

For more sermons, follow us on YouTube!

https://www.youtube.com/user/CityHarvestAG/videos

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/cityharvestagchurch/
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/cityharvestag/
Twitter
https://twitter.com/cityHarvest_AG

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.