1 THESSALONIANS 1:1-3 – GOD’S CORE VALUES
We hear a lot today about “core values”.
Core values are what you are. They are what you stand for, what’s important to you. As a Christian, it is important that you understand what God’s core values are. It is important that you know what God wants you to have as your core values.
The core values that God wants you to have and are most important to Him are stated in 1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Faith, hope, and charity or love are God’s core values. They are repeated in our text for this morning in a slightly different order.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 – Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
The church in Thessalonica had God’s core values, and earned the commendation of the Apostle Paul. If they had Paul’s approval, it is certain that they had God’s.
We should want the same core values that God wants us to have, so let’s try to learn from the Thessalonians this morning.
First of all, who were the Thessalonians? They were, of course, citizens of the city of Thessalonica, a city in the Macedonia section of Greece. It was along the famous Roman highway, the Egnatian way.
During his second missionary journey the Apostle Paul was forced to leave Philippi as a result of persecution. He traveled to Thessalonica. Acts 17:1-4
It is possible that Paul was only in Thessalonica 3 weeks, ministering to the unsaved and new believers alike when there was another persecution and he was forced to flee to Berea.
As a pastor, Paul certainly had a burden for the Spiritual well being of the new converts in Thessalonica. Therefore, in due time, Paul sent Timothy, his trusted protégé to Thessalonica to check on the well being of the Christians there. Timothy brought back a basically good report of things happening there. 1 Thessalonians is a book of encouragement and correction that teaches us much about the local church.
Paul was especially thankful that God’s core values were instituted in the hearts of the Thessalonians. Let’s briefly look at the introduction to this Epistle.
1 Thessalonians 1:1 – Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul, of course, was the famous “Apostle to the Gentiles”, miraculously saved on the Road to Damascus.
Silvanus, or Silas, was Paul’s partner on his second missionary journey.
Timothy, was the helper that went along with Paul and Silas.
The word for church means a ‘called out company’. It could refer to a town meeting or any assembly of people. When it is used to refer to the church in the Bible, it never refers to a building, but to a body of Christian believers called out by God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We as a church are called out of the world as a body of believers who have been saved from sin and separated to God in order to live holy lives.
Notice, we are a “called out” people, and therefore, in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ:
We are in God the Father. The moment that you put your faith in the Lord Jesus you became a child of God. You were born into the family of God. John 1:12-13
- God is your Father! Be encouraged. He takes care of His own. Be Encouraged!
- God is your Father! Be challenged to live a life that shows that you are a child of God!
Not only are we in God the Father, but we are in the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is Lord, which gives Him the right and privilege to rule in our lives. Are we letting Him do that?
He is Jesus. That’s his earthly name, which means ‘Jehovah saves.’
He is the Christ, the Messiah, God’s anointed one!
Paul gives a greeting of “Grace and peace.”
The Christian is saved by grace, God’s unmerited favor. The Christian is to grow in grace. God continues to bless His children with His grace.
When we trusted Jesus as Savior we received peace with God. Our sins were paid for by the Lord Jesus on the cross and our faith applied Jesus’ blood to our account. Romans 5:1
And now, as we commit all our problems to God, we are promised the peace of God ruling in our hearts. Philippians 4:6-7
1 Thessalonians 1:2 – We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
I believe that Paul uses the word “We” because Silvanus and Timothy were also praying with thanksgiving for the Thessalonians on a regular basis.
When you pray for others are you thankful for them?
When you pray for others, do you pray on a regular basis?
1 Thessalonians1:3 – Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
Paul and his friends were continually thankful for the core values that were present in these believers. If you are truly a believer, these values are to be present in your life.
THE WORK OF FAITH
Now if there’s one thing most of us know here, it is that we are not justified, declared righteous, or saved by or our works. We know that it’s not our works that save or make us righteous. It is our faith in Christ alone for forgiveness of sin and everlasting life.
Our favorite verses for proving this are – Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
But though we are not saved by our good works, we are saved for good works.
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
We are God’s masterpiece, God’s “poem”, if you will. God has created us in Christ Jesus with the view that we would do good works. God ordained or planned ahead that our walk, the pattern of our lives would be unto good works.
But it is a work of faith. In other words, the works that we do should be done by faith. John 15:4-5, Hebrews 11:6
Whatever work you do should be done in faith.
You may not think so, but the Lord Jesus has great things planned for you to do by faith.
- JESUS WANTS YOU TO WITNESS BY FAITH Acts:1-8
- JESUS WANTS YOU TO SHINE BY FAITH Matthew 5:14-16
- JESUS WANTS YOU ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS BY FAITH John 14:12-14
- JESUS WANTS YOU TO LIVE A CHANGED LIFE BY FAITH 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:14
- JESUS WANTS YOU TO SUFFER BY FAITH James 1:2-4
What is it that God wants you to be doing by faith?
What is your work of faith?
And remember, James 2:26 says, For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
If you have no works you have no faith.
THEIR LABOR OF LOVE
What we do for the Lord Jesus should be a labor of love.
Labor is arduous, exhausting toil. Labor costs us of ourselves.
Sometimes when we do things for people as a labor of love they will not appreciate it. But that should not stop us. 2 Corinthians 12:15
When we labor for Jesus, we should consider His labor for us. Isaiah 55:3-6
PATIENCE OF HOPE
Hope is anxious anticipation not wistful thinking!
Hope looks forward to something he knows is going to happen.
The Thessalonians were suffering for their faith in Christ.
1 Thessalonians 3:3 – That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
The word patience means endurance. It is because of hope that we are to endure. To me hope goes beyond faith and allows me to look forward to a glorious outcome. Titus 1:1-2, Titus 2:13
You spend hours by the side of a sick child, and when the child gets better, you say, “It was worth it.”
You listen to a friend pour out his heart in sorrow and pain, and when you are done, because he is your friend, you say, “It was worth it.”
You spend thousands of dollars to put your child thought college, and when she graduates, you say, “It was worth it.”
You endure in serving the Lord Jesus in hope of eternal life, and when you see Him face to face, you will say, “It was worth it!”
The Thessalonians had God’s Core Values.
What about your:
WORK OF FAITH?
LABOR OF LOVE?
PATIENCE OF HOPE?