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When Others Helped You    1 Thess. 2:1-16    Dec. 14, 2008


Introduction 

Can you look back over your Christian life and remember some men and women who helped you grow in

Christ? I consider myself blessed by several men and woman. The ladies demonstrated godly qualities, and many men shared their walk with Christ in an encouraging way. My appreciation for deacons goes back to the early example I saw in godly men. It is good to reflect upon When Others Helped You.

 

1.   When Others Helped You It Took Their Godly . . Boldness. 2:1-5

      A.   Boldness In. . Suffering. 2:1-2

              1.    Suffering Through . . Outrageous Treatment. 2:1-2a

1 For you yourselves know, brothers, that our visit with you was not without result. 2 On the

              contrary, after we had previously suffered and been outrageously treated in Philippi,

 

              2.    Suffering Through . . Opposition. 2:2b

                     “. . . as you know, we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of

              great opposition.

 

       B.   Boldness In . . Stewardship. 2:3-5

              1.    An . . Entrusted Stewardship. 2:3-4a

                     3 For our exhortation didn't come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive. 4 Instead,

              just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, 

                     a.    Our . . Message Of Stewardship is a true Message — not from error. v 3a

                     b.    Our . . Motive Of Stewardship is with a pure Motive —not from impure motives. v 3b

                     c.    Our . . Moral Of Stewardship is honest—not trying to trick you. v 3c

                     d.    Our . . Method Of Stewardship is trustworthy—"entrusted with the gospel.” v 4a

 

              2.    An . . Examined Stewardship. 2:4b-6

                     “. . . not to please men, but rather God, who examines our hearts. 5 For we never used

              flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy motives—God is our witness— 6 and we didn't seek

              glory from people, either from you or from others.

                     a.    Paul Did Not Flaunt Himself. v 4b

                     b.    Paul Did Not Flatter Others. v 5-6

 

Paul suffered some outrageous treatment and much opposition. We need to be bold in our stewardship of

the opportunities God entrusts each of us with in use of time talent and treasure. In verse three Paul lists several areas of stewardship. He speaks of a true, pure, honest, and trustworthy stewardship. Then he says God examines the heart to see our motives. In all of this he was bold.

 

2.   When Others Helped You It Took Their Sacrifice Of . . Body. 2:7-8

      A.   Sacrifice Of Body Like A . . Dedicated Mother. 2:7

            7 Although we could have been a burden as Christ's apostles, instead we were gentle among you, as a

       nursing mother nurtures her own children.

 

      B.   Sacrifice Of Body Like A . . Dying Mother. 2:8

8 We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God

       but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.


       When Paul spoke of helping others through the sacrifice of his body he gave the example of a dedicated

mother. He took the burden rather than burdening the church. He sacrificed his life in order to share the gospel with them. That is certainly like a caring mother. My mother and my wife’s mother were like that. Hopefully you enjoyed a similar experience. Paul desired to help these people to be birthed into Christ and grow up in Him. He was like a good mother. 


 

3.   When Others Helped You It Took Their Ministering . . Blamelessly. 2:9-12

       A.   Blamelessly In The . . Work Of A Father. 2:9

9 For you remember our labor and hardship, brothers. Working night and day so that we would not

       burden any of you, we preached God's gospel to you.

 

       B.   Blamelessly In The . . Witness As A Father. 2:10

10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how devoutly, righteously, and blamelessly we conducted

       ourselves with you believers.

 

       C.   Blamelessly In The . . Walk As A Father. 2:11-12

11 As you know, like a father with his own children, 12 we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.


       Paul also used the analogy of a good father to illustrate how he helped the Thessalonians. He carried a big work load as he worked night and day. He asks for them to witness the truth of his testimony as a devout, righteous, and blameless witness for Christ. He then urges them to walk with the Lord worthy of what He did and does for believers. A good father certainly helps his children by including these qualities.


 

4.   When Others Helped You, You Were Treated As . . Brothers. 2:13-16

       A.   Brothers Who Welcomed The . . Message Of God. 2:13

13 Also, this is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the message about God that

       you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the message of God, which

       also works effectively in you believers.

 

       B.   Brothers Who Welcomed The . . Modeling Of The Word Of God. 2:14-

              14 For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, since you

       have also suffered the same things from people of your own country, just as they did from the Jews.

 

       C.   Brothers Who Witnessed The . . Mistreatment Of Their Ministry. 2:15-16

15 They killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and persecuted us; they displease God, and are

       hostile to everyone, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. As a result,

       they are always adding to the number of their sins, and wrath has overtaken them completely. HCSB

 

       I like to see biological brothers enjoy being around one another. To see Christian brothers and sisters enjoying fellowship encourages all who see it. Paul said these Christian brothers welcomed the message of God and treated it as a message from Him; as they did this they knew he and others modeled the teachings of scripture so all the world could see. They also knew Paul endured mistreatment so they could hear the message of Christ. They were helped by his stand for the gospel. He also called attention to the treatment the Lord was given. It was good for the Christian people of Thessalonica to remember how Paul and others helped them. Now it is good for you and I to remember the sacrifice the Lord and many of His children made When Others Helped You. Amen? Amen!