Monday, September 14, 2009

Sermon: 1st Thessalonians 1:1 Grace and Peace to You

The video cuts out for about 2 minutes in the middle. We ran out of tape and had to rewind.

Here's the text of the missing portion:
Paul was prepared to meet communities where they are, to be all things to all people, change some of the incidentals surrounding the gospel presentation but he also was prepared to say to a community, you know what, it's time to grow up. That prejudice, that practice, that way of behaving is not consistent with the word of God, that needs to change.
    Now keep your finger in 1 Thess 1:1 and Turn over to Galatians 1:1 "Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—" That's a lot different. Why? What was going on in Galatia. Well there were some false teachers in Galatia who challenged Paul's authority, twisted the truth of the gospel, and the Galatians followed them. So in the very first line Paul says, I'm an apostle appointed by the Risen Christ himself—you oppose me you are opposing one who comes to you in the name of Jesus, you oppose a messenger personally appointed by the King of the universe. But to the Thessalonians Paul doesn't even mention his apostleship. He sets himself down on equal terms with Silas and Timothy. That's an important clue about the health and state of the church in Thessalonica. It tells us, and the rest of the letter bears this out, that there was no opposition to the gospel within the Thessalonian church and so there was no need for Paul to pull our his credentials or even mention his apostleship. That doesn't mean things were peaceful.

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