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Sexual Purity

We live in a sexualized society. And while we’re 2,000 years removed from Paul’s letter to the new followers of Christ in the church of Thessalonica, our cultural situation is very similar. They came to faith out of a culture that deified sex. People lived to please themselves, but Paul is calling these new believers to walk and live in a way that pleased God more and more.

How do we live that kind of life in a culture that’s saturated with sexualized images, messages, and beliefs? We cling to three important things in this text: We have a calling from God, a warning from God and a Helper from God.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Ezekiel 36:26-27

Please God

We all know people who are hard to please. Maybe their standards are so high you can’t please them, or they change their minds about what they prefer, or they’ve never told you what pleases them. In this text, Paul transitions from looking back at the Thessalonians new lives in Christ, to looking into the present and future, asking and urging them to excel at something they’re already doing – pleasing God.

The big idea for this text is this: Christians ought to walk in a way that pleases God more and more. We’ll consider what pleases God – a life of obedience and faith, why we should please God – because of the instructions we have, the blessing it brings, the glory to come, and our love for the Master, and finally, we’ll ask, how do we please God – by reckoning rightly about sin, others and our suffering, and meditating on pure things to filter the pollution.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2; Matthew 15:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; Romans 8:18; John 14:21-24; Romans 6:11; Phil. 4:8

The Church that Lasts

We face questions in life that are different at every stage. But after 20+ years of building a career or family, there is one question that keeps you up at night. “Will it last?” That is Paul’s question about the work he and his team started in Thessalonica, about the Church that was born over those three short weeks.

In this text, we see Paul write more emotionally and vulnerably than anywhere else. And it’s clear that the church that lasts has four characteristics: It is loved by her leaders; stabilized by personal ministry; tested through afflictions; and lasts by faith.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 2:17, 3:5; Hebrews 13:7; John 16:33; Revelation 7:15-17

A Model for Gospel Ministry

One of the best ways to learn is to watch the life of someone who does it well. You might call this person a coach, or a mentor or a role model. In 1 Thessalonians 1, the Thessalonians came to believe the gospel, turning to Go from idols. When they did, they began to “imitate” Paul and his team members, and in time, to imitate Christ, the ultimate Role Model for every believer!

In 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12, we begin a very personal section of the letter from Paul. In these verses he reminds the Thessalonians about his ministry among them. And as he does, we see in him a model for gospel ministry in three pictures.

To do gospel ministry, whether that’s as a Pastor/Elder, a Group Leader, Christian parent, co-worker, or friend… you must be…

A steward, entrusted with a valuable to deliver. A mother, sacrificially and affectionally serving others. A father, living an exemplary life, continually encouraging your “children” to follow Jesus.

Scripture: Acts 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

A Deliberate Community

We at Foothills Baptist Church are to have a humble service that is characterized by love. We can do this by being a deliberate community that puts Jesus first for the sake of others.

Scripture: Romans 12:3-13

A Deliberate Sacrifice

Christians deliberately seek to have their minds renewed as they offer up their redeemed bodies as living, holy, acceptable sacrifices for the worship and service of God and for the good of others, which results in a supernatural transformation of their affections and actions.

Scripture: Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 4:7-12

Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God

Life is filled with choices every day. We make most without much thought. But others make us stop, force us to think, consider and weigh the outcome. We need God’s wisdom to live in God’s world. But we have a choice, we can choose God’s wisdom, and take that path, or we can take the path of folly. One ends in life and the other in death. We should seek wisdom, and the good news is that the wisdom of God for life, in Jesus, is already seeking us!

Scripture: Proverbs 8, 1; Corinthians 1:24; Hebrews 1:1-2; Colossians 1:15-16; John 1:1-12

God’s Wisdom for Marital Faithfulness

We live in a sexualized society. Sexual intimacy has been distorted. It’s all about my personal pleasure rather than how I can serve my husband or wife out of love.

Proverbs isn’t prudish about sexual intimacy. God encourages us to “drink the water,” and enjoy the gift He’s given us. It’s meant as a blessing. It’s meant for our flourishing. But he warns us that the desire He’s given us can be misused, so we should “flee the fire.” If we think we know better, if we refuse to listen, we’ll get burned. Our very lives are at stake. In the end, we must “guard our hearts.”

God’s Wisdom for Choosing a Spouse

Overall people are getting married at a much lower number, and at a slower rate than ever before. And the way people make decisions about whom to marry goes from the “old fashioned” way of meeting someone face to face for the first time, and from there moving into a dating relationship, to swiping through images on their phone, to indulging considering that a process like The Bachelor or The Bachelorette is actually wise.

The choice of a husband or wife is the most consequential decision a person can make in their life. Your personal well-being is at stake, the well-being of the next generation is at stake, and the glory of God in the world is at stake. The husband or wife of your dreams is a gift from God, yet He expects you to choose wisely.

Scripture: Proverbs 12:4, 31:10-31, Ephesians 5; Colossians 3; 1 Peter 3

God’s Wisdom for Finances

As a church, we chose years ago to not be afraid of talking about money. In fact, after studying the gospels we decided that one of our measures would be, “Do I live the life of a generous giver?” That’s a discipleship question. How I handle my money, my level of generosity doesn’t begin with my bank account, it starts in my heart.

Proverbs is loaded with God’s wisdom on Money. Today, we’re going to look mainly at chapter 3 to learn four principles on handling our money.

Scripture: Proverbs 3:9-10