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January 3, 1999 AM


1 Thes 2:5-12

INTRO: What sort of person would you like to be? Is there any room for improvement? Do you have a mental picture of the person you would like to be? It is not so beneficial to know we have room for personal improvement but to ave an idea of where to improve. The text for todays study gives me a good picture of the person I want to be. It may be, as I note some of the lovely things here, that you will find some personal improvement goals, too.


a. not a flatterer who seeks advantage

b. not coveting that which others had

c. his motives were exactly what they appeared to be: to preach the gospel (2:3) and to encourage (2:4)

d. finding true unselfishness is a joy

e. 2 Cor 8:1-5 Thessalonica was of Macedonia - it seems the influence of Pauls unselfishness was powerful among them!


a. he was an apostle - but was not seeking reputation

b. he did not lord it over people (1 Pet 5:3) ... but certainly set an example of meekness

c. his mission was a trust from God to turn people to God ... and not for personal advantage

d. so, what are our motives in relationships?

e. Gal 5:13 heres the motive that counts


a. he was not spineless, weak!

b. but he was kind and gentle ... tenderness

c. Isa 49:23 the gentleness of the powerful!

d. Mt 8:2,3 and touched him ... perhaps several reasons could be addressed; but I believe the touch was part of Jesus gentleness

e. few more beautiful traits than strength that is gentle


a. sometimes we deny the strong the potential of affection ... perhaps, again, associating it with weakness

b. but this strong, courageous man confesses his deep affection for the Christians of Thessalonica

c. his relationship was more than professional - these were beloved friends

d. how much do we really care about each other?

e. Rom 12:10 comes to my mind


a. difficulties or prosperity can divert from purpose

b. but the apostle never lost sight of the priority: preach the gospel

c. how I want to be like he was!

d. yes, he had to make a living - he had physical pain, discomfort - but the need to teach was always there

e. Acts 20:24 ... and the ministry ...


a. his personal behavior was above reproach

b. do we ever let down our guard and behave below the standard of holiness and right conduct?

c. could I describe Paul as one eyed in terms of manner of life?

d. Christian people are under the microscope of public scrutiny ... and must live up to the Lords standard

e. Phil 1:27 ... as it becometh the gospel ... - written to just Christians!


a. encourage - comfort - teach ... fathers role

b. as I grow older, I feel all the more the father role ... and realize its importance

c. if I can be a good father to fellow saints!

CLOSE: There is a hope in all of this thinking of the sort of person I want to be ... 1 Thes 2;12. To help a wandering child to find His way ... my task.

Cecil A. Hutson

03 January 1999

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)