Light Of His Word
The Sermons of Pastor Mike Walls
Freedom Baptist Church
Used By Permission
Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
TRUTHS FROM THE BOOK OF 1ST THESSALONIANS
Message # 2
Introduction: Last week we looked at the complete church is made up of elect people. As I said last time, election is basically choice. God chose me and I chose Him. The doctrine of election does not diminish the sovereignty of God or the free will nature of man.
Elect people are active believers. They are and should be diligent workers. They are enduring lookers and chosen beloved.
How can you tell who is of the elect? You cannot. I noticed the folks who go to a far extreme with this seem to know who is elect and it is usually their crowd only. We are commanded to give the Gospel to all and God know those who are His. It is not our job to try and figure this out.
We should be ready for the Lord Jesus to come for us and to live lives that honors Him. This church was ready.
Last time we saw an elect people that made up this church. So what other kind of folks make up a complete church?
“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.”
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
1. How did the Word of God come? It came in power. You can see the power of the Word of God when you see some of the pictures that we see in the Bible about itself.
“Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.”
“Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”
“So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.”
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
The Word of God can do all this when it is sent forth in power. It is what led the folks in Thessalonica to be saved.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2nd Peter 1:21
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
The power of the Holy Spirit is what was the difference of Paul and other visiting preachers in that town. “Preachers” were very popular in that day in that area. It was a way to make money. Paul came in the demonstration of the Holy Spirit’s power. People knew it in Paul’s life and words.
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
1st John 3:2; 19
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” “And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.”
1st John 4:13
“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.”
1st John 5:10; 13
“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Preach that constantly makes people doubt that they are saved is not the right kind of preaching. The Word of God gives us that the assurance that we are saved. That gives a life power that he or she never knew before they were saved.
“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost”
Paul was the right kind of leader. He was a praying preacher. In fact this was the identifying mark that the Lord told Ananias after Paul had been struck down on the road to Damascus and he was saved.
Not only was he as praying preacher; he was preceptive preacher. He knew what these people needed. How did he know? God gave him the knowledge to know what to preach.
He was a powerful preacher. He used the powerful Word of God to do the work of God on those hearts of stone.
The word “followers” in the Greek is where we get our word “mimic”. It basically means to copy someone else’s activities. Little children mimic their parents. They like to put on their shirts and ties or hose and high heels and try to walk and talk like their parents.
Paul was someone worth mimicking or following.
1st Corinthians 11:1
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”
I am afraid that I cannot make that bold of a statement for there are times when I am not following Christ, as I ought.
How do you show that you are following your spiritual leaders?
1. You remember them. Hebrews 13:7
“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”
Remembering them in prayer is a great start. Remembering them in praise does not hurt them either.
2. You obey them. Hebrews 13:17
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
This is not a blind obedience. This is an obedience that wants to please God. It is obedience to the truths of the Bible. John knew how this felt.
3rd John 4
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost”
When people first put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Saviour, there is going to be some kind of test or even persecution. Faith is always tested. It is the testing of your faith that shows the realness of your God. It is a fact of the Christian life to be tested to the point of persecution.
2nd Timothy 3:12
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
Most of us think that a door slammed in our face is persecution of our faith. Tell that to some of the early Christians and they would laugh you to scorn. I recommend that all Christians read Foxes’ Book of Martyrs at least once in their Christian life. I had not been saved but a few months when I read it the first time. I still recall some of the persecutions that those first Christians faced. In fact, about 90% of the first Christians were martyred for Christ.
Suffering for Christ is basically not heard about in our country. We have had such a time of religious freedom that we tend to forget it happens somewhere in the world today. In fact, we are not immune to it. We may see it in our country in our lifetime. It is not that I want to suffer for Christ but I am being a realist in knowing it could happen. We need to make up our minds and fortify our lives with the Word of God so we can stand when the afflictions come our way.
“So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.”
These people were more than examples. They were ensamples. I looked up this word and found that it meant to be marked by a blow or mark. Their testimony was so glowing that folks in other localities knew that God had saved these folks.
Brother Bill Kanoy had this in his book on Thessalonians about they being an ensample. Their lives were so marked by Christ that it was like the mark of the nails in the hands of Jesus. John 20:25
“The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Folks naturally knew that they saved because of the changes that came into their lives after they were saved. What are some of the changes that will come into a person’s life after they are saved? I will not be able to go into much detail but these activities will show a changed life that will be living proof that you got saved.
1. You will love Jesus. 1st John 5:1-2
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.”
You could have cared less about the commands of God if you had not gotten saved. You show your love for Christ with obedience to His commands.
2. You will love the Bible. Psalm 119:47-48
“And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.”
If the Bible said to stand on your head and wiggle your toes, you would have been on the floor trying to do that because you loved this Book. You could not get enough of it. Each new truth you held in awe and adoration. What happened? You do not love the Bible in the same way anymore.
3. You will love other Christians. 1st John 3:14
”We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”
No all Christians are easy to love. In fact they seem to do their best to keep you from loving them. But you will do it anyway.
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”
Throughout the Bible you will find men who were living ensamples to encourage you to live the light that honors God. Let me name a few.
Moses Exodus 14:13
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.”
The people of Israel would have never stood still if Moses had not been that inspiring ensample to do so.
Gideon Judges 7:17
“And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.”
David 1st Samuel 17:50-52
“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.”
Paul Acts 27:25, 35-36
“Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.” “And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.”
Christ Himself 1st Peter 2:21
even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also
suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should
follow his steps”
Conclusion: Every Christian in this church and around the world is either an encourager or discourager. The choice is yours to make. The folks in the complete church in Thessalonica were exemplary in that folks never they were not saved by the life that they lead. Can the same be said of you? Are you an encourager or discourager?
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