HOW A CHRIST FOLLOWER RESPONDS TO GODHow to be a Christ Follower, I & 2 Thessalonians .001
Pastor Steve With
Week 8, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-28
Impact Christian Church, 02/08/2015


Great Video!  Let’s all take it serious and grow our church. They say 75 to 80 % of people will come to

church if invited!


What is this? 7 points in 13 verses.  That is quite a bit.   Normally Paul takes up a lot more verses to make a point.  I assume it’s the idea of taking a short look at some subject that God thinks is super important.   It is sort of a Short Take.

– It could be a short or brief look at politics. No, we don’t want to go there because it seems that there is nothing short when it comes to politics; not speeches, not conventions, not debates, etc.

– Or it could be about sports.  Like possible short runs or short passes that are intercepted.  But this is a long subject.  Actually its the subject for many days.

– Okay, How about short Quotes?

“Love is a serious mental disease.” – Plato (BC 427)

“Men never remember, but women never forget.” – Unknown

“All diseases run into one, old age.” – William Shakespeare

“Love all, trust a few.” – Lewis Carroll

“The dumbest people I know are those who know it all.” – Tom Peters

“Love is the beauty of the soul.” – Augustine

“It is Finished.” – Jesus

Great quotes, but not a whole message.  Except for what Jesus said.

– Ok, then how about sermons.  Some sermons have short takes.  However, The longest sermon on record was preached by Rev. Robert Marshall, minister of the Birmingham Church, Michigan, in 1976. He preached for 60 hours and 31 minutes. The previous record holder was Robert McKee who preached for 52 hours. He said that it took him two-and-a-half years to write the 500,000-word sermon. HAVE NO FEAR. Not from this preacher.   I will be well under 24 hours today.

– How about short sermons? Now that’s more like it, wouldn’t you say? I believe it’s better to have people leave the church wanting more than wishing for less. But some preachers have never heard of anything like that.

– So SHORT TAKES  are not all that bad!

Our text gives us Seven short takes from scripture. These short takes are the actions that a Christ Follower takes in response to all that God has done for us.  They are if you will, Our way of saying Thank You to God!

1- Focus on Joy 2- Connect with God 3- Give thanks 4- Build fire 5- Test everything 6- Seek Holiness 7 – Obey the Word

Each of these short takes by Paul, Silas and Timothy is a proper response from a Christ Follower for all that God has done for us.  Let’s take a look.

1. Focus on Joy – “Always be joyful.” (16)

  1. Numerous Reasons  for Joy
  1. God is Faithful to Us…the Lord is my strength and shield (Ps 28:7)
  2. Jesus Saved  Us…great joy to all people (Lk 2:10)
  3. God is For Us…works everything for our Good (Ro 8:28)
  4. Answered Prayer …ask and it will be given to you (Mt 7:7)
  5. God’s Word…the word dwells in us richly (Co 3:16)
  6. Joy of Fellowship…joy before God because of you (1Thes 3:9)

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!…Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:4,8

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

  1. Connect with God – “Never stop praying.” (17)
  1. Constant Communication with the Father
  2. Be about Glorifying  God
  3. Abide in Jesus, always!

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

“The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” I John 2:6

  1. Give Thanks – “Be thankful in all Circumstances,” (18a)
  1. Because that is God’s Will for us who are Christ Follower
  2. We live to give Thanks  to God

“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20

4. BUILD FIRE – “Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.” (19)

  1. Stifle – To Quench  or put out the flame.
  1. We do this by staying away from God Stuff
  2. We do this by filling our lives with World Stuff
  1. Remember the Holy Spirit’s Role in the Christ Followers Life:
  1. Shows God’s Mighty Power (John 1:12-13)
  2. Regenerates from Sin (John 3:6-8, Eph 2:1,5)
  3. Completes  Transformation (Titus 3:5, Rom 2:29)
  4. Frees from Slavery to Sin (Rom 8:3-9)
  5. Places in the Body of Christ (Rom 8:15-17)
  6. Takes up Permanent Residence (John 14:17, 1 Cor 3:16)
  7. Guarantees Salvation (2 Cor 1:22, Eph 1:14)

“and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.”      2 Corinthians 1:22

“The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” Ephesians 1:14

  1. Pours God’s Love in Hearts (Rom 5:5)

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5

  1. Gifts  for Ministry (1 Cor 12, Rom 12, Eph 4)
  2. Sanctifies Them (Rom 15:16)

“But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

also…a side note…

The Holy Spirit…

1. Illuminates God’s Word

2. Brings Believers into Intimacy with God

3. Glories Christ in Us

4. Helps Believer’s Know God’s Will

5. Provides Inward Strength for Christ Followers

So please don’t stifle the Holy Spirit.  Keep the fire burning!!


20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.

  1. Prophetic Utterances are words that are written or spoken that publicly proclaim God’s Word (Rom 12:6)
  2. The Thessalonians were told to not look down on Prophecies, but rather to test them.
  3. Examine  everything: hold fast to the good, abstain from the bad!

Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following.” Acts 20:30

We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God…” 2 Corinthians 4:2

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” Acts 17:11

Harold Camping prophesied that on May 21, 2013 the world would end.  Jill and I thought we should go to their church and get all the stuff.  They didn’t need it.  After May 21 came and went, many listeners were crestfallen, particularly those who had quit their jobs or donated some of their retirement savings or college funds to get out the word. Three days later, Camping revised his prophecy, saying that Earth actually would be obliterated on Oct. 21. He said a mathematical error also prevented an earlier apocalyptic prediction from materializing in 1994.


23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

  1. Keep the Sanctification Process Going

(remember throughout 1 Thessalonians Paul wrote about issues in our sanctification.  He mentions we need to work on loving others, abstaining from sexual immorality, and things.  He is saying that our response to God for all He has done is to keep going in becoming holy, don’t give up. )

    1. God will make this Happen
    2. He will keep us holy and blameless, if we let Him!

25 Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a sacred kiss. 27 I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all the brothers and sisters. 28 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

  1. Pray for Paul, Silas and Timothy
  • Every Church Leader needs Prayer
  • We need to Constantly Pray for our Leaders
  1. Demonstrate Affection
  • Be Warm and Loving to other Christ Followers
  1. Read, Study and Apply the Word
  1. Make sure you Know the Word & Pass it On!
  1. Experience Jesus’ Grace
  1. Paul starts and ends His Letter with Grace

May God give you grace and peace.” 1 Thessalonians 1:1