FILLING THE GAPS, How to be a Christ Follower, Week 4, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-4:12


Filling The Gaps In our FaithHow to be a Christ Follower, I & 2 Thessalonians .001

Impact Christian Church

Pastor Steve With

Week 4, 1 Thessalonians 3:9 – 4:12

January 11, 2015


  1. Filling the Gaps (3:9-13)
    • Awareness  of the Gaps

How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence. Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill the gaps in your faith. (3:9-10)

(the Apostle Paul, Silas and Timothy…authors of this book, are aware of the Thessalonians gaps)

    • …are we aware of our Gaps.  Maybe our gaps are the same as the Thessalonians or maybe we have other.  In either case we all need to hear what Paul says of how a Christ Follower ought to live.  We need to work on our gaps in our faith.  This is the process of sanctification.
    • The basic meaning of “sanctify” is to set apart to God, for His use. But God works in those whom He claims as His own to conform them “to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29)
    • Thessalonian Gaps
    1. Loving One Another

May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon. And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. (3:11-12)

    1. Being Blameless Before God

May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen. (3:13)

  1. Strong, Holy hearts before God
  2. Be Ready to Stand before God.  The Thessalonians were a little too ready as we will see later in this sermon and it 2 Thessalonians.  They were so fired up about Jesus coming back that they were selling their houses, quitting their jobs, etc.

II. Foundation for Gap Filling (4:1-2,8)

  1. Remember, We are to Live in a Way that Pleases God

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. (4:1)

  1. Remember, We are Under the Authority of Jesus

For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. (4:2)

  1. Remember, Rejecting the Bible is Rejecting God

Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. (4:8)

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16

Okay now that you know that what I am writing is from God not people let’s talk about “the gaps in your faith”

III. Gap #1: Abstain from Sexual Sin (4:3-7)  

  1. The Body Shouldn’t Control  the Christ Follower

God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor (4:3-4)

  1. Abstain – Stay Away, apechomai…to hold one’s self off, refrain, stay away)  From thoughts or actions that violate principles in God’s Word and result in Sexual Sin
  2. Sexual Sin – Immorality, porneias – 26 times in Bible

(John 8:41; Acts 15:20,19; 21:25; 1 Cor 5:1; 6:13,18; 2 Cor 12:21;       Gal 5:19; Eph 5:3; Col 3:5; Rev 2:21; 9:21)

  1. Used in Bible for adultery, fornication, prostitution, homosexuality, lesbianism, etc.
  2. Literally, That every one of you should know how to possess his or her vessel in sanctification and honour.
  1. The Christ Follower Shouldn’t Act Like the Unbeliever 

not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. (4:5)

Implies uncontrollable desires and urges, out of control cravings.  Christ Followers can’t live that way.

  1. If you know God your purity should show it
  2. If you know God your marriage should show it

The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.  The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. (1 Cor 7:3-4)

  1. The Christ Follower Shouldn’t Take Advantage of Others

Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. (4:6-7)

  1. God didn’t call us to cheat and wound others
  2. God didn’t call us to uncleanliness
  3. God called us to have Holy  and Happy lives in Marriage

Any sexual activity that deviates from the monogamous relationship between a husband and a wife is immoral by God’s standards.

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled. Hebrews 13:4 (NASB)

IV. Gap #2: Love others More (4:9-12)

  1. Love Them Even  More

But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another. Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more. (4:9-10)

But (and now)…Paul is changing the conversation from lust to love

  1. You were Taught be God to Love
  2. Stretch  Out the Limits of Love for One Another.

Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light. (1 John 2:10)

  1. Lead a Quiet Life

Make it your goal to live a quiet life (4:11a)

  1. Lead Peaceful Lives
  2. Free of Conflict  and Hostility, some people are constantly in conflict never at rest.  They do not model the life the God is calling us to.  Christ Followers need to live in peace without gossip and conflict and all that goes with being a pagan.
  1. Mind Your Own Business

minding your own business (4:11b)

  1. Take Care of Your Own Life
  2. Don’t Meddle  in the Affairs of Others  Christ Followers can’t act like busy bodies.  Literally the verse means to wasting your time and labor…and stay out of other people’s business… If anything can kill a church quick, this is it.  Look at this verse from 2 Thessalonians,

Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12)

  1. Work With Your Hands

working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.  Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others. (4:11c-12)

As we said before, the Thessalonians were focusing too much on the resurrection and not on daily life. They had a preoccupation with Christ’s second coming.   Also the Greeks believed that only slaves do manual labor…

  1. Persevere at Your Job (if anyone is not willing to work, then he or she is not to eat either, 2 Thess 3:10)
  2. Behave Properly to Outsiders  Christ Followers must have integrity.  We must be the same people during the week that we are on Sunday.  If our neighbor knows we go to church and then we live like hell…what model for a Christ follower is that?

Paul is saying that if we are going to impact our culture for Christ we need to live right before God.  Believers who sacrificially love other people, exhibit peaceful lives, focus on keeping their own lives in order and faithfully carrying out their daily responsibilities in the work place will model the life of a Christ Follower, be an effective witness for Christ and not have to depend on others.

V. GAP #3: