1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Paul’s Ministry to the Thessalonians 2 1 For you yourselves know, brothers, 1 that our f coming to you g was not in vain. 2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated h at Philippi, as you know, i we had boldness in our God j to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much k conflict. 3 For l our appeal does not spring from m error or n impurity or o any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God p to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not q to please man, but to please God r who tests our hearts. 5 s For we never came with words of flattery, 1 as you know, nor with a pretext for greed— t God is witness. 6 u Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, v though we could have made w demands as x apostles of Christ. 7 But we were y gentle 1 among you, z like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God a but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 9 For you remember, brothers, b our labor and toil: we c worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and d God also, e how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11 For you know how, f like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and g charged h you to walk in a manner worthy of God, i who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
2 1 Αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἴδατε, ἀδελφοί, τὴν εἴσοδον ἡμῶν τὴν πρὸς ὑμᾶς ὅτι οὐ κενὴ γέγονεν, 2 ἀλλὰ προπαθόντες καὶ ὑβρισθέντες, καθὼς οἴδατε, ἐν Φιλίπποις ἐπαρρησιασάμεθα ἐν τῷ θεῷ ἡμῶν λαλῆσαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν πολλῷ ἀγῶνι. 3 ἡ γὰρ παράκλησις ἡμῶν οὐκ ἐκ πλάνης οὐδὲ ἐξ ἀκαθαρσίας οὐδὲ ἐν δόλῳ, 4 ἀλλὰ καθὼς δεδοκιμάσμεθα ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πιστευθῆναι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, οὕτως λαλοῦμεν, οὐχ ὡς ἀνθρώποις ἀρέσκοντες ἀλλὰ θεῷ τῷ δοκιμάζοντι τὰς καρδίας ἡμῶν. 5 Οὔτε γάρ ποτε ἐν λόγῳ κολακείας ἐγενήθημεν, καθὼς οἴδατε, οὔτε ἐν προφάσει πλεονεξίας, θεὸς μάρτυς, 6 οὔτε ζητοῦντες ἐξ ἀνθρώπων δόξαν οὔτε ἀφʼ ὑμῶν οὔτε ἀπʼ ἄλλων, 7 δυνάμενοι ἐν βάρει εἶναι ὡς Χριστοῦ ἀπόστολοι. ἀλλʼ ἐγενήθημεν νήπιοι ἐν μέσῳ ὑμῶν, ὡς ἐὰν τροφὸς θάλπῃ τὰ ἑαυτῆς τέκνα, 8 οὕτως ὁμειρόμενοι ὑμῶν εὐδοκοῦμεν μεταδοῦναι ὑμῖν οὐ μόνον τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰς ἑαυτῶν ψυχάς, διότι ἀγαπητοὶ ἡμῖν ἐγενήθητε. 9 Μνημονεύετε γάρ, ἀδελφοί, τὸν κόπον ἡμῶν καὶ τὸν μόχθον• νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἐργαζόμενοι πρὸς τὸ μὴ ἐπιβαρῆσαί τινα ὑμῶν ἐκηρύξαμεν εἰς ὑμᾶς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ. 10 ὑμεῖς μάρτυρες καὶ ὁ θεός, ὡς ὁσίως καὶ δικαίως καὶ ἀμέμπτως ὑμῖν τοῖς πιστεύουσιν ἐγενήθημεν, 11 καθάπερ οἴδατε, ὡς ἕνα ἕκαστον ὑμῶν ὡς πατὴρ τέκνα ἑαυτοῦ 12 παρακαλοῦντες ὑμᾶς καὶ παραμυθούμενοι καὶ μαρτυρόμενοι εἰς τὸ περιπατεῖν ὑμᾶς ἀξίως τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ καλοῦντος ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ βασιλείαν καὶ δόξαν.
Confidence in God leads us to declare the gospel and share our lives Introduction : Scams and impure motives. Blatant examples in the world around us. Subtle versions in the Christian life. Being driven by the desire for gain of some kind. Boldness flows from pure motives, and enables us to declare the gospel bravely and share our lives lovingly. Boldness in God lead us to declare the gospel, even in hard settings (v1-2) v1 Not in vain v2 Despite suffering, shameful treatment, and 'much conflict' v2 Boldness in God to declare the gospel of God Applications Where does this boldness in God come from? Ultimately from knowing his love and approval of us in the gospel - this alters our hearts and motives, which is what Paul goes on to emphasise. Confidence in God comes from pure motives (v3-6) v3 Not error, impurity, or attempt to deceive [mask] v4 but approved by God v4 therefore speaking not to please man but to please God v5 not flattery or pretext for greed. flattery - ie the sense of insincerity. Lack of straightforwardness in order to persuade other people. v6 Not seeking glory, nor making demands Applications 'But why do we need to please God; isn't he already pleased with us?' Christian leadership: there are many types of 'gain' from Christian leadership and prominence. And selfish ambition. So understandably the Pastor's office despised by many as it's seen as a means to an easy life - and that is a desire for gain. The more locally rooted and known in community a pastor/leader is, the more confident the community can be that they aren't being scammed It all connects - wanting to please men is what leads to the trickery and underhandedness. cf pastors obsessed by numbers and growth. Rather than love of God and people, which leads to the ambition being to see true disciples made and formed into the mature image of Jesus. May we not be people who honour God with our lips but our hearts are far from him Mark 7.6 Impure motives - for more cf 2 Peter 2 Confidence in God leads to sharing our lives in sincere love (v7-12) v7 babies in your midst; innocence and purity and straightforwardness. v7 like a nursing mother v8 affectionately desirous to share the gospel and their lives v9 their hard work and toil so as not to be a burden while declaring the gospel v10 their godly examples v11 like a father with his children v12 in the context of sharing life, they called them to live in a manner worthy of God [the crescendo of this section] v12 the gospel invites us to God's own kingdom and glory. God has asserted his reign over all things in Jesus his appointed King. Now and not yet. We participate in it. Applications 'Neediness'; how the gospel frees us from enslavement to emotional/social needs, and enables us to love freely. We can be vulnerable without being fragile. God's glory: shares his glory and kingdom with us. His gospel is straightforward. FCF: We do life and ministry with impure motives and desires for gain. We may point the finger at blatant H1 types (embezzlement, serial affairs etc) and yet H2 the desire for control, or pride from size and staff, online following, attention and sympathy. All these things are self-oriented in focus. Even our response to this all is to look more at ourselves and simply draw lines differently. Person of Jesus: Instead the solution is to have a better focus and more beautiful vision - of Jesus. Pure in motive and manner. Shares his life with his disciples, open available to the lowest of the low in community. Gives freely of his time and energy. He knows toil and hardship - cf asleep in the storm. He came to please God and love people. Work of Jesus: The Cross is his ultimate work - toil, hardship, self-giving love. Pain and loss. Here is the pledge of his pure motive. If he was a scam, why would he have done this? Union with Jesus: As we look to Jesus and live in him, we yield our motives to be trained by him. As we seek to please God alone, we become free to love and serve others freely and truly and no longer in a needy way. We can be truly vulnerable and open with people, without that making us fragile. The more I know the love of God to me in Jesus, the more wholly I care about his opinion of me alone. And thus the more fully I can serve others, share life with others etc. All this is why sharing life is a key indicator - although that itself can be scammed for wrong motives. Conclusion : 'when we do not live in a manner that demonstrates the truth of the good news, we do not please God and do not have godly boldness. Rather, what we say about the gospel with our lips may have no lasting persuasion and effectiveness for the lives of the hearers, with the result that they will not please God and inherit his glorious kingdom.' Scams and impure motives. Repeat opening illustration. Boldness flows from pure motives, and enables us to declare the gospel bravely and share our lives lovingly