Sunday, August 21, 2016

Praying for Grace for Others

Temple Baptist Church - 8-21-2016
1 Thessalonians 5:28

A.  Paul ends 1 Thessalonians in his normal manner.  He signed every epistle virtually the same.
2 Thessalonians 3:17-18   The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.  (18)  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
B.  Fourteen times in fourteen epistles, Paul mentioned the grace of God to those who suffered or would soon suffer.  By the end of the Apostolic Period, every church was paying a high price for their confession of Jesus Christ as Lord.  In each instance of writing to these precious people, he reminded them of the abounding, manifold, ever present, and all sufficient grace that only God can give.
C.  I told a man yesterday that, when you think that you have it bad, just look around you and it won’t take you long to realize just how blessed that you are.
D.  These Thessalonians were in a deep trial of affliction and deep poverty according to Paul’s writing to the Corinthians.  In Paul’s second epistles to the Thessalonians, we will see the spiritual conditions that they contended with along with the physical persecutions that they endured.
E.  I believe that we need to not only pray for the deliverance of those in trouble but also pray for the grace of God to be manifested in them.  As a pastor, I cannot always alleviate your problems.  I wish that I could.  I wish that I could remove your sickness, your suffering, and your sorrow.  I think God that where I cannot go, He can go; what I cannot do, He can do; what I cannot comfort, He can comfort.
F.  Paul understood these things and, therefore, 14 times in 14 epistles, he spoke of the grace of God that would keep and protect the church and God’s men.  Paul has been called the Apostle of Grace.  I am not going to take the time to look at everything that Paul had to deal with in the Pauline or Church Epistles but here are a few.
1.  In Romans, the Church battled persecution beyond measure.
2.  In 1 Corinthians, the Church battled carnality, division, and sinfulness.
3.  In 2 Corinthians, the Church battled un-forgiveness.
4.  In Galatians, the Church battled infiltration and apostasy.
5.  In Ephesians, the Church battled idolatry and sensuality.
6.  In Philippians, the Church battled dwindling finances.
7.  In Colossians, the Church battled worldly philosophy.
8. In 1 Thessalonians, Church battled affliction and apathy.
9.  In 2 Thessalonians, Church battled apostasy.
10.  In 1 Timothy, the Church battled misbehavior within the Church.
11.  In 2 Timothy, the Church battled an ear tickling Church.
12.  In Titus, the Church battled the circumcision.
13.  In Philemon, Paul reconciled a run-away slave to his master.
14.  In Hebrews, Paul battled transitioning the Jewish believers.
1.  When Paul could not be with them, God’s grace would be there.  1 Corinthians 1:4  I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
2 Corinthians 9:8  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
2.  When Paul could not be with them, God’s peace would be there.  Psalms 29:11  The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
John 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
3.  When Paul could not be with them, God would remain faithful to them.  Revelation 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.
1 Peter 4:19  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
4.  When Paul could not be with them, God’s Spirit would still live within them.  1 Corinthians 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
John 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
5.  Because, when Paul could not be with, the God who loved them would always be there.  Psalms 27:10  When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

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