Our text is 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13.
When Paul could not personally visit Thessalonica, he sent Timothy. Paul had such deep affection for the Thessalonians that he could live joyfully (verse 9) only after he had been assured of their faithfulness to Christ. Such concern exemplifies the kind of love that is proper among believers. The work of sanctification, that has already begun in believers, will be brought to glorious completion at the second coming of the Lord (1 Thess. 5:23).
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Children’s Message: Pastor Chad Sadorf has been including a series of Children’s Messages. This series of Children’s Messages is entitled “Biblical Foundations.” Today’s message is provided as a video; this link appears just after the Gloria Patri in the service (where it would normally occur in our church service). Click on these links for a children’s bulletin and an activity page to accompany today’s message: Children’s Bulletin and Activity Page.
Service for Family Worship:
Call to Worship:
4 The But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (ESV)
Almighty God, we have come this morning to praise you because you are infinitely worthy of our worship and our praise.From before the foundation of the world you chose a people for yourself, and you have worked throughout the history of redemption applying that salvation through the “the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” you have overwhelmed us by your grace—and these truths are too wonderful for us to grasp totally. So we are here this morning at your calling, and according to your command, to recognize and proclaim your infinite worth. We are here to give ourselves to you in worship. So, by the power of Holy Spirit will you enable us to come to you through Jesus Christ, blocking out the cares of the world so that we may worship you in spirit and in truth. Enable us to honor and glorify you this day as the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, same in substance, equal in power and in glory. Amen.
Worship in Psalm:
In the morning services this month, our congregation will be singing Psalm 148. In introducing this psalm, Charles Spurgeon writes, “The song is one and indivisible. It seems almost impossible to expound it in detail, for a living poem is not to be dissected verse by verse. It is a song of nature and of grace. As a flash of lightning flames through space, and enwraps both heaven and earth in one vestment of glory, so doth the adoration of the Lord in this Psalm light up all the universe, and cause it to glow with a radiance of praise. The song begins in the heavens, sweeps downward to dragons and all deeps, and then ascends again, till the people near unto Jehovah take up the strain. For its exposition the chief requisite is a heart on fire with reverent love to the Lord over all, who is to be blessed for ever.” from The Treasury of David, by Charles Spurgeon, www.spurgeon.org/treasury/treasury.htm
Corporate Scripture Reading:
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (ESV)
Gracious Father, you have redeemed us by the blood of your own Son, and through the instrument of saving faith. You have given us new hearts ,and you have changed our wills. You have brought us out of darkness into the marvelous light of Jesus—the light of the world. And Father, with all our hearts we want to imitate you. And yet there are times in our lives when we think like the world, and even imitate the world. There are times when we are immoral and impure. Sometimes we use crude language, and our speech is foolish. But Father, with you there is forgiveness in your glorious gospel, that you may be feared.
So we come today confessing the totality of our sin as you define it. Will you forgive us and enable us to walk in the light as Jesus is in the light, that we may have fellowship with one another. Enable us to rest in the promise that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin, and transform us increasingly into the image of you Son, for your glory and for our good. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)
This is a wonderful promise we have in the gospel. Glory be to God!
Affirmation of Faith:
The Westminster Larger Catechism
Question 70: What is justification?
Answer: Justification is an act of God’s free grace unto sinners, in which he pardons all their sins, accepts and accounts their persons righteous in his sight; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them, and received by faith alone.
Question 71: How is justification an act of God’s free grace?
Answer: Although Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice in the behalf of them that are justified; yet in as much as God accepts the satisfaction from a surety, which he might have demanded of them, and did provide this surety, his own only Son, imputing his righteousness to them, and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faith, which also is his gift, their justification is to them of free grace.
Response in Praise:
Biblical Foundations: John 3:16 (Click here to link to the video of the Children’s Message)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)
(You may want to take a moment to pray with your child or children for your family, your church family, our country and world.)
Offertory: Luke 6:37-38
For our offertory call this morning, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said, “I came to seek and save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
As part of our worship we have the privilege of giving back a portion of what he has entrusted to us.
May he use his tithes and our offerings to seek and save.
(Online giving is now available for your convenience. This link, https://www.faithpresarp.org/give/, will take you to the page that explains this process and includes a button which will redirect you to the secured giving platform.
From a Latin hymn Te Deum traditionally ascribed to AD 387 authorship. Authorship of the hymn is traditionally ascribed to Saint Ambrose or Saint Augustine. The hymn follows the outline of the Apostles’ Creed, mixing a poetic vision of the heavenly liturgy with its declaration of faith. Calling on the name of God immediately, the hymn proceeds to name all those who praise and worship God, from the hierarchy of heavenly creatures to those Christian faithful already in heaven to the Church spread throughout the world.
Pastoral Prayer: (Click here for the Pastoral Prayer)
1 Thessalonians 3:6-13
I. The necessity of gospel-centered relationships (2:17-20)
II. The purpose of gospel-centered relationships (3:1-5)
From her childhood, the call to missionary service was the guiding motivation for Louisa M. R. Stead. Converted at the age of nine, she dedicated her life to being a missionary and would serve on the mission field in South Africa and Southern Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe). Our hymn’s inspiration begins when Louisa was aged 4. She watched her father drown trying to save a young boy swimming in Long Island Sound. Out of this personal tragedy Louisa would sing of her trust in Jesus alone. The name of Jesus is sung twenty-five times if one sings all four stanzas and the refrain. The hymn is filled with trusting in God’s Word, in Christ alone for salvation, in the power of his cleansing blood and in Jesus’ comforting presence in all of life especially “to the end”.
Benediction (Click here to hear this week’s benediction)
Questions for Further Discussion
- Having been reassured through Timothy’s report, Paul declares, “Now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord” (1 Thess. 3:8). What are you most tempted to “stand fast in” besides the Lord? Why?
- Paul’s well-being is deeply bound up with the Thessalonians’ well-being: their flourishing brings him comfort (1 Thess. 3:7), gratitude, joy (1 Thess. 3:9), even life (1 Thess. 3:8). What are some ways to cultivate a heart that is more easily edified—even electrified—by reports of God’s grace?
- What can we learn about prayer from 1 Thess. 3:11-13?
Biblical Foundations: John 3:16
John 3:16 – 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” ESV
- Jesus, the Son of God loved his people so much that he came into the world to save them.
- He lived a perfect life, he never sinned.
- He died on the cross to pay for our sins
- He rose again from the dead to prove he was our Lord and Savior, and that he can save us and give us life for all time.
Sometimes we hear about people who are willing to lose their own lives to save someone else, not just people they know, like family or friends, but also strangers. Recently I heard about two police officers who jumped onto train tracks to save a man who had fainted and fallen off a platform and onto the train tracks below. The police officers stopped the train and got the man help! They saved a stranger!
Did you know that Jesus came to save not just strangers but enemies? Jesus died on the cross to make his enemies, you and me, into his friends, to make us his children.
God the Father gave us the gift of his Son to make us his sons and daughters!
John 3:16 – 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Are you building your life’s foundation on God’s Word?