Encouragement — Faith Over Fear — 1 Thessalonians 2:13-20…Handout

Did you know that the Lord wants us to choose_______ over fear? 1John 4:18~There is no fear in_____, perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (ESV) Faith Over Fear: Eliminate,____________, Concentrate.

1) Eliminate__________about God’s Word (2:13) Today of all Americans who say they are Christian, less than____% have a Biblical world view based on the infallible Word of God. Take Romans_____ seriously as you decide to vote this year. To eliminate doubt in our lives we must be a__________ who reads, studies and stands completely on what the Bible says. Some of the ways that we receive the Word of God:_________, preaching, small groups, worship, and devotionals. Each one of these learning aides must be tethered to the Word of God, not some_______, philosophy, or opinion. With all thy getting, get unction! ~Leonard Ravenhill~ We must pray, read, and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. Everything we need to know to fulfill God’s will is found, in the Bible.

2) Anticipate___________ (2:14-18) The world was, is, and always will be completely at odds with God’s Word. 1 Thessalonians 2:14~15~…For you________the same things from your own countrymen as…the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out…(ESV) Why? Because unbelieving people, react to the Gospel and displease God. Faith over fear will foil the enemy’s fear tactics. Philippians 1:29~For it’s been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, (NIV) We want to believe suffering will or can be ended, but it can’t because we live in a sin-cursed and fallen world. God sometimes takes severe measures to_______people who reject Christ. Acts____ reminds us that Paul was called to the Gentiles. 2 Corinthians 11:24-25~___times I received from the Jews forty lashes minus one.___times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones___ times shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, (NIV) Physical pain, yes, but these events also caused Paul emotional distress as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:17~But since we were torn away (ἀπορφανίζω aporphanizō) from you…(ESV) This Greek word give us orphan. John 14:18~I will not leave you as________; I will come to you. (NIV) Jesus is coming for us! Paul feels like a loving parent being__________ from his children. Take note that spiritual warfare is real. Satan and his________ cronies are constantly at war with God’s people. Ephesians 6:12~For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…(NIV) Whenever we face opposition from unbelievers, the source is always _______.

3) Concentrate on the________(2:19-20) 1 Thessalonians 2:19~For what is our hope or joy or crown (στέφανος stephanos) of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? (ESV) The New Testament uses ___ Greek words for crown. One is diadem (διάδημα diadēma), the other is victor’s (στέφανος stephanos). What we receive is the Victor’s crown. Having faith,  living in faith, walking by faith is a big part of our present reward. Take-A-Step:______________________________________.

Wash & Be Clean

Sometimes when we read through the scriptures, we come across a phrase that we thought we understood and then we begin to doubt ourselves. Has that ever happened to you? While studying the Tabernacle we have come across a couple of types of washings required for the priests. So, let’s unpack those. When the priests are ordained into office, they are to be washed all over. Exodus 29:4~You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and wash them with water. (ESV) 

Here we find another turn of phrase that references two places. So, to prevent any confusion, grasp that there are two places called the tent of meeting, or Tabernacle of the congregation. The first, the Tabernacle proper in the center of the camp, called the tent of meeting Exodus 27:21~In the tent of meeting, outside the veil that is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the LORD…(ESV) However, there is also another tent of meeting that Ole sets up outside the camp, where God meets with him. Exodus 33:7~ Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. (ESV) Thus, for sin problems, go to the Tabernacle, for relational problems go outside the camp, and see Ole Mo.

Back to our discussion on the bathing issue of the serving priests. Now other than during ordination, the only time a priest is ceremonially washed all over is when the high priest washes himself on the Day of Atonement Leviticus 16:4~He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on. (NIV) However, priests are required to wash their hands and feet every time they serve in the Tabernacle. 

The purpose of these two kinds of washing wasn’t totally clear to believers until Jesus explains this at the Last Supper. While trying to prepare His disciples for His crucifixion, the disciples begin arguing about who is the greatest. It’s something done at almost every Thanksgiving table. I am so glad I don’t live in that house with them. (really big sigh) Heck, we just redid a bedroom and bathroom at my mom’s house so I could recapture my #1 Son status. (only kidding, we did for a lot of reasons) Luke 22:24~A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. (NIV) In the corner of the room near the door is an untouched jar of water and empty washbasin, or laver. In biblical times, people wore sandals as they walked on dry, dusty roads. Common courtesy required a household servant to wash guests’ feet. 

No one has extended this courtesy to Jesus and His disciples. Therefore, John writes in John 13:4~so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. (NIV) John 13:5~After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (NIV) This simply astonished all of the disciples who view Jesus as Master. The Creator of the universe is washing dirty feet! Jesus is doing for them what they are too proud and selfish to do for Him and each other. Then good ole boy Pete chimes in after all the others have sat in humility. John 13:8~No, said Peter, you shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered, Unless I wash you, you have no part with me. (NIV) 

Washing feet symbolizes the need for cleansing of sin. Unless we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus, we cannot have a home in heaven nor are we fit to serve Him. Pete seems to understand and so he asks in John 13:9~Then, Lord, Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well! (NIV) Do you see the mirroring of Tabernacle here in the New Testament? As believers, we have all been totally cleansed by grace through faith Ephesians 2:8~For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– (ESV) However, we are also in need of continual cleansing from sins we still commit. 

Is there an area in your life that you need help with? If so, I want to encourage you to take that area to Christ each day and allow Him to cleanse it and help you do better. Don’t be fearful that you have an area of struggle we all do and the way we become the overcomer that we were created and called to be is by walking out our faith daily. Let the Lord work in your life, allowing Him to alter you and your decisions as you move along your journey through life and faith.

Teach Me To Pray

Have you recognized the need in your life for daily cleansing? As we return to the Tabernacle, everything that is in it, including the floor plan, is an object lesson for believers. Take the laver. It stands between the bronze altar and the Tabernacle proper. The bronze altar teaches there must be a sacrifice for our sins; Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is our sacrifice. 1 John 2:2~And He Himself is the propitiation (ἱλασμός hilasmos) for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (NKJ) (ἱλασμός hilasmos) speaks to our view and understanding of the atonement. Even after you and I become a Christian, we still sin. Has anyone overcome sin? 

As a believer and follower of Christ that is our goal. So what is a believer to do? When Jesus shares with us the Lord’s Prayer, He does so as a model for our own prayer life. As Jesus teaches us to pray, we learn that it is something we do every day by saying we should pray for our daily bread. Matthew 6:11-12~Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (NIV)

The word debts refers to sins, as it is translated in Luke’s version in Luke 11:4~Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation. (NIV) Because we still sin after becoming Christians. Why? Because we cannot escape this body of death or our sin-cursed and fallen world. (Romans 7:24-25) 1 John 1:8~ If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (NIV) Hear me, we need daily cleansing to serve God. The Tabernacle priests wash at the laver, whether serving at the altar or ministering in the Tabernacle. Serving God requires Daily Cleansing. Exodus 30:21~ they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come. (NIV) 

Here, God is teaching an eternal truth about sin and cleansing. Saying the penalty for the priests failing to wash themselves is death. Before you say that’s just Old Testament, Peter calls us priests in 1 Peter 2:9. This passage is known as the Priesthood of all believers. And God is saying to us that we are to be made clean every time we come into His presence to minister and serve Him, by serving others. Do you take time to consider the moments that God in-breaks in your life asking you to serve those around you? Whether you have or not in the past, why don’t you ask God to share with you the people He is sending you out to minister to and how you can prepare for serving them better. You are His royal priest, filled with heavenly blessings and I just know you are going to make someone’s life better today.