3…Encouragement — Defeating A Crippling Spirit — 1 Thessalonians 2.1-12…Handout

Being around negative people can be debilitating and discouraging. These types of people will talk ugly and poison the well, slandering Paul and other Christians to the new believers there. We Defeat A Crippling Spirit By Being: Courageous, Pure,________, and Righteous.

1)Be_________(2:1-2) Critical Spirits seek out individuals to mistreat. 1 Thessalonians 2:2~though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi…we had________ in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. (ESV) Take a stand for Christ, for righteousness, for justice, for mercy. (Micah 6:8) It’s easier to fall for anything than to stand for something. God tells Joshua___times in___chapters (Deuteronomy 31, Joshua 1) to be strong and courageous. Whose side are you on?_______ Proverbs 29:25~Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever________ in the LORD is kept safe. (NIV)

2) Be________(2:3-6b) When we are fearful and we still continue on we are demonstrating the purity of our faith. Paul is answering some malicious accusations, yet he continues in the face of fierce opposition revealing their message is honest and_____, that their motivations are pure before God. 1 Thessalonians 2:4~but just as we have been_________by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. (ESV) They did not come by flattery. (2:5) Flattery is buttering people up. Flattery will. open many doors, so who flatters you, and what is it that they want?_________________Proverbs 29:5~A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet. (ESV) Our motivation is to simply share Jesus.

3) Be_________(2.6c-9) Though a gentle response may not always sound right, listen to Proverbs 15:1~A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. (NLT) How many times have you had a moment go nuclear all because of your tone? How we speak matters. 1 Thessalonians 2:6~…though we could have made demands as apostles (ἀπόστολος apostolos) (ESV) Apostles is used ____ ways in the New Testament. First, is the office of apostle, of which there are only_____. It required personally seeing and being commissioned by Jesus. The second usage of apostles is broad in the sense we use the term____________. 1 Thessalonians 2:7~But we were_________ among you, like a nursing mother…(ESV) Nursing mothers nurture and_______their child. Every Jewish boy, regardless of social or financial status, learned a_______. Jews believed if you didn’t teach your son a trade, you taught him to be a thief. Paul’s trade was as a _________. (Acts 18:3, 20:34)

4) Be Righteous (2:10-12) 1 Thessalonians 2:10~You are witnesses…how holy, righteous, and blameless was our conduct…(ESV) Notice again, the________ language of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12~…like a______with his children, we exhorted…and encouraged you…to  walk…worthy of God…(ESV) That’s the heart of a disciple-maker.


Turning From Sin

I get it. I do understand that we live in a day in which sin is taken very lightly. It has become a no, no to tell people that they are wrong or to correct someone. There are parents who are raising children and they don’t like to say no, quit or you can’t do that. However, God tells us in the Bible that our life has parameters. There is right and there is wrong. It doesn’t matter if you like hearing that or not. Listen as Paul says to the people of Corinth: 1 Corinthians 10:23~I have the right to do anything, you say–but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything–but not everything is constructive. (NIV) In God’s sight, all sin is very serious. That is why right out of the gate, sin must be dealt with.

The bronze altar shouts to everyone entering in, that sin seriousness. I bet if we had to spend our money and watch the throat be slit and then the blood drained out as life left the body, we might view sin differently. Go back and read, and you will find that when the Israelites fell into sin the sacrifices would stop. Who, when they’re living contrary to the laws of God wants to be confronted? Do you like hearing, you are wrong? No, no one does. Thus, when Jews entered the courtyard, the first thing they encountered was the altar of sacrifice. It was a place that smelled of blood or burning animal flesh. Oh, how it must have wreaked of death. No one who saw it would ever take sin lightly again. 

Exodus 27:3~You shall make pots for it to receive its ashes, and shovels and basins and forks and firepans. You shall make all its utensils of bronze. (ESV) I know that in our humanity we often think that God doesn’t have a clue as to what is going on in our lives. But God, He knew that we were sin susceptible and prone to wander. That we would make mistakes and that after we were absolved, that there would be a great need for clean-up. So God told Ole Mo, you need to make instruments for cleaning up after the people. God tells them to use the utensil to keep the sacrifice in the middle of the fire so it will be totally consumed. This is a holy operation and requires holy tools.

With God, our worship is holy business. As we look back to before the death of Christ on the cross. God refused to be approached except by means of the altar of sacrifice. God has not changed and because of the seriousness of sin, can still be approached in only one way—by way of the cross of Christ. 

Today, why not spend some time thinking about what Jesus did for you by dying on the cross. Then start praising Him. Tell Him what you are thankful for and worship Him in the beauty of holiness.

Power in the blood

What does it mean to contemplate the seriousness of sin? Well, it is our sin that separates us from a holy God. As with everything regarding the Tabernacle, God is very specific with Ole Mo about the construction of the altar of sacrifice. He says in Exodus 27:8~You shall make it hollow, with boards. As it has been shown you on the mountain, so shall it be made. (ESV) God doesn’t say as it was told you on Mt Sinai. No, it was shown to Ole Mo. In other words. God shows Ole Mo the original in His heavenly throne. I want to see that throne room for myself, how about you? John saw the original throne room in heaven. Right after the Lamb, Jesus opens the fifth seal in Revelation 6:9~When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. (NIV) 

Oh, saint of God, we need to be more mindful of the maintenance of our testimony. Apparently, these martyrs gave their lives as sacrifices to God. Before leaving on Ascension Thursday Jesus tells His disciples in Acts 1:8~But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses (μάρτυς martys) in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (ESV) These witnesses under the altar connects to the altar of sacrifice. God tells Ole Mo some of the blood from the sacrifices is to be put on the horns of the altar and the rest of the blood you shall pour out at the base of the altar Exodus 29:12~and shall take part of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and the rest of the blood you shall pour out at the base of the altar. (ESV) 

Now the altar has horns on each corner Exodus 27:2~And you shall make horns for it on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with bronze. (ESV) The purpose of these horns is not given to us. When a sacrifice is made, Aaron, the high priest, (or his sons who are priests) lays his hands on the head of the animal. This act symbolically transfers the sin of the worshipper to the animal. They then kill the animal and collect its blood. The priest takes part of the blood and puts it on the horns of the altar with his fingers, and the rest of the blood is poured at the base of the altar. Also, specific parts of the animal are burned on the altar (Exodus 29:10-14). 

This is to teach all who want to worship God the truth we discover in Hebrews 9:22~In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. (NIV) No one can come to God or worship Him on his or her own merits. We must come to God the way He has laid out or else we cannot come at all. Everyone has sinned. We have earned our wages due to our sin and death is the payment for sin. Romans 6:23~For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV) Therefore, if we are to worship our holy God as He desires and have a relationship with Him, there must be a suitable blood substitute. Either we must die, or someone must die in our place. 

Is there someone in your life that needs to hear that Jesus died in place of them, for their sin? Take a moment and pray. Ask God who you can share the good news of Christ with today. Ask Him to give you a scripture to share with them that will encourage them to trust in the Lord and to lean on Him as they draw nearer to God. Remember, you cannot save anyone. But you can be someone who supports Christs and shares His good news.