How We Influence Others with the Gospel
Sermon Series: The Affectionate Gospel
Sermon Title: How We Influence Others with the Gospel
I Thessalonians 2:1-12, 2:17-20, 3:8-10
The gospel of God comes to us from God’s affection, and we influence others with that same affection.
The text today reveals the apostle Paul’s motives and methods of making disciples. As Christians, we are both recipients and conduits of God’s affection. Yet we often fall short in this area, so we receive encouragement to check our motives, improve our methods, and go for the crown.
Point 1: Check Your Motives
Despite fierce opposition and shameful treatment, Paul and his fellow disciples responded with boldness (2:2). With great confidence in the gospel itself, they were willing to do exceedingly hard things. Likewise, Jesus came from glory, entered into our misery, and endured the ultimate suffering.
Question: If this is true, then are we compelled to relate meaningfully with others?
In addition, we must check for wrong motives: Error, impure motive, attempt to please or gain glory, attempt to please man, and flattery (2:3-7). Instead, the right motives are God’s approval and pleasure (2:4).
Point 2: Improve Your Methods
To improve our methods of sharing the affectionate gospel, we must give ourselves away to others (2:8), for Jesus gave Himself for us. We are to be like a gentle, self-sacrificing nursing mother (2:7) and a loving father (2:11) who exhorts, encourages, corrects his children.
Question: Have we lost the courage and ability to tell one another when we are wrong?
Point 3: Go for the Crown
By checking our motives and improving our methods, we find that people become our joy and crown (2:19). Paul acknowledged that his life was directly connected to the spiritual health of his flock. (3:7-8).
Question: What would our lives look like if our lives were tied to one another’s spiritual health?
Ultimately, Paul set his sight on the coming of our Lord Jesus (3:13). Having gospel affection for others is risky. Yet, Paul encourages us to give ourselves away so we may have no regret “on that day.”