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"A Gospel-Advancing Lifestyle"
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Wednesday AM Bible Study
January 21, 2004

The Gospel had made an impact in the lives of the Thessalonian believes, in part, because of they way they faithfully received it (1:2-10). Paul praised them for this; and we learn much from their example of how we ought to receive the message of the Good News ourselves. But another thing that contributed to its success and spread was the character and conduct of those who preached it to them - specifically Paul, Silvanus and Timothy.

In Titus 2:10, Paul urged Pastor Titus to exhort and teach the people under his care to live in such a way as to "adorn the doctrine of God in all things" (Titus 2:10). The success of the Gospel always depends ultimately upon Our sovereign God; but Paul's admonition to Titus reminds us that we can either live in such a way as to promote its advancement, or in such a way as to hinder its progress. And this morning's passage from 1 Thessalonians 2 shows us the qualities in Paul and his ministry companions that made the preaching of the gospel so effective and helped to advance its impact among those who heard it. We see this in two main aspects of Paul's ministry:

I. AS AN APOSTLE (in giving the gospel to those who had not heard) (vv. 1-6).
A. Paul displayed boldness in proclaiming the Gospel (vv. 1-2). The background for this is Acts 16:6-40. Paul often had to pray for boldness; as we see from Eph. 6:18-20 and Col. 4:2-4. But he was never ashamed of the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17).

B. Paul proclaimed the gospel as one given a trust (vv. 3-4); see Eph. 3:1-13.

C. Paul didn't rely on human resources in proclaiming the gospel (vv. 5-6); see 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.

II. AS A PASTOR (in building into the lives of those who had believed) (vv. 7-12).

A. Paul was gentle toward those who heard and believed (v. 7); see 2 Tim. 2:24-26.

B. Paul was sacrificial in serving them out of the motive of love (v. 8-9).

C. Paul was godly in his conduct toward those he ministered to (v. 10); see 1 Thess. 1:5.

D. Paul was diligent to exhort those under his care to live worthy lives (vv. 11-12); see Titus 2:11-15.

* * * * * * * * * *

All around us are people whom God has place in our spheres of influence. He wants us to let them know of His love through Jesus, and to help them grow in faithfulness to Him. May we learn from the example of Paul, and live and work in such a way as to advance the cause of the gospel in the lives of others.

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