Like A Father
Preparing to preach from 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12 for our Wednesday evening service (come and join us!), we examined how Paul compared his ministry to being a good father. Paul acted like a father in the church, and as a father, led by example in his walk. Paul exhorted them or “incited them to good works with good words,” as Webster’s dictionary puts it. He encouraged them to do the right thing. He also comforted them. One man said it was to “exercise a gentle influence by words.” He calmed them and consoled them. He comforted them in the gospel truth.
There is no lack of telling Christians they are sinners, but the consolation in Christ is often neglected. Yes, Christians sin. Yes, we break God’s law. Yes, we rightly deserve the fires of Hell. We fail Jesus. Of course, we don’t live as we should. But when we are convicted of our sins, we must go to Jesus. We must return to the gospel and know God has forgiven us through the Son. Because Jesus was made a curse for us, there is now no condemnation in Christ. We can come to him, weary and heavy laden, and he will give us rest for our souls. God is not against us. No, in Christ, God is for us. We don’t have to prove ourselves to God to be loved by him. We are loved IN CHRIST, and that is blessed consolation.
Paul wasn’t there to scold and beat them over the head with the law until they doubted whether or not they truly believed. He wasn’t there to root out false professors. He exhorted them. He encouraged them. Even in this letter, he’s instructing, letting them know when and how they aren’t doing perfectly.
Like a father, he charged them. He implored them to follow the Lord. Believing in the assurance of the believer doesn’t make you an antinomian. Paul wanted what was best for them and charged them in the way they should go. Not the easiest way. Not the quickest. But the best. That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory (verse 12).
Paul appeals to them to walk in a way that’s becoming a child of God. Walk in a way that a person who has been called into his kingdom and glory. It doesn’t matter what people think of you. It doesn’t matter what you may appear now. Know who you are and where you are going, and live as a child of the king. Whether rich or poor, old or young, man or woman, you have eternal life if you have received Christ. You are a royal priesthood. And heir of God and joint heir with Christ Jesus the Lord. Free from the law’s condemnation (Romans 8:1), and having His righteousness, I’m now free to pursue godliness out of gratitude to my Lord and Saviour, remembering I’ve been called to his kingdom and glory.