Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Duty of Thanksgiving


SERMON               GMT14-021

SERIES:              Topical Messages:  Thanksgiving

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Duty of Thanksgiving

SCRIPTURE:     1 Thessalonians 5:18

SUBJECT:          God demands thanksgiving

SUMMARY:       God demands all believers to give thanks!

SCHEME:           that believers live a life of thanksgiving
_____________________________________________________________

Our theme is: God demands thanksgiving

This is a good reminder for us all that our Christian experience regardless of circumstances is to be a life committed to the giving of thanks.

 Proposition:  God demands all believers to give thanks!

Interrogatory Sentence:  What is involved in thanksgiving?

Transitional Sentence: Today I want you to see the duty that God places on every genuine believer. God commands all believers to give thanks. As we develop our theme today, we will clearly see the will of God.

God’s will is seen in:

1A     THE DEFINING THE SUBJECT OF THANKSGIVING
2A     THE DISCOVERING THE SOURCE OF THANKSGIVING
3A     THE DETERMINING OF THE SCOPE OF THANKSGIVING
4A     THE DECLARING THE  STATEMENT OF THANKSGIVING


CHRISTIAN LIVING IN A WORLD OF
 CHAOS & CONTRADICTION

The Duty of Thanksgiving
1 Thessalonians 5:18

INTRODUCTION

1.     Introductory Device

          Thankfulness seems to be a lost art today. Warren Wiersby highlighted         this problem in his commentary on Colossians. He told about a        pastoral student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near         Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid           waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was    permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that    not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.

          Jesus faced this same attitude of thanklessness in his ministry on this      earth. He was on his way to Jerusalem and when he came into a village, he was met by 10 men who had leprosy. Jesus healed all ten.      They left presumably to go show themselves the priests in order to          follow the Law of Moses so that they could be declared healed. Sadly,         only one of the ten men turned around and came back and said “thank           you.”

2.     This is very similar to our Christian experience today. Many times we do things, or give things, or help people out and rarely do these people whom we helped say thanks. Of course we should not do anything for anyone if we feel or think we need to be thanked.

3.     The theme of our passage today is that God demands thanksgiving.

This is a good reminder for us all that our Christian experience regardless of circumstances is to be a life committed to the giving of thanks to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.


(Proposition) God demands that all genuine believers give thanks!

          Interrogatory Sentence:  What is involved in this command?

          Transitional Sentence: Today I want you to see the duty that God          places on every genuine believer. God commands all believers to give   thanks. As we develop our theme today, we will clearly see that this is         the will of God.

          God’s will is seen:

1A     AS WE DEFINE THE SUBJECT OF THANKSGIVING

          So, first of all we need to define thanksgiving. Our first step is to    determine the meaning of this word in its biblical context. To do this           we will conduct a short word study.

[The first step in doing a word study is to…]

          1B     Select the word to be studied.

                   The English word “give thanks” in 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

                   “…in everything give thanks…”

          2B     Compare this word in multiple English translations.

                   We do this in order to see how different scholars and translators              translated the Greek text with the English word that most                                   clearly convey the meaning of the Word that we are interested                            in.

                   In our case, or in our word choice, all the most prevalent or                      popular translations stayed with the same translation that is in                          the NKJV.

                   The Geneva Bible, the NASB, The KJV, the ESV, the NRSV,                            the NIV, the NEB all translated the Greek Word as “give                                    thanks.” The only variation was in the NLT which dynamically                          rather than literally translated our word as “always be thankful.”             So there no surprises, no differences, and no interpretative                           challenges.

                   So, assuming the translators were accurate, we can conclude                    that God’s will for genuine believers is to “give thanks” in                      everything, or in all circumstances of life.

          3B     Define the English word using an English dictionary

                   Webster’s 7th New Collegiate Dictionary (1969) defines thanks                           as:

·        Consciousness of benefit received
·        Expressive of thanks
·        Well pleased; as in the sense of being glad
·        Listed a synonym of “grateful”

                   The English equivalent means to express an awareness of                         having received benefit resulting in gratefulness.

          4B     Use an Exhaustive Concordance to locate other usages of                      the word choice by the author of the passage at hand

                   In other words, does Paul use this word anywhere else in his                              writings that can help us determine its meaning by its                               context.

                   Paul used this word two other times in the letter he wrote to the                         Thessalonians. However, he did use this word some 23 other                             times.

          5B     Define the word in its original language

                   Our word is the Greek word euxaristew. It is a verb and it is                            used 26 times in the NT.

                   Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines it as “to be grateful, full of                       thanks, to give thanks.

·        It is typical of giving thanks @ the beginning of a festival meal or in general before eating any meal. I discovered, which I very interesting, that when the Jews gave thanks at their meal, they actually gave thanks for every item of food on their plate, individually. By the way, this way you have Paul relating instructions that include giving thanks twice involving the Lord’s Supper – thanks for the bread and thanks for the Wine.

·        It means the giving of thanks in the name of the Lord. It carries the idea that no petition or prayer is to be made without the     simultaneous giving of thanks. In other words, we don’t come to the Lord with a list of “gimmees” and not offer any thanksgiving at all for anything.

·        It is defined as a life that is based on thanksgiving

·        Giving of thanks begins with “Blessed are thou Lord.”

                             Paul’s emphasis is on the fact that we give thanks which                                    is rightfully due to the Creator, our Creator. Why?      

                                      Because we owe God everything!

                             The prayer of thanksgiving is reserved for God. I found                                     that to be interesting. It seems to be inappropriate to give                                   thanks directly to God or the HS. Christ is the mediator                                     but not the recipient. All things come to us by God                                         because of Jesus Christ through the HS.

For example: if we wanted to offer thanksgiving for our salvation, we prayed like this: Father, God, I thank you O my God for my salvation which you gave me by the atoning work of Jesus Christ which was applied to my soul by the HS.

                             The emphasis is that all things come to us from God. God                        is the source. He is the giver. This is why is such a great                                     sin to be unthankful, ungrateful, and to complain or                                       murmur. Complaining suggests that we believe that God                                has made a mistake or isn’t taking care of us properly.

                    This makes the giving of thanks very serious!

          6B     Trace the origin of the word being studied

                   If you the tools you can trace the historical development of your              word. You see where it came from, if it has changed in                                        meaning, or how it came to mean what it means.

          7B     Consult commentaries for additional information

                   Commentaries can be tremendous tools in helping you gain                      understanding of the meaning of a word.

So our theme is God demands thanksgiving.

This is a good reminder for us all that our Christian experience regardless of circumstances is to be a life committed to the giving of thanks.

(Proposition) God demands that all genuine believers give thanks!

God’s will is seen in the definition of our word.

God’s will is seen:        

2A     AS WE DISCOVER THE SOURCE OF THANKSGIVING

          The architect Frank Lloyd Wright was given the challenge of building          the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, one of the most earthquake-prone cities in    the world. Hiss investigation showed that a solid foundation could be      "floated" on a sixty-foot layer of soft mud underlying the hotel, which        would provide a shock-absorbing but solid support for the huge building. Shortly after the hotel was completed it withstood the worst earthquake           in fifty-two years, while smaller buildings fell in ruins around it

          The foundation was the source of the strength of the building.

          What is our foundation or source for giving thanks in every circumstance     or situation that occurs in our life?

          Well, naturally, most would blurt almost immediately Jesus Christ. They      wouldn’t be wrong.

          But our text helps to see the source that Paul conveyed to the   Thessalonians that served as a foundation for their giving thanks in     everything. We see two things:

          1B     Thanksgiving is a fruit of a joyful heart (16)

                   “Rejoice always…”

                   The Thessalonian believers were no strangers to “joy unspeakable                 and full of glory. (1 Peter 1:8)

                   Paul is speaking of the great joy which comes from the                                 incarnation of Christ and from the redemption from the cross.

                   Paul also knew that because of persecution, trials of everyday                        living, there was a danger of the believers forgetting that source of                their joy. Joy is not a result of family, friends, possessions,                                money, and etc. So Paul urges the Thessalonians to always                                      experience that joy.

                   Regardless of pain, sorrow, trials, or heat-ache believers can be                      and are to be joyful.

·        The Christian is a brand new creature
·        The Christian has an entirely new perspective – genuine believers cease seeing things as the world sees them and sees them as God sees them

                   Listen, the problem is many believers think they have to                               manufacture or conjure up this joy.

                   It isn’t hard to be joyful when things are good. It is harder to                        maintain joy when things are going so good.

                   It is the wicked who are known for being unthankful!
                   “…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him                     as God, nor were thankful…” (Romans 1:21, NKJV)

                   Of course one of the sins of apostasy is unthankfulness –

                   “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters,                  proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful,                               unholy…” (2 Timothy 3:2, NKJV)

                   Since the bible tells so clearly that every good gift and every                         perfect gift comes from the Father of lights, the sin and the guilt                           of being ungrateful or of ingratitude is huge!

So, giving thanks in everything and in every situation is built on the foundation of the joy that God gives to each believer.

There is a second foundation that we see in this passage, and is that…

          2B     Thanksgiving is a fruit of a praying heart

                   Where does this joy come from?

                   “…pray without ceasing…”

                   Rejoice always is followed immediately by prayer. Paul is saying                             that in order to maintain the joy he speaks of is fellowshipping                     with God through prayer. Paul means that there can be no decline                      in regularly praying to God.

·        The believer is to be regular in constant prayer.
         
                             We are to pray in our prayer closet
                             We are to pray in our corporate service
                             We are to pray alone, or with people

·        The believer is  to maintain an uninterrupted spirit of prayer

                             At any time, in any situation the believer is to be ready                                      and able to communion with God

·        Prayer that Paul is talking about is not to be or to have what you think you need to be happy, it is asking God to enable you to draw on what you already have and what you already are – to draw on that joy.

For example:       

                             Acts 4

·        Peter and John were preaching to the people
·        Pharisees and priests had them arrested
·        There were questioned about their “authority”
·        Peter told them regardless of what happens they were preaching the word of God
·        Pharisees saw how bold they were that they were believed
·        Pharisees threatened them, severely threatened them
·        Look at how they prayed:

                             ‘Now Lord, look on their threats, and grant to                                          your servants that will al boldness they may speak                                     your word…”

                             They didn’t pray that their wood be no persecution or                                       threats. They didn’t pray for the easy way.
         
          If you are short on joy then you are short on prayer. They go together.



So our theme is God demands thanksgiving.

This is a good reminder for us all that our Christian experience regardless of circumstances is to be a life committed to the giving of thanks.

(Proposition) God demands that all genuine believers give thanks!

God’s will is seen in the definition of our word.

God’s will is seen:        

3A     AS WE DETERMINE THE SCOPE OF THANKSGIVING

          King George, at the close of the Revolutionary War, in which he had lost   thirteen colonies, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving because of the return of     peace. His chaplain said to him, "For what would your majesty have us            give thanks? For the fact that you have lost thirteen of the brightest jewels        of your crown?" "No, not for that," said the king. "Because we have             added             millions to our national debt?" "No, not for that," said the king. "Because    tens of thousands of people of the same race and religion have been     destroyed?" "No, not for that," said the king. "Why, then," insisted the   chaplain, "and for what shall we give thanks?" "Thank God," said the           king, with great vehemence — "Thank God, because matters are no             worse."

            The scope is not that hard to determine is it?

          “…in everything…”

          That should be pretty self-explanatory. The Greek Word is panti.   
          When it is used without the article it means every, every kind or variety.

          So it means we are to give thanks in everything or anything whatsoever. It doesn’t leave anything out. If you have any doubt about what to give         thanks in …

          Listen to John Gill on this passage:

          In everything give thanks,.... That is, to God the Father, in the name of    Christ; see Ephesians 5:20 thanks are to be given to him for all things,       as the Ethiopic version renders it; for all temporal good things; for our   beings, the preservation of them; for food and raiment, and all the mercies of life; for the means of grace, the word and ordinances, and    the ministers of the Gospel; for spiritual blessings, for electing,       redeeming, regenerating, adopting, pardoning, justifying, and        persevering grace: for a meetness for heaven, a right unto it, and a good        hope of it; and especially for Jesus Christ, for such an husband, such an        head, such a surety and Saviour, and advocate with the Father, as he is;    and for life, peace, joy, comfort, righteousness, and salvation in him:           and thanks should be given to God in every circumstance of life; in          adversity, as Job did; when not in so comfortable and agreeable a frame         of soul as to be wished for, since it might be worse, and is not black       despair; even under the temptations of Satan, since they might be       greater and heavier, and since the grace of God is sufficient to bear up   under them, and deliver out of them, and since there is such a           sympathizing high priest and Saviour; and in afflictions of every kind,     since they are all for good, temporal, or spiritual, or eternal. 

          This is in accordance with and exactly what Paul said to the Ephesian     Church:

          “…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name      of the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Ephesians 5:20, NKJV)

So the scope is pretty vast, it is pretty wide. Most of us want to give thanks in the good times and for the good things. But we would and often do complain when circumstances are not so favorable.
So Paul tells the Philippian believers:

          “Do [the pleasant and fun things] all things without complaining and     disputing” [fighting] (Philippians 2:14, NKJV)
         
So our theme is God demands thanksgiving.

This is a good reminder for us all that our Christian experience regardless of circumstances is to be a life committed to the giving of thanks. Thanks to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Proposition) God demands that all genuine believers give thanks!

God’s will is seen in the definition of our word, God’s will is seen in the source of thanksgiving, and God’s will is seen in the scope of thanksgiving.

Fourth and finally, God’s will is seen:       


4A     AS WE DECLARE THE STATEMENT OF THANKSGIVING

          It is important to see the grounds and the reason why God demands        that genuine believers give thanks, or be people of gratitude.

          “…this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” [18]

          For the record, Paul is not speaking of or referring to the entire will of               God. God’s will in general involves many things.

          Paul adds the phrase in Jesus Christ for you to show the absolute centrality of Christ to Christianity. God has revealed his will through       the Lord Jesus Christ.

          More than that, there is power in Jesus Christ that enables the child of     God to be able to fulfill this demand by God.

          It is not just Paul saying this – this is from God. This is the result of        the redemptive work of God.


So our theme is God demands thanksgiving.

This is a good reminder for us all that our Christian experience regardless of circumstances is to be a life committed to the giving of thanks.

(Proposition) God demands that all genuine believers give thanks!

[Well, let’s wrap this up, shall we? And in more than one way!                         

CONCLUSION

A lady once asked John Wesley if he knew that he would die at midnight the next day, how he would spend the intervening time. He replied, "Why, madam, just as I intend to spend it now. I would preach this evening at Gloucester, and again at five tomorrow morning; after that I would ride to Tewkesbury, preach in the afternoon, and meet the societies in the evening. I would then go to Martin's house...talk and pray with the family as usual, retire myself to my room at 10 o'clock, commend myself to my Heavenly Father, lie down to rest, and wake up in glory."

He knew his duty and he was willing to do his duty!

[Exhortation…]

  And So, I exhort you as genuine believers to be obedient to God’s command to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks.

Remember David said in Psalms 143:10

Teach me to do Your will, For you are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.” Let’s pray! J

Benediction Blessing:

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all! (2 Corinthians 13:14, NKJV)

1 comment:

NASHVILLECATS said...

Most interesting and enjoyable to read Gregg,