As we look at all the Early New Testament churches, there are some that stand out in their spiritual character. Thessalonica is often mentioned for having received the “gospel…not only in word, but also in the power and in the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:5). Keep this in mind; the Holy Spirit was directly involved in their receiving the gospel. I fear that we often forget His role in our salvation and growth as long as we are here. He will never leave us (John 14:16) once we are saved through faith in Christ and sealed by the Spirit.
There is something more we need to observe about the Thessalonians. “Now concerning brotherly love, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:9). This is a clear evidence that this young church was thriving in their relationship with the Lord; allowing the Spirit to teach them characteristics that belong to Christ followers. Love for each other was an outward portrait of Christ in them. It was also a proof that they were true disciples. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
This quality in any Christian is critical – being “taught by God.” It shows that there is an inner desire to grow in faith and a willingness to take responsibility for our own spiritual maturity. The sad state that is found in many churches is either a ‘feed me’ mentality or ‘entertain me’ attitude. So many Christians leave a church because of feeling they are ‘not getting fed.’ Where there is a ‘Thessalonican heart,’ persons look first to the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit to be built up and become strong in faith and practice. When this happens, we will “encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
IS THS TRUE OF YOU AND YOUR CHURCH?
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