Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.
For I know the plans I have for you”–this is the LORD’s declaration–“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
Last week we looked at how we have the responsibility to find out what that plan is and that we through God’s grace have the Response—ability, to do so.
I know that I just preached some of what we are going to cover today about the Truth, but it bears repeating. The Truth, being the Spirit inspired, God breathed, Word: Your bible (2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Timothy 3:16).
You hold in your hands 66 small “books” or letters that are divided into 2 sections old (39) and new testaments (27). This book of books took over 1500 years to come to completion. It has 40 human inspired authors, kings, fishermen, a tax collector, a murder, an adulterer, rich and poor and other assorted prophets, and poets. All Hebrews except one and he, a gentile, wrote the majority of the New Testament.
Before the invention of the printing press, the Bible was in separate scrolls and letters. Those scrolls and letters where written in 3 different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic (parts of Daniel and Ezra), and Greek.
Today more than 450 translations into English have been written.
Take another look at vs. 13. This is written in contrast to those who are perishing because they did not accept the love of the Truth. They stand condemned because they did not believe the Truth. Those perishing stand in direct contrast to the Thessalonian church who were a source of gratitude. Paul, Silas, and Timothy had the responsibility to thank God for what He had done and what He was doing in saving them. They were brothers and sisters in Christ, a part of the Church and citizens of the Kingdom.
You need the Truth if you want to stay the course. You need to know that you are loved by God. Knowledge of His love… Do not let what you are experiencing, the circumstances, the consequences, or the trials, troubles, and tribulations of life keep you from knowing the Truth of God’s love and responding to it.
The Word of Truth gives us example after example of God’s sovereignty and our free will. It is He that came to us, lived with us as one of us, and then suffered and died for us. It is that divine love that awaits your response, that seeks you, calls to you, and enables you to turn and love in response to the love that is found in God’s Word and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Called by the Gospel… you as believers responded to what you either read or heard of the Truth and if we, you and I, stay the course we will obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus in heaven! This is the “might or may” … stay the course and you will be glorified and see heaven, our future and our hope!
This is God’s plan. The Truth teaches us that Salvation begins and ends with God. we can do nothing to save ourselves. It is only in accepting the free gift of Salvation found in Jesus Christ that our sins are forgiven. He is the Word made flesh, He is the way, The Truth, and the Life (John 6:14).
That is the Gospel that Paul taught, that is what we read in God’s Word. That is the Truth that the World needs to hear! The Gospel is the story of God’s Love
It is only through the sharing of the gospel that God calls people to salvation and it is only through our being people of the Truth that that can happen! If you don’t know the Truth, how can you share it?
The “to this” in verse 13 is their sanctification and salvation that depended on the sharing of the Gospel and their Belief in the Truth. God’s work depends on fallible, imperfect, weak human beings just like those that were inspired to write His Word. Yet God has given You and I the responsibility and the privilege of leading others to Him through the sharing of the Truth of the Gospel.
We must stay the course, holding to the teachings we have received, standing firm on the promises of God. Committed to obedience, faithfulness, and loving with the love of God that has been poured into our Hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given us!
As ambassadors for Christ, for the Truth, we are resident representatives, in and to this world for the Kingdom and the sovereign rule of Jesus Christ. We are to spread and speak the Truth, being a people of the Truth and offering that Truth to a world that is lost in sin. That is, the forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God that is found in Jesus Christ! This is what an ambassador does. We are to be a people of the Truth but we are also speak that truth in love (Ephesians 4:11-5:2). Truth without love is legalism and a tyrant. Love without Truth is a lie. Love and truth are bound together, inseparable, in our witness.
Paul, Silas, and Timothy were people of the Truth just like us, and like us, they were ambassadors of the Truth. Here in this letter they set an example for us to follow just as they followed the example set for them In Christ, to love and share the Truth while being sanctified through belief in that Same Truth.
Are you a person of Truth and Love? How are you growing in your knowledge of the Truth? You ought to (Responsibility) pray for you Brothers and Sisters…
Pray: Lord Jesus Christ, our Father in Heaven, you love us and have given us eternal encouragement through and in the Truth, you have promised us a future and a hope. You have sent your Spirit by your grace. Continue to encourage and strengthen our hearts as we reach up to you and as we reach out into our communities with the Truth. May we also be strengthened for every good Work and Word of truth we may have opportunity to Speak. May our obedience turn our communities upside down for your Kingdom, Your glory, and Your honor.
- Do you have belief in the Truth?
- How are you growing in your knowledge of the Truth?
- Are you a person of Truth and Love?
Further Reading: John 6:63, John 8:32, John 16:13, John 17:17, Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians 4:11-5:2, Ephesians 6:17, James 5:19-20, Revelation 1:16, 1 John 2:21, 1 John 3:18, 1 John 5:6, Luke 11:28, 2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, John 1:14, John 14:6, John 12:48