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Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:15-22

 

Always Pursue What is Good

 

Intro.

1.  1 Thess. 5:15: Pursue what is good (διώκω): “strive after,” follow, chase, run after.

2.  to run swiftly in order to catch some person or thing, to run after” (Thayer, 153), Phil. 3:12, 14. Same word translated “persecute” (press upon), Matt. 5:12; 2 Cor. 4:9.

3.  Christians are to pursue good things to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavor to acquire” (Ibid):

  a.  Love, 1 Cor. 14:1.

  b.  Attributes the engender contentment, 1 Tim. 6:11.

  c.  Moral purity, 2 Tim. 2:22.

  d.  Peace and holiness, Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 3:11.

4.  Pursue good things, for yourselves and all others, 1 Thess. 5:15-22.

 

I.  TO PURSUE WHAT IS GOOD IS OPPOSITE OF RENDERING EVIL FOR EVIL, 1 Thess. 5:15.

  A.  The Laws of Forbearance and Love Compel Us, Matt. 5:38-44.

    1.  Revenge, retaliation for wrong, etc. is not our pursuit, Rom. 12:17-19.

    2.  Resist the urge to “have the last word,”, etc.

  B.   Pursuing Good Things is to be Unmatched in Scope, 1 Thess. 5:15-22.

    1.  Always (15, 16), without ceasing (17), everything (18), all (21), every (22).

    2.  Not half-hearted, not coerced; With diligence, Rom. 12:11.

 

II.  GOOD THINGS TO PURSUE, 1 Thess. 5:16-22.

  A.   Rejoice Always, 5:16.

    1.  Full of cheer, calmly happy; abiding attitude of joy, Jno. 16:22, 33.

    2.  Our reconciliation (Rom. 5:11); In trials (Jas. 1:2); In hope (1 Pet. 1:8).

    3.  Our faith turns every situation into one in which we can be calmly happy, reassured and confident in Christ.

  B.   Prayer (pray without ceasing), 5:17. Lk. 18:1, 8

    1.  For others, 1 Thess. 5:25; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; Eph. 6:18-19.

    2.  For ourselves, 2 Cor. 12:7-8; Phil. 4:4-7.

  C.   Give Thanks in Everything, 5:18.

    1.  This is the will of God in Christ for you: We give thanks in everything because God is good (kind), Psa. 106:1-3; 107:8-9.

    2.  In every circumstance (joy and sorrow), for everything (prosperity and adversity), in every place (house of joy to house of mourning).

    3.  The thankless soul is arrogant, selfish and unsympathetic to the plight of others. cf. Hardships (floods, health, economic, spiritual), cf. Lk. 18:11.

  D.   Nothing that would Quench the Spirit, 5:19-20.

    1.  Do not stifle the Spirit’s work (convicting, Jno. 16:8) by a careless or immoral life, cf. Titus 2:5.

    2.  Do not despise prophecies (hold in contempt, refuse): Prophecy produced the word of God that edifies us still, 1 Cor. 14:3-4.

  E.   Test All Things, 5:21-22.

    1.  Prove, examine, try, scrutinize, to look at critically, or in minute detail (whether genuine or not), cf. 1 Jno. 4:1.

      a.  Hold fast what is good, 5:21. Cling to the good, Rom. 12:9.

      b.  Abstain from every form of evil, 5:22. Every form, shape fashion and appearance evil takes (immorality, lust, injustice, error, etc.).

    2.  Test everything against the truth, 2 Cor. 13:5.

 

Conclusion

1.  Always pursue what is good because God is always good, Matt. 19:17.

2.  Be complete in goodness, even as God is, cf. Matt. 5:48.

 

By: Joe R. Price

Posted: August 30, 2017