The Natural Fruit of Expectant Believers.

Looking for Jesus Christ's return motivates us to live in a proper manner. Faithful living is personal and characterized by a loving disposition and moral behavior. God is faithful to enable you to grow on your own, but He also wants you to be helped by others in a local church family. This interdependence will have a supernatural influence inside and outside the church.

Holy Expectation

Healthy, growing, interdependent churches should expect to replicate themselves. The Thessalonian church was planting other churches even though they were less than 3 years old! (See 1 Thessalonians 1:8-9.) God created every living thing to reproduce. Gospel growth is a natural result of nurturing faithfulness.

Spiritual Growth

Growth in God's Word is a natural result of faithfulness (1 Thessalonians 2:13). God's Word works as we embrace it. This is just who we are.

Mutual Strengthening

Churches that are interdependent within their own members will desire to be interdependent with other believers. The Thessalonians desired to mutually strengthen other like-minded churches (1 Thessalonians 2:14). Individual interdependence leads to ecclesiastical interdependence.

Community Discernment

The Thessalonian church was able to discern their social and political times (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2). They were not distracted by the events of their time (Acts 1:7). They stayed focused on faithfulness. They were distinct from their culture in their influence while being loving and compassionate (1 Thessalonians 5:4-8). Healthy Christians are not governed by anything but God, and they are ready to tell anyone who asks that only Jesus can change a life so completely (1 Peter 3:15).

Quality Worship

A healthy church worships with integrity. Paul lists several ways the Thessalonians would continue to do so in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22. They respected their instructors in the Word. Those who understand shepherding another individual can listen to the Word with a different awareness. They lived at peace with each other because they were living God's Word together outside of preaching times (Hebrews 10:24-25). This kind of church can always expect to see people being born again through their influence.

Application Points

  • Do you need someone to follow? See any pastor at Grace to help you connect with another believer who is more mature than you.
  • Pray about who God can use you to win to Christ this year. Pray about who God can use you to lead in spiritual growth starting this year. This is God's will for every believer, so pray expectantly!
  • What would "quench the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:19) in the context of worship? These factors could be both individual and collective. Use the context you've learned of this whole book to study and meditate on this question.