Word@Work, Let God's Word energise your working day!

God's Word Is To Be Believed And Lived

1 Thessalonians 4:1-2
As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. (NIVUK)

Some people think that the Christian's faith is a private matter, to comfort the heart and give hope. It certainly does that, but so much more. The gospel, through which we came to faith, is about glorifying God - as we admit and repent of our sin and receive His new life. How does that glorify God? By giving us a new motivation to live in a different way; a way which will bring glory to God (1 Peter 2:12). It was part of the apostles' work to explain just how God wants us to live, as described in the Gospels and the Epistles, so that we can never be in doubt about how God intends us to live.
 
Even though the Thessalonians were brothers and sisters to Paul, he was still their apostle, teacher and mentor. Jesus had appointed him, because the new churches would only know how to live holy lives in an unholy society if they were told how to live. But the pressures of the world, the frailty of the flesh and the active deceptions of the devil were constantly trying to pull the believers away from the sound teaching. That is why Paul did follow-up visits to the churches or sent people from his team to reinforce the teaching and encourage people not just to hear the Word but to do it (James 1:22-25).
 
Although some academics like to teach that the Bible is just like any other book, to be criticised, to extract the parts they like and discard what they dislike, Paul claimed a different authorship for his writing. The Lord Jesus Christ. What Paul preached and wrote was not his invention, reflecting his view of the world. It was the Lord Jesus who personally instructed him about the timeless principles of living in His kingdom (Galatians 1:11-12).
 
This is important information for us who live many years after the Bible was written. What we read is not a collection of Paul's ideas: they are God's instructions. The next verses discuss sexual purity, responsibility to the global church, everyday business practice, the Second Coming, respect for church leaders, work ethics, arguments, and stimulating faith. Such diverse topics, but all of them instructions from Jesus. We cannot divide our lives into an inner sacred faith and everyday secular life, or church life and work life. We only have one life, the Christian life, if we are following Christ. And all of that life needs to be informed by Him; hence Word@Work. If you benefit from it, learn to do it and share it!

Prayer 
God of the Word. Thank You for causing the apostles to write down the instruction of Jesus Christ so that I might learn how to follow Him. Forgive me for the times when I have decided to ignore Your Word or assume that it is not for me. Help me to humble myself under its authority, as much as I claim to submit to Jesus. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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