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The Gospel
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Gospel is the story of redemption. Jesus took on human flesh, lived a sinless life, died on the cross to make an atonement for our sin, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day for our justification. All who put their faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross will receive forgiveness for their sin. They will spend eternity with God, instead of experiencing the fires of hell. Paul and others suffered greatly while spreading the gospel.
 
1.  Why share the gospel? Sharing the plan of salvation is the most important thing a believer can do.
 
•  It is something worth speaking about. “For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain” (verse 1). Paul said his sharing of the gospel with the Thessalonians was not in vain. He had suffered persecutions, imprisonments, and hardships. He was driven from place to place, yet his concern for the eternal souls of the lost drove him to share the gospel wherever he traveled. 
 
•  It is something worth suffering for. “But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention” (verse 2). Paul and Silas had suffered beatings and imprisonment in Philippi. When freed, they left Philippi and faithfully continued their mission in Thessalonica, in spite of more persecution. If you have been saved, why should you be concerned about suffering as a witness? The gospel transforms and has transforming power. It delivers one from death to eternal life, from sinner to saint, and from selfishness to a willingness to sacrifice for others. Do not be ashamed of the gospel. Paul was not. Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
 
•  It is something worth being truthful with. “For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness” (verses 3-5). Do not pollute the gospel. Never use deceit, but speak the truth. Do not use dirty jokes (uncleanness) to gain a hearing. You do not need clever phrases (no guile) to impress or flattering words to please men. Never make false promises of wealth as a result of becoming a Christian. Do not promote yourself, but Jesus only. God allows to us open doors of opportunity. Please God by sticking to the truth of the gospel, and let the Holy Spirit do his work.
 
2.  What should you do when you share the gospel?
 
•  Be gentle. “Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children” (verses 6-7). Many hold ignorant views of God and salvation. Do not mock them, but simply argue truth from the Scriptures. God’s Word will not return void, and it accomplishes what He pleases. (Isaiah 55:11: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”)
 
•  Be caring. “So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us” (verse 8). Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 3:8: “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”
 
•  Be careful. “For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God” (verse 9). Paul had been falsely accused of preaching the gospel for money, but he paid his way by working as a tentmaker. He avoided letting anything become an excuse that the world could use against the cause of Christ. This meant avoiding certain liberties which might cause others to stumble (eating meat offered to idols). We must be careful not to detract from the gospel message. (1 Corinthians 8)
 
•  Be holy. “Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe” (verse 10). An ungodly life will destroy one’s witness. We are encouraged to walk worthy of our calling in Christ. Ephesians 4:1: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” 1 Peter 1:16: “Because it is written, Be ye holy (set apart unto God); for I am holy.” Walk circumspectly, because one slip into sin can undo all the good accomplished throughout a lifetime. That is what people will remember.
 
•  Be challenging. “As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children” (verse 11). This requires knowledge of the gospel and Scriptures, enabling you to give the necessary answers. If you do not know the answer, say so and be prepared to find the answer. 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
 
•  Be faithful. “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory” (verse 12). The concept of walking worthy means to be living out your faith.
 
Sometimes we get lazy in our faith and fail to witness. What if your witness is rejected? Consider instead, what if it isn’t? You have gained a fellow-believer. You have pulled a life from the flames of hell and released them from the bondage of Satan and sin. This is what we are called to do. Jude 1:21-23: “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”