Recently (see Part 1), I shared three of the seven keys to Dynamic Gospel Relationships found in I Thessalonians 2. Here are the remaining keys found in the passage.
4. Share the Gospel firmly.
11 For you know how, like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. (1 Thessalonians 2: 11-12) ESV
There are times when we must nurture new believers gently, but there are other times when we must exhort and encourage them with firmness.
Notice the contrast between the gentleness of a nursing mother and the firmness of a father. Paul and his co-workers did both. They ministered with strength and gentleness. The seasoned Gospel worker knows the difference of when to be strong, and when to be gentle!
5. Share the Gospel faithfully with thanksgiving.
Paul and his co-workers were faithful to the task of testifying to the Gospel of grace. They shared the Gospel not only with their lips, but also with their lives.
As they invested in the believers of Thessalonica, it was obvious that God was doing something very special in and through them. These believers were making spiritual progress and for that Paul and the team were grateful to God.
You and I must be faithful to share the Gospel. We also must be thankful for the privilege God gives us to do ministry, especially as He works through us to meet the needs of others.
6. Share the Gospel without fear.
14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last! (I Thessalonians 2:14-17) ESV
These new believers were experiencing some of the same opposition that Paul and the team were facing; yet, they serve Christ without fear!
Persecution had helped these believers in at least two ways.
- Served as a catalyst for prayer:
o Paul’s great desire was for these believers! He longed for them! And because he had them in his heart and on his mind, he constantly lifted them up in prayer!
- Proved the reality of their faith:
o Persecution will always prove the authenticity of a believer’s faith. As Warren W. Wiersbe says, “The church persecuted, becomes the church pure; while the church patronized becomes the church polluted!”
7. Share the Gospel with Joy.
19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy. (I Thessalonians 2:19-20) ESV
Paul and the team found great joy in their relationship with these believers, and that is how it is with people you invest your life in
The greatest friendships that I have had in life have been with the people who have either invested in my life or the people whom I had the great privilege to invest in.
These relationships can last a lifetime and show immense promise to be rich and meaningful!