Thessalonica – How to Build a Powerful Church
Acts 17v1 It is not about the neighborhood
Thessalonica was commercial and military center, seaport and
stopping point on the Egnation way. The population existed to do anything the rich, military or sea captains paid
them to do. Even the Holy Spirit records it didn't really like the Thessalonians! (v11)
V2 Reasoned out of the Scriptures
- Reason – 'dialegomai' – to speak (or 'lay out') thoroughly. 'Lego' alone is talking;
dialego requires that to be 'mingled with the mind'
- All Women Like Chocolate (Fact or Premise)
- Kelly is a Woman (Fact or Premise)
- therefore Kelly Likes Chocolate (Reasoning)
- Scriptures – the basis upon which the reasoning was built. An argument is only as strong as the weakest supporting fact from the weakest supporting source.
Never scrabble to 'throw in' extra weak arguments!
- Three Sabbath Days - Note it was not 'Sabbath hours' - but also it was not 'years' (or 'months').
V3 - What is the Gospel?
- Opening and alleging - literally 'revealing and setting before' - our job is to explain those parts of the gospel they don't know - and hold it in front of them
- Christ had to suffer - The holiness of God, The sinfulness of man, The justice of God, Christ suffering in our place.
- Christ rose again - Christ is God, God is Eternal, Christ would rise from the grave
- Jesus is Christ - Where he would be born, what he would do, especially the resurrection
- Look at What isn't here! Think of all the other things we tend to feel our neighbors need to know our opinions about; they are not on the list. Power requires Focus.
V4 - Some Believed
The 'church' (as defined by those that followed Paul) had three groups
- "Some" - of the Jews from the Synagogue (probably traders)
- Devout Greeks (locals)
- Chief Women (the rich)
V5-8 - Opposition
- Believed not - moved with envy - the competition for 'mind share'
- "Certain lewd fellows of the baser sort" and "a company"
- A riot of which the church was found guilty!
V9-10 - The Final Exam
- The new church had to post a bond
- The church responded by telling Paul to flee (and presumably losing their bond money!)