Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-6
A ministry that produces exemplary Christians does some things and does not do others. Paul says his preaching and ministry was not in vain. It withstood shame and suffering in Philippi. That is told in Acts 16 where the Philippian jailor gets saved. Paul and Silas were in prison, the Lord opened the doors of the prison. And it was powerful. Then Paul identifies seven things that would make a ministry worthless as far as God is concerned.
Not of deceit
- Not about being wrong, but deliberately tricking people.
- 2 John 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
- MANY of them.
- Deceit with a false Jesus.
- Jesus who is not God is deceit.
- Jesus who is just a good teacher is deceitful.
- Deceitful practices
- Deceitful tactics.
- If you invite someone to church, make sure they know they’re coming to church.
- Make sure they don’t think they’re coming to a pizza party, or a rock concert, or a football game.
- Listen, liars are everywhere. Don’t let the gospel become a lie too. People can be lied to anywhere. Church, and the gospel, the word of God, ought to be the place people know, like it or not, they’re going to be told the truth.
- Too familiar with the world and sin.
- Some say you’ve got to be a little dirty so folks can relate to you. Look, you have experience in sin. You don’t have to sin in order to be a witness. In fact, how are you going to help someone get clean with a dirty rag?
- You know what the most common complaint of the world is with Christians? Hypocrites. The world at least understands Christians have a higher standard of life, but for some reason we Christians aren’t even that smart.
Not in guile
- Guile is deceit, but it’s a certain type of deceit. It’s cunning treachery.
- Pretending to be something you’re not.
- “We believe the Bible.” Then you get there and they tell you they believe the Bible, but only believe what exists are translations and not completely without error.
Not as pleasing men
- Heard a preacher say, It would be a great thing if you could please God and please man. Now, if while you’re pleasing God you meet some other folks who appreciate you pleasing God and want to please God themselves then you’ll have great fellowship together. But if you’ve got to choose between making people happy or making God happy
- Personal sin gets in the way.
- Family gets in the way.
Not with flattering words
Not with a cloak of covetousness
- No one told you you’d get rich if you trust Jesus Christ.
Not for personal gain
These seven things are what people do to replace the work of the spirit of God in their lives.