Maturity (1 Thessalonians #18)

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:14

It’s one thing to claim to be a Christian, but another to be able to be a help to someone else.  Spiritual maturity is the ability to be a help to someone else.

Rebuke

  • …warn them that are unruly…
  • If you saw your child running out in the street, you would warn them.  You would warn them because you love them and you understand the danger of their position.
  • Love
    • Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
    • 1 Corinthians 4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
    • Sometimes being a help means you’re the bad guy.
  • Leadership
    • You know of a danger that someone else doesn’t know about.
    • Ezekiel 3:20-21 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
  • Identify the unruly
    • Out of line.  Deviated from the standard – Bible.
    • The unruly Christian is one who does not abide by the teachings of the apostle
    • 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
    • Warning the unruly
    • Warning brethren is a crucial component of preaching Christ
    • Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: (Colossians 1:28)
    • Unruly brethren who do not heed the warning are to be marked and fellowship withdrawn
    • In an effort to save the unruly
    • Also an effort to keep the church pure
    • For those who are unruly, their need is to be warned.  We should never fault those brethren who fulfill their duty to “warn the unruly”, but be thankful they have the concern and the courage to do so!
  • You would never bad mouth a mother for trying to keep her child out of the street.

Reassure

  • …comfort the feebleminded…
  • Feeble is weak.  It means there is no strength there.  These are folks who are right on the verge of quitting.  The grenades are falling, the battle is raging and they’re losing the will to fight on.
  • Jesus Christ offered comfort when he knew the disciples would quit on him.  John 14 he says, Let not your heart be troubled… I go to prepare a place for you…
  • Reasons the mind is broken down
    • Persecution, tribulation
    • Not seeing results
    • Sin has beat them up
    • Someone else’s sin has beat them up
    • Age has beat them up

Reinforce

  • …support the weak…
  • They need the encouragement and you need the joy that comes from helping others.
  • Be on the lookout for people who need your support.  Be zealous to be an help.
    • Colossians 4:11-13
    • Hebrews 10:25
  • Remember that support and dependence are two different things
    • 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
    • The idea of support is to be there in a time of weakness not to keep them in a state of weakness.  The point of a crutch is to use in place of a healthy leg until the leg can get healthy.
    • Support for the wrong reason
      • Need to be needed
      • Feelings of absolute guilt.
  • Blessedness of support
    • Now there stood by the cross of Jesus…
    • Notice these ladies stood (vs 25) and John is also standing (vs 26)
  • Support for the right reason
    • The need was real
    • Their love was real – Love of a mother, friend, disciple, and the redeemed
    • Proverbs 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
    • Not everyone is due.
    • And you don’t always have the power to do anything about it even if they are due.
    • But if those two things meet at your doorstep, then the principle applies.
  • Support is best administered with clear guidelines, responsibilities, expectations, and an end in sight.

Rest

  • Be patient toward all men
  • People take time to grow.
  • Deuteronomy 7:22 …by little and little… patience lest you get ahead of yourself and others.  You win a battle, set up a fortress, occupy that real estate.  Otherwise you clear land that you can’t occupy yet and something else comes into that land.