A sermon for the Thames Valley churches of Christ

v1 Greeting – personal; God-focus; grace & peace
v2 – thankful for all; prayerful
v3 – hard work for God inspired by Jesus
v4 – family relationships; 28 times – ‘brothers’
v5 – God changed you dramatically
v6 – Accepted suffering; joy from the Spirit
‘If Christ wore a crown of thorns, why should His followers expect only a crown of roses?’ Martin Luther
v7 – modelled Christianity to other Christians
v8 – their reputation is connected to God’s work
v9 – turned to serve God
v10 – Trust in God revealed by patient service

We find 15 references to the Godhead in the 10 verses of chapter 1 and 97 mentions in all 89 verse of the letter.
He gives grace and peace, and joy despite suffering which inspires their work for Him such that it inspire others.

Turn to serve, v9
Repentance is a lifestyle and a radical one at that. Turn from: desire to be comfortable; compromise; fear; laziness; sins, halfheartedness; guilt; shame
“It would be like asking people in a modern city to give up using motor cars, computers and telephones.” N.T. Wright.
Turn to: God; hope, love, faith, exploration of the Spirit’s desires, listening to God, risk, adventure, stretch, the new


1. God-focussed
What does it mean to be God-focussed?
What resources will help you to be God-focussed this year?

2. Turning to serve
Turning away: Do you have something to turn away from in order to serve God? If you are struggling with this, what resources do you have to help you?
Turning towards: What opportunities has God given you to serve one another and the lost? What will help you to serve in faith, love and endurance this year?

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: [malcolm@malcolmcox.org](mailto:malcolm@malcolmcox.org).

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm