July 7/8, 2018

Loved and Chosen

Ken Currie (Downtown Campus) | | 1 Thessalonians 1:4-7

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.—1 Thessalonians 1:4–7


Paul is writing to a young church of somewhat culturally diverse new believers. What would you think a church of young believers would be asking? What would you want them to know? If we are fulfilling our call to be a healthy church we will ...

  1. Always rehearse the blessings of our new life in Christ.
  2. Have a steady flow of young believers to help grow in grace.

So discipleship must always be happening in a healthy church One of the most fundamental aspects of discipleship or “life together” is reminding ourselves of our identity.

1) Core of Christian Identity – Loved

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.—Galatians 2:20

This life I live is defined by my identity as Christian which is defined by one who is loved by God.

2) Source of Christian Identity – Chosen

Q: How does God choose? What is his criteria?
A: Because he loves us.

“It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you ....”—Deuteronomy 7:7–8

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.—Ephesians 1:4–5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.—1 Peter 1:3

3) Evidence of Christian Identity – How do you know you are loved and chosen?

That the gospel came in ...

a) power
b) the Holy Spirit
c) full conviction

which produced ...

a) imitation of disciples and the Lord
b) receiving in affliction
c) joy

4) Basis of Christian Identity

What was the means by which the Thessalonians’ identity was transformed from alienated to accepted? From rejected to loved? The gospel message itself! We never “graduate” beyond the gospel.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.—Colossians 2:6

Our security is not our zeal but the One who secures us. Let us pursue a vision of a healthy church as we preach to each other the true gospel of grace of the living God.

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