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Welcoming the Word of God

Original photo image by Jill Wellington

We continue our sermon series called ‘Joy Bringers’.
This virtual service also includes Communion.




Most ventures to be successful require a strategy and the apostle Paul’s missionary strategy can be clearly seen in the birthing of the church at Thessalonica (Acts 17 v 1 – 9): –

  • Focus on urban areas.
  • Start preaching in the synagogue.
  • Plant and establish the church.
  • Move on allowing the church to reach out into the surrounding district.

Later the apostle would write two New Testament letters to the church reminding them of how they had responded to the Word of God. Responses that still hold good today for the contemporary church and are based on 2 separate verses: –

“You welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit& “When you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the Word of God, which is at work in you who believe.


1 – They RECEIVED the Word of God

  • They welcomed the Word of God as if welcoming a guest into their home (Revelation 3 v 20.)
  • They accepted the message as being of divine origin (2 Timothy 3 v 16.)

Pause 4 thought

The need to welcome and to receive the proclamation of the inspired Word as something that comes from God and not men.


2 – They REJOICED in the Word of God

Upon embracing the Word of God, they were filled with a Spirit given joy (1 Peter 1 v 8), this seemingly being a New Testament characteristic, that wherever the Gospel is proclaimed and responded to, the result is joy, not just on earth, but also in heaven (Luke 15 v 7 & 10; Acts 8 v 8 & 39; Acts 13 v 52; and Acts 16 v 34.)


Pause 4 thought

The need to joyfully receive the Word of God, not just for salvation, but for ongoing sanctification (Psalm 19 v 8.)



3 – They REFLECTED the Word of God

The Word of God was, by the Spirit, “at work” in the Thessalonians. Hearers became doers; recipients became imitators of Paul and his associates; and the Gospel “rang out” to the surrounding area as it was both proclaimed and practiced.


Pause 4 thought

The need to shine brightly (Matthew 5 v 16) in a dark and depraved world (Philippians 2v 15 & 16) as we live out the values and principles enshrined within the Word of God.



Personal Questions

1 – Does the apostle Paul’s missionary strategy stand the test of time in terms of being suitable for modern mission today?

2 – In what ways do you: –

A – Welcome the proclamation of the Word of God?

B – Receive joy from the proclamation of the Word of God?

3 – In your neighbourhood and surrounding community, what are some of the ways in which you can better reflect the reality of the Gospel?


Sermon Details

Title: Welcoming the word of God
Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1 v 4 – 6 & Chapter 2 v 13
Preacher: Chris Hughes

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