The Church As It’s Supposed To Be: Encourage One Another
A continued study of our series on the One Anothers
“Encourage One Another” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, Hebrews 10:24-25
1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Titus 3:14 exhorts the Church to, “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.” Learn is the key word here. How do they do so? Well obviously preaching and bible study has a lot to do with this, but our two passages once again demonstrate that a lot of this learning is done in community, with the encouragement of fellow believers to do “good works.” Once we again, we grow in love and good works by being spurred on by fellow believers. Showing up to a building when it is convenient is a consumer mentality driven by the market and not by the gospel, We need one another, and according to the word of God, we won’t grow in these areas apart from the body of Christ.
In the Thessalonians passage the encouragement is for the possibility of despair or in this case keeping alert for Christ and living our lives like He’s returning tomorrow. In the Hebrews passage, the author shows the importance of assembling regularly, so we can “Stir up one another” to doing what is right. I like the NIV’s “Spur one another on.” It has that image of a rodeo star with his horse, giving him that little kick with his spurs to keep the horse running in the right direction. As we have been seeing for weeks now, there is a theme that is coming out; we need one another and spiritual growth does not happen in a vacuum. These commands are not for the weak who need this sort of thing, this is commanded for all! We all need to use our gifts. We all need to counsel, and we all need to give counsel. It doesn’t matter how much theology you know or how many verses you have memorized, you and I are broken sinners that according to the word need the body of Christ to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. If nothing else, the tensions that are often created within the church are good soil for the gospel to take root, and be demonstrated by our actions of repentance and forgiveness.
Questions For Study
- What does “Good Works” mean in these contexts?
- After all, I thought we weren’t saved by good works. Why should we care about them now?
- How can we “Stir up one another?”
- What can you and Anchor do to improve in this area?