affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost." I Thessalonians 2:14 "For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also havesuffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:" — I Thessalonians 1:6
"The Man Of God Must Be The Model"
Life is filled with illustrations of the power of example. A Chinese proverb says, "Better to see a thingonce than to hear about it a hundred times." The early church employed the dynamics that are in thatprinciple. Paul says to the Thessalonians church, "The sound of the Gospel has gone from you into allthe world." Everywhere the apostle went people were talking about the faith of Thessalonica. Yourfaith is such that we need not speak for your works. Show how you turned to God from idols to servethe Living God. The early church discovered by revelation that the power of evangelism is in exampleship. Understanding this principle they put it into practice, and reproduced itself to the point that inthirty-three short years the known world had the Gospel. Paul said of the church at Thessalonica,"Everywhere I go your influence is felt."In Acts 2:47 the verse reads, "
The Lord added daily to the Church.
" And so were the churchesestablished in the faith and increased in number daily. In those days the number of disciples weremultiplied so mightily grew the Word of God and prevailed. A handful of believers in Thessalonicarecognize they are responsible to take the Gospel, to put it into practice in their own lives, to live livesthat were such an example to influence others. Not only to set an example but to call others to thesame, and doing that, they reach out to the entire known world. Can you imagine that small band in afew years threatening the Roman Empire? We are called to be an example. Christianity is foundedupon this Truth. Truth must become incarnate before it can be understood, embraced and put intopractice by another person. The pulpit must model this truth. Others cannot comprehend truth, untilthey see truth incarnated in us. When they see truth by what we are, not merely what we say, they see what th Gospel really is. Everyone of us are responsible to be an example of believers. Especially theMan of God.The problem in Jesus' day there were many religious people, there were lawyers who were informers of the law. They were not teachers, you can only teach by example. These men were only informers.Christianity is filled with informers. The world does not need informers, It needs instructors whodemonstrate what it is to be a Christian, by living a Christian life. In that kind of instructions there ispower to bring the Gospel to a world that is lost. Truth has no meaning without the experience of theteacher. If we are only passing on religious concepts all is lost. Truth has no reference, no meaningoutside the experience of the teacher. As long as we are merely informers, there is no power, we cannotreproduce. Jesus spoke of religion making converts that were twofold more a child of Hell after he wasmade. Our converts become what we are, it is therefore imperative that we live the right kind of life.Jesus said, "
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his Lord.
" (Matthew 10:24) Inother words, no man will rise above his example. Every man when he is fully taught will be like histeacher.Paul wrote Timothy, "
The things you have heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
" (II Timothy 2:2) The lesson in this is, truth isimparted life to life and truth is shared out of a life of experience. You and I have no right to declare orteach what we have not experienced. This is the weakness of the Church in this late hour. Preacherspreach what they have not received and it has no impact. You may read truth or hear truth and begreatly excited, but that does not mean you possess that truth. The church is structured on exampleship. Paul's philosophy was, "
follow me as I follow the Lord.
" The Church began with twelve men whopartook of Christ's life. Out of their experience with Him they began to call others. They were the truth,they lived the Gospel. They set the example. That power brought rapid growth. Paul writes, "You became an example to all that believe in Macedonia." (I Thessalonians 1:7) Take that out of the Gospel