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captivate

TURN:SERVE:WAIT

The Power of the Jesus Story


1 Thessalonians
the perfect storm
The phrase “perfect storm” is commonly used
to refer to a convergence of factors whose
combined effect is greater than the impact of
any of the elements on their own.

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this morning
1. Identify the various factors that converged
to produce this powerful impact of the
gospel
2. Consider how these factors need to be
present today if we are to see the same
result.

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When was the last time any
of us saw the Jesus story
have a captivating and
transformative affect on a
person?

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sovereignty
story
spirit
spokesmen
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sovereignty
God rules over all creation with absolute power
and authority.

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sovereignty
1 Timothy 2:3-4
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God
our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and
to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of
God; not as a result of works, so that no one

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may boast.
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Romans 10:9-10
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as
Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised
Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with
the heart a person believes, resulting in
righteousness, and with the mouth he
confesses, resulting in salvation.

John 6:44

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No one can come to Me unless the Father who
sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on
the last day.
sovereignty
It’s hard for us to hear what the 1st century
Thessalonians would have heard when they
were told that they were chosen by God
because we have 1,900 years of developed
theological systems and frameworks (Calvinism,
Arminianism, etc) that affect the ways we
interpret that statement.

Without any theological framework affecting


what they heard, perhaps they heard something

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like this in Paul’s statement . . . .
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“Be encouraged Thessalonians. The fact that
your faith is still thriving in your hostile
environment shows that something truly
miraculous has happened here . . . your
response to the Jesus story is not merely a
choice you made on your own effort from your
own reasoning . . . something much bigger has
happened here . . . the creator God actually
chose you to be recipients of the message and
the salvation it speaks about.”

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sovereignty
As we move forward as a faith community we
need to acknowledge that God’s sovereignty
is ultimately what enables a response to the
Jesus story. Acknowledging this should help
us avoid . . . .
1. Doing too much: we have to avoid
“forcing” salvation as we recognize God
must be behind it.
2. Doing too little: we have to avoid thinking
that since salvation is a result of God’s

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sovereignty we don’t have to do anything
because people will eventually receive
Christ with or without us.