Thessalonians: The Church of the Living

March 16, 2018 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Letters to the Seven Churches

Topic: The Church Scripture: Revelation 3:1–6, 1 Thessalonians 1:1–10

Home Group Study

Sermon Date: 16 March 2018

Text: Revelation 3:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Opening Discussion: FUN QUESTION: If everyone in our church was like your first grade teacher, what type of church would we have?


What does God’s word say?

As you observe what God’s word says, answer the following questions from the text(s):

  •  What are the key words and phrases of the text? Is anything repeated?
  •  What does this text reveal about human nature?
  •  What does this text reveal about the character and purposes of God?

Read: Revelation 3:1-6, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

What are your observations?

  • Are there any Key Words?
  • Are there any imperatives (commands) in this passage?
  • Are there any indicatives (statements) in this passage?


What does God’s word mean?

There is no such thing as a nominal Christian or a dead Christian. Sardis had the reputation of being dead. But the Thessalonian church had the reputation for being alive. If there is anything we learn from Romans 6, it is that Scripture knows nothing of an autonomous existence in which we have no master to serve. We are made to be servants, and we will serve either the master of sin or the master of righteousness—God Himself. We cannot serve the master of righteousness apart from God’s grace, and if He has bought us with the blood of Christ, we will—imperfectly but truly—serve Him. Read this text below as a cross reference, proving that Scripture interprets Scripture.

Read Romans 6:1-23

1 Samuel 15:22 is a familiar Sunday School story that is famous for this verse, “And Samuel said, "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”

What is the meaning here in this context? Is obedience to God an evident token of spiritual life?


How must I change?

  • Is there a Truth to be believed?

John Calvin calls 1 Thessalonians 1:3, “a brief definition of true Christianity”. What truth is there to that statement?

  • Is there an Attitude to be fostered?

If a so-called Christian is not working out his or her faith obediently, can we ask: where is his faith?

If a so-called Christian is not labouring at loving others, can we ask: Where’s your love?

If a so-called Christian is not able to endure tough times of opposition, can we ask: Where’s your hope?

  •  Is there a Behavior to be changed?

Can a genuine believer continually live in sin? Why or why not? Explain your answer.

Time permitting: click on the following links to view the attached video.

Closing Prayer:

Lead the groups to pray:

  • That New Life Church would be a living Church, firmly grounded in faith, love and hope.
  • For help to be responsive to our Lord Jesus Christ, to imitate Him, to spread the good news of the gospel hope and to be filled with the power of the Spirit of God.

More in Letters to the Seven Churches

April 13, 2018

Laodicea: The Useless Church

March 23, 2018

Philadelphia: The Faithful Church

March 9, 2018

Sardis: Church of the Living Dead