I. "GIVING THANKS ALWAYS FOR ALL THINGS."
A. This is similar to the exhortation given by Paul to the Thessalonians.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
B. This is not possible to do outside of faith.
1. I must first believe that God is in control of all things.
a. That nothing happens to me except God has allowed it to happen.
b. I must be able to see that God is in it.
2. I must believe that God loves me.
a. Sometimes the circumstances of my life do not indicate that God loves me.
b. From my vantage point it looks like tragedy.
c. This is because I can only see in part and I only know in part.
d. This is where we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen.
e. What a classic example Job left for us when he had suffered the loss of everything. His possessions, his family, his reputation. "Naked I came into the world and naked I will go out, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord."
f. God said to Jeremiah,
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
g. You must believe that His purposes are for your good.
3. Thus if God has allowed it to happen, He has a good purpose for allowing it to happen.
a. "All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose."
b. That is not just some things or most things, but all things.
D. Being thankful is so very important.
1. Many of the things that we are complaining about if we only knew are the very things that God intends through them to bring great blessings to us.
2. We notice how that the children of Israel were so often murmuring against the Lord, and it kindled the wrath of the Lord against them.
3. In Romans 1
Paul declares that one of things that will prompt the wrath of God is, "Neither were they thankful."
4. They had an offering of thanksgiving in the law.
II. WE ARE TO GIVE THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD, JESUS CHRIST.
A. In Hebrews we read,
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.
B. In John Jesus emphasizes that our prayers are offered to the Father in His name.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give [it] you.
C. We ask in His name, and we give thanks in His name.
D. The Father has given Him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
E. We see how in the book of Acts the disciples learned to use the power of the name of Jesus Christ.
1. There is salvation in the name of Jesus.
a. Peter told the crowd to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins.
2. There is healing in the name of Jesus.
a. The lame man at the beautiful gate of the Temple, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."
3. There is deliverance in the name of Jesus Christ.
a. In 16:18 Paul commanded the evil spirit to come out of the girl in the name of Jesus Christ.
4. But the name does not have some magical powers like abra cadabra. It is used with effect only by those who have experienced a personal relationship with Him.
a. The seven sons of Sceva who got hold of a demon possessed man and said, "We adjure you by Jesus who Paul preacheth."
III. WE ARE TO WALK IN SUBMISSION. "SUBMITTING YOURSELVES ONE TO ANOTHER
IN THE FEAR OF GOD."
A. Paul is now going to show us how our relationship to Jesus Christ should effect our relationships with each other.
B. He first dealt with our relationship with God, now our relationship with others.
1. This is always the proper order.
2. Life exists on the two plains the vertical and the horizontal.
a. There seems to be a fixed axis.
b. If the vertical is out of kilter, then it seems to follow that the horizontal is also out of kilter.
c. People try so hard to get their lives in balance, they recognize that their relationships are all messed up and they are trying to find out why.
d. They so often go to a psychiatrist who put them on drugs. There relationships are still messed up, but because of the drugs they don't realize it.
C. He starts this whole section with the subject of submission to one another.
1. This is at the heart of all relationships, for none of us want to submit.
2. We are not willing to put ourselves out for others, we want others to put themselves out for us.
3. It is our own selfish nature that rebels against the idea of submitting our will to that of someone else.
4. It is our selfish nature that messes up our relationships.
D. Paul speaks of those that strived for the masteries. He was referring to the wrestling matches, yet what a good term. For so many relationships, that is exactly what is happening, there is striving for the mastery.
1. Here Paul exhorts to submit to one another.
2. In all relationships their must be a give and take.
3. It cannot be all giving, and it is not all taking.
4. It is knowing when to give and when to take.
5. Those who are really successful in their relationships with others are those that have found that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
6. You by experience know how difficult it is to be around a person who is always insisting on their way.
E. Herein is a beautiful truth when we have learned to submit our lives fully to Jesus Christ, it is no longer a matter of what I want, but what does He want.
1. I think that is what Paul is referring to when he says, "In the fear of God."
2. In reverence of God and desire to defer to His will.