Excel Still More

Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2

Paul wrote a very complimentary letter to the brethren in Thessalonica, yet he told them to “excel still more.” Continued growth is necessary in the life of a disciple. We need to be faithfully serving the Lord today; but rather than remain in that state, we must “excel still more.”

Personal Decision

  • Paul requested and exhorted them – this does not mean that it was optional to excel; it means they could not be forced to do so; they had to make the decision on their own to do this
  • Application for our own lives – we are responsible for our own growth and maturity (1 Timothy 4:15-16)
  • Application for how we deal with others – we cannot force anyone to “excel still more“; but we do need to encourage our brethren to do so (Hebrews 10:24)

Excel In What Is Right

  • Excelling is not good if what we’re doing is not right – we need to be excelling in what is right
  • Starts with the foundation of the apostles’ instruction (1 Thessalonians 4:1) – these commands came from Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:2) by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13); this is why the early church continued in the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42; cf. 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:15)
  • Must necessarily result in obedience (1 Thessalonians 4:1) – we cannot be hearers only, we must be doers (James 1:22; cf. Luke 6:46)
  • As we continue, we must grow (1 Thessalonians 4:1) – strive for perfection (Matthew 5:48; 1 John 2:1)

This Is About Pleasing God

  • Why they were to “excel still more” – not to make Paul happy, impress others, etc.; this was about pleasing God (Galatians 1:10)
  • Pleasing God must be our highest priority (Ecclesiastes 12:13; 2 Corinthians 5:9) – why? … judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10)
  • Paul emphasized this in the text – “This is the will of God” (v. 3); “God has…called us for…sanctification” (v. 7); “He who rejects this is…rejecting…God” (v. 8)

Conclusion

  • God does not want His people to be complacent
  • No matter what we are currently doing in the Lord’s service, we must strive to grow and improve

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