Note: These are sermon outlines, not full messages.
Let’s begin with a “tip” for Bible reading – it’s a good idea to look for repetition, repeated words or ideas. This certainly helps in the case of this passage. I would like you to look for pronouns: we, our, us; you; they, them, those
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
If you asked a Greek person of Paul’s day, how might we divide people into groups, one answer is: Greeks and barbarians; someone else might offer, men and women; someone else, slave and free person
If you asked a Jewish rabbi in Paul’s day, how can we divide people into groups, the typical answer would be, Easy – Jews and non-Jews (or Gentiles, or Greeks)
What Paul is saying is that there are two groups of people in the world: people in Christ, who also walk in the light; the rest
Col 3:9b-11 – “you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”
Gal 3:28 – in Christ “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
This is what he says here in 1 Thess 5 – you are in darkness or in light; you are drunk or sober; you are dozing or you are alert (more…)