Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:11-18

Main Idea:

Focusing on verse 11, specifically “just as in fact you are doing.” This means that their church during that time was already “encouraging and building each other up.” A good question may be, “Am I encouraging or building someone up?” “Am I being a source of encouragement?” An excellent way to encourage a dear brother and sister is to show up every Sunday.

In our Fresh Encounter series, we are being encouraged to share our testimonies, teaching us to confess our sins, repent, and embrace restoration. One of the good biblical practices they taught was public confession and repentance (in a small group context).

The Struggle: But there seems to be a struggle. First, we are shy or ashamed of what we have done. Second, unaware of feelings and mix up our intentions; third, we do not see feelings as a signal indicator in order to sustain a relationship (e.g., Feelings are like a fuse; it tells us that there is something wrong with the circuit). Fourth, we repress or suppress and ignore these feelings.

The Means: When the early church was experiencing persecutions, injustices, and oppression, they were not only struggling physically and spiritually but also emotionally, mentally, and holistically. I said “holistically” because our emotions have a physiological aspect. It is what psychologists and medical personnel call “psychosomatic” – a physical symptom caused by an emotional or psychological condition.

The method to control our feelings is to be aware of them and to experience them consciously. Then we can control the behavior flowing from the feelings.

  • Anger – we want to fight physically or verbally (Breathe faster; our heart beats faster; sensation of heat)
  • Fearful – have the desire to run away (The mouth becomes dry; feels cold; palms are sweating
  • Hurt – we withdraw or regress (Crying, expressing pain through tears)
  • Trust – comfortable with someone (Willing to be vulnerable; openness)
  • Love – warm glow in our body (Love is a fulfillment of all these other feelings.)

The Value: The passage encourages and sets a standard for communal accountability. There is a value in sharing our feelings, struggles, and emotions with one another. Read verses 12-18. Deep communication makes our ministry effective because it enables us to deal with our feelings before we attempt to minister to others’ feelings, as stated by G. Niklas.


Apostle Paul today (sermon today) and Apostle Peter last week (sermon last week) show us that emotions, feelings, and mental well-being are essential aspects of a Christian community, both individual and church life. You may ask, “where is Jesus in here?” First, last week, we explored that there is hope in Christ. Christ redeemed these parts of our life as well. Lastly, Christ himself as fully God-Man has heart, soul, and mind (next week’s topic).


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
August 21, 2022



Text: John 5:1-15

God’s Healing as Wholeness (Full Sermon Manuscript)


Today, we will talk about healing, asking for help, and inviting God into the messiness of our lives.


“Bethesda” means house of mercy (v. 2). “Asthenéō” strictly refers to a condition of physical weakness. — Christ meets us in moments when we least expect to meet Him. He enters into places where we thought He will not be there; and encounter Him when we are in our deepest despair in our lives.

Main Idea:

A Personal God

“Saw and knew” (v 6) – Christ sees us first and knew what we are going through. Our God is personal in that he relates with us and empathizes with our present circumstances (Heb 4:15). However, even though God knows, he does not assume; you need to tell him that you need help.

A Powerful God

“Get up, pick up your mat and walk” (v 8) – Christ’s words have the power to transform. The same power of the One who created all things at the beginning of Genesis. When God said, “let there be light, and there was light… this time, get up, walk because you are now healed; and he was healed.” Transformation is expected of those who have encountered Christ (v. 15).

A Perfect God

“Sabbath” (v. 10; 16-18) – Sabbath is holy and is made for man. But Christ is not merely man but God. On the other hand, you will see here how people will see the flaw, loophole, and failure of a person over his healing. Instead of having awe and wonder, they were mad, legalistic, and criticizing. In this story, we also see that God invites everyone. He does not desire those who are only part of the church, those who are well and fine. But he offers this transformative experience to everyone, especially to those who were considered the outcasts of society during the ancient time.


As I end, there is a wonderful observation that I saw when I was studying the passage; it was the use of the term “healing or healed” in verses: 6, 10, 11, 14, 15: hygiēs (wholeness), 9 therapeúō (meeting his need of healing), 13 iáomai (draws full attention to the Lord; supernatural healing). The inter-usage of the terms points that God’s healing meets our needs in a divine way towards wholeness.


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
April 3, 2022


This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.