SPECIAL TOPIC: THANKSGIVING

I. Introduction

A. This is the appropriate attitude of believers toward God:

1. This is the source of our praise to God through Christ

a. 2 Corinthians 2:14

b. 2 Corinthians 9:15

c. Colossians 3:17

2. This is the proper motive for ministry, 1 Cor. 1:4

3. This is the continual theme of heaven:

a. Revelation 4:9

b. Revelation 7:12 

c. Revelation 11:17

4. This is the continual theme of believers

a. Colossians 2:7

b. Colossians 3:17

c. Colossians 4:2

II. Biblical Material

A. Old Testament

1. Two basic words

a. yadah (BDB 392), which means praise

b. todah (BDB 392), which means thanksgiving.  It is usually used of sacrifices offered (cf. 2 Chr. 29:31; 33:16)

2. David appointed special Levites to praise and thank God.  This was continued by Solomon, Hezekiah, and Nehemiah.

a. 1 Chronicles 16:4,7,41

b. 1 Chronicles 23:30

c. 1 Chronicles 25:3

d. 2 Chronicles 5:13

e. 2 Chronicles 7:6 

f. 2 Chronicles 31:2

g. Nehemiah 11:12

h. Nehemiah 12:24,27,31,38,46

3. The Psalter is the collection of the praises and thanksgivings of Israel.

a. Thanksgiving to YHWH for His faithfulness to the Covenant

(1) Psalm 107:8

(2) Psalm 103:1ff

(3) Psalm 138:2

b. Thanksgiving was part of the processional to the Temple

(1) Psalm 95:2

(2) Psalm 100:4

c. Thanksgiving accompanied sacrifices

(1) Psalm 26:7

(2) Psalm 122:4

d. Thanksgiving given for the actions of YHWH

(1) Deliverance from enemies

(a) Psalm 7:17

(b) Psalm 18:49

(c) Psalm 28:7

(d) Psalm 35:18

(e) Psalm 44:8

(f) Psalm 54:6

(g) Psalm 79:13 

(h) Psalm 118:1,21,29

(i) Psalm 138:1

(2) Deliverance from prison (metaphor), Psalm 142:7

(3) Deliverance from death

(a) Psalm 30:4,12

(b) Psalm 86:12-13

(c) Isaiah 38:18-19

(4) He puts down the wicked and exalts the righteous

(a) Psalm 52:9

(b) Psalm 75:1

(c) Psalm 92:1

(d) Psalm 140:13

(5) He forgives

(a) Psalm 30:4

(b) Isaiah 12:1

(6) He provides for His people

(a) Psalm 106:1ff

(b) Psalm 111:1

(c) Psalm 136:1,26

(d) Psalm 145:10

(e) Jeremiah 33:11

B. New Testament

1. The major word used for thanks and thanksgiving (some references)

a. eucharisteō (cf. 1 Cor. 1:4,14; 10:30; 11:24; 14:17,18; Col. 1:3,12; 3:17)

b. eucharistos (cf. Col. 3:15)

c. eucharistia (cf. 1 Cor. 14:16; 2 Cor. 4:15; 9:11,12; Col. 2:7; 4:2)

d. charis (cf. 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14; 8:16; 9:15; 1 Pet. 2:19)

2. The example of Jesus

a. He was thankful for food:

(1) Luke 22:17,19 (1 Cor. 11:24)

(2) John 6:11,23

b. He was thankful for answered prayer, John 11:41 

3. Other examples of thankfulness

a. For God's gift of Christ, 2 Cor. 9:15

b. For food

(1) Acts 27:35

(2) Romans 14:6

(3) 1 Corinthians 10:30; 11:24

(4) 1 Timothy 4:3-4

c. For healing, Luke 17:16

d. For peace, Acts 24:2-3 

e. For deliverance from danger

(1) Acts 27:35

 (2) Acts 28:15

f. For all circumstances, Philippians 4:6

g. For all humans, especially leaders, 1 Timothy 2:1-2

4. Other aspects of thankfulness

a. It is God's will for all believers, 1 Thessalonians 5:18

b. It is an evidence of the Spirit-filled life, Ephesians 5:20

c. To neglect it is sin

(1) Luke 17:16-17

(2) Romans 1:21

d. It is an antidote for sin, Ephesians 5:4

5. Paul's thankfulness

a. His blessings on the church

(1) for proclaiming the gospel

(a) Romans 1:8

(b) Colossians 1:3-4

(c) Ephesians 1:15-16

(d) 1 Thessalonians 1:2

(2) for grace bestowed

(a) 1 Corinthians 1:4

(b) 2 Corinthians 1:11; 4:15

(3) for accepting the gospel, 1 Thessalonians 2:13

(4) for fellowship in the spread of the gospel, Philippians 1:3-5

(5) for growth in grace, 2 Thessalonians 1:3

(6) for knowledge of election, 2 Thessalonians 2:13

(7) for spiritual blessings, Colossians 1:12; 3:15

(8) for liberality in giving, 2 Corinthians 9:11-12

(9) for joy over new believers, 1 Thessalonians 3:9

b. His personal thanksgiving

(1) for being a believer, Colossians 1:12

(2) for deliverance from bondage to sin, Romans 7:25; 2 Cor. 2:14

(3) for the sacrificial labor of other believers, Romans 16:4; 2 Cor. 8:16

(4) for some acts not occurring, 1 Corinthians 1:14

(5) for personal spiritual gift, 1 Corinthians 14:18

(6) for the spiritual growth of friends, Philemon 4-5

(7) for the physical strength for ministry, 1 Timothy 1:12

III. Conclusion

A. Thanksgiving is our central response to God once we are saved.  It issues not only in verbal assent, but lifestyle gratitude.

B. Thanksgiving in all things is the goal of a mature life in the care of God ( cf. 1 Thess. 5:13-18).

C. Thanksgiving is a recurrent theme of both Old and New Testaments.  Is it a theme of yours?

 

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