Thanks Be to God

On this Thanksgiving Day, I want to share a little outline I used Sunday night at The Donelson Fellowship.  Recently I discovered that the phrase “Thanks be to God” occurs exactly five times in the Bible, and only in the consecutive books of Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians. There are five blessings that make us want to exclaim, “Thanks be to God!”

1. Thanks Be to God for Setting Us Free:  “Thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness” (Romans 6:16-17).

2.  Thanks Be to God for Victory over Sin:  “What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?   Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:21-25).

3.  Thanks Be to God for Victory over Death:  “For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed… Thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:47-57).

4.  Thanks Be to God Who Spreads His Message Through Us:  “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him” (2 Corinthians 2:12-17).

5.  Thanks Be to God for Jesus:  “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion…  Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

And so today we say:  Thanks be to God!

PS-This is the outline for my sermon of last Sunday night.  The entire message is posted at www.donelson.org/pocket/pp-081123pm.html.

2 thoughts on “Thanks Be to God

  1. My church,an Evangelical Free church, recently started saying,”thanks be to God” after the reading of scripture.In the past the pastor would say,”and all God’s people said,” and we would respond with,”amen.”
    I am having trouble saying the words,thanks be to God,for I once was a catholic and that was a response during the mass.
    I am bitter towards the catholic church,for various reasons, and I don’t like those words being used in my church service even though the certainly are blessed words.
    I just feel my church “took those words” from the catholic mass and inserted them into our service.
    Help me get past this please!

    1. Tom, I came across this blog and your comment as a result of my Google search for this phrase, as I needed to know the reference. Your plea to “get past this” touched my heart, and God seemed to lead me back to this several times. I can certainly empathize with your dilemma. What strikes me is your comment about bitterness. Years ago it was brought to my attention in an almost unbelievable and dramatic way how seriously God viewed some bitterness and resentment I was holding onto. And that Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 4 to put away all bitterness, etc. was a serious command that I needed to literally obey if I wanted to follow Jesus. I remember the day I dropped to my knees and confessed it to the Lord and asked Him to remove all bitterness from me. He did. I felt so clean and liberated as if some intangible something left my body. Since then, I was led to a commitment not to take up any offense, and a verse from Hebrews 4 has meant a lot to me. We are exhorted to come boldly to the throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in time of need. God gives grace to the humble. The keys to reigning in life by the One, Jesus Christ, are revealed so clearly in Romans 5:17: through the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. “His grace IS sufficient!” I trust you will see this and be able to put all bitterness behind you so that you can truly, with fullness of joy, raise your voice in one accord with other members of the body of Christ to affirm “Thanks be to God!” Praying for you.

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