Doctrine of Thanksgiving

January 10, 2011

I. Vocabulary.
A. Hebrew.
1. hd’AT (TODAH): Thanksgiving, praise.
2. hd;y” (YADAH): To confess, to give praise, to give thanks, to
3. ad’y> (YEDA): To praise, to give thanks.
4. ll;h’ (HALAL): To praise.
5. rm;z” (ZAMAR): To sing praises.
B. Greek.
1. euvcariste,w (EUCHARISTEO): To be grateful or thankful; the
giving of thanks.
2. euvcaristi,a (EUCHARISTIA): Thanksgiving, thankfulness, the
giving of thanks, gratitude.
3. euvca,ristoj (EUCHARISTOS): One who is thankful.
4. avnqomologe,omai (ANTHOMOLOGEOMAI): To acknowledge
fully, to confess, to give thanks.
5. ca,rij (CHARIS): Grace, gratitude, thanks.
6. ai;nesij (AINESIS): Praise.
7. aivne,w (AINEO): To give praise.
8. e;painew (EPAINEO): Commendation, praise.
II. Definition and description.
A. Thanksgiving is an act or expression of giving thanks.
B. Thanksgiving may be rendered in any of several ways, including:
1. Privately, in one’s own heart, without any external display, to God the Father
(Col. 3:16-17).
2. Through songs of praise (Psa. 47:6; 147:1).
3. Through prayer (John 6:11, Philip. 4:6, Col. 1:3).
4. Through public worship (Neh. 12:27, 46; Psa.111:1; 149:1).
C. As believers we should be thankful because we recognize that we have peace with God and blessings from God on the basis of His grace (Rom. 5:1, 2).
D. Thanksgiving or praise to God is one of our spiritual sacrifices (Heb. 13:15).
E. Thanksgiving is one of the four aspects of prayer (C-TIP):
1. Confession (1 John 1:9).
2. Thanksgiving (Col. 1:3).
3. Intercession (prayer for others- Philip. 1:3-4).
4. Petition or prayer for self (Philip. 4:6).
III. Thanksgiving is commanded.
A. Believers are commanded to have an internal attitude of gratitude or thankfulness (Col. 3:15).
B. The Word of God is filled with exhortations and commands to express gratitude to God through thanksgiving (Psa 30:4; 97:12; 100:4; 105:1,2; 106:1; 148:1-14; 149:1-9; 150:1-6; Eph. 5:4; Col. 3:17; 1 Thess. 5:18).
C. The more one understands the person of God and his plan, the greater his capacity for spontaneous thanksgiving (Matt. 11:25; Col. 2:7).
D. In spite of Divine revelation, negative volition rejects God and His plan; since those who are negative are not grateful to God, they do not honor Him nor give thanks to Him (Rom. 1:21).
E. Thanksgiving is to be a daily activity, one that is carried on throughout the day; it is not a one day holiday that really has no meaning or importance in the plan of God (Psa. 119:164).
IV. Thanksgiving in the Old Testament.
A. The Levitical offerings contained a special category of peace offering known as the thanksgiving peace offering (Lev.7:11-18).
1. This offering celebrated the fact of reconciliation, namely that the believer has peace with God.
2. It was an expression of the thankfulness which comes from the knowledge that one is at peace with God (cp. Rom. 5:1, 8:1; Philip. 4:6-7).
B. Some examples of Old Testament believers who offered up thanksgiving to God:
1. Eliezer (Gen 24:26).
2. The Exodus generation (Ex 15:1-27).
3. The Temple dedication (2 Chron. 7:1-3).
4. David (Psa. 9:1, 21:1,2).
5. David appointed certain Levites, headed by Asaph, to form a choir whose job was to engage in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord (1 Chron. 16:4-7, 25:1-31).
6. This function was evident during the days of the restoration from the Babylonian captivity (Ezra 3:10,11; Neh.12:8).
V. Specific areas of thanksgiving.
A. The person of God (Psa. 54:6).
1. His attributes (Psa. 7:17; Rev. 4:9).
2. His characteristics (1 Chron. 16:34,41; Psa.145:8-13).
3. His creation; His actions (Psa. 136:1-26).
4. His eternal plan (Isa. 25:1).
B. The person and work of Christ (2 Cor. 9:13-15; Rev. 5:8-14).
C. The ministry of God the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-14; Rom.5:5,15:13; 1 Cor 6:19; 13:14;Eph. 1:13; 4:30; Titus 3:5; Jude 1:20).
D. The Word of God (Psa. 19:7-11; 138:1-4).
E. Prayer, and God’s answers (Dan. 2:23, John 11:41).
F. Living grace (Matt. 15:36; 1 Tim. 4:4-5).
G. The local church.
1. The believers (1 Cor 1:4; Col. 1:3).
2. The pastor-teacher (Eph. 4:11).
3. The royal chain of command (1 Thess. 5:12,13).
4. Orientation to Bible doctrine (Rom. 6:17).
5. Application of Bible doctrine (Phil. 1:3-5; 1 Thess. 1:2,3).
H. Salvation.
1. Phase one salvation (1 Cor. 1:4; Col. 1:12,13).
2. Phase two salvation or deliverance (Rom. 6:17,18; 1 Thess. 2:13,14).
3. Phase three salvation or deliverance (Rom. 7:24-25; 1 Cor. 15:51,57; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Peter 1:5).
I. SG3 (Col. 1:3-5,12).
J. Ph2 protection and vindication (Psa. 18:48,49, 140:12,13).
K. Right Man or Right Woman (Prov. 31:10-31).
L. Ph2 blessings (2 Cor. 9:11,12; Phil. 1:3-5, 4:18).
M. Divine guidance (Gen. 24:27).
N. The establishment chain of command (1 Tim. 2:1-3).
O. Our ambassadorship (2 Cor. 2:14).
P. The pastor-teacher experiences great joy and gratitude at the orientation and application of those under his charge (Philip. 1:3-11; 1 Thess. 1:2,3, 2:13,14, 3:6-9).
VI. Conclusions.
A. The purpose of this doctrine is to heighten our awareness of the importance of expressing our gratitude and thankfulness to God.
B. Since every aspect of His plan is predicated on His grace, not our merit, we are under exceedingly great obligation to Him.
C. Therefore, our mental attitude ought to be one which is dominated by thankfulness.
D. The greater our awareness of, and orientation to, Bible doctrine the greater will be our capacity for gratitude toward God.
E. Thanksgiving for the person and work of Jesus Christ should a primary function of our remembrance (avna,mnhsij ANAMNESIS) during the ritual of the Lord’s Table. The Greek word Eucharist, which means thankfulness, is frequently used to designate the ritual.
F. The righteous will give thanks forever, but there is no thanksgiving where the unbeliever goes (Psa. 52:8, 9; 79:13; Isa. 38:18; Luke 16:23-31; Matt. 13:42).
G. Thanksgiving is to be a major component in our prayer life (Phil. 4:6).
H. Lack of a thankful attitude is a characteristic of OSN activity; (Rom. 1:21; 2 Tim. 3:2).
I. Complaining is the verbal manifestation of a mental attitude that is not thankful to God for what He has provided.
“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving…”
Psalm 50:14
“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and
to him who orders his way aright I will show the
deliverance of God.”
Psalm 50:23