1 Thessalonians 1 Bible study

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The Pentecostal Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians

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Chapter 1

 

Introduction.

 

The letter of 1 Thessalonians was written by Paul, who with Silas and Timothy travelled to the province of Macedonia to preach the gospel after Paul had received a vision from the Lord (Acts 16:9). It was probably the first letter Paul wrote. We read of Paul's ministry in Thessalonica in Acts 17:1 - 9.

 

 

Greetings, Thanksgiving & Prayer.

 

1. Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

 

Paul commences his letter in the usual way, praying that the believers would continue to know God's grace (undeserved favour) and true heart peace (wholeness of life - W. BARCLAY).

 

The only source of these blessings is God the Father, and we only receive them through the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul knew that the church in Thessalonica was not his church - it belonged to God and was being built by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. We see from this verse our position as believers in Christ -since every believer has a personal relationship with God, we are in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:21 - 23).

 

2. We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly.

 

Paul always thanked God for the church at Thessalonica as he constantly brought them before God the Father in prayer.

 

 

The Product of the Gospel.

 

3. Remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Paul had reason to give thanks as he recalled the life changing effect the gospel had on the Thessalonians. He remembered how, on their conversion, they gave themselves completely to the Lord's work because of their sincere faith - a faith which prompts men to action. Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). The literal meaning of the words "work of faith" is "acts motivated by faith". Paul could tell that the Thessalonians' faith was genuine because of their lives turned around for God.

 

Their sincere love for Christ is what now motivated the Thessalonians. They continued to follow Christ in spite persecution. They had faced persecution very early on in their Christian life and were still suffering for their faith. It was their hope in Christ (which WE. Vine defines hope as "favourable and confident expectation") which enabled them to bear up under this trial. They knew that in Christ, they had something far more valuable and certain than anything in this life (Heb. 10:32 - 34).

 

4,5. For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake.

 

The apostles were assured that God was working in the Thessalonians and that He had chosen them, for the gospel message they preached was accompanied by the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit. The people received the word with much conviction and as a result many were soundly saved, receiving full assurance of salvation (Acts 17:4).

 

Paul also reminds the church in verse 5 of how, by the grace of God, he and his companions had lived whilst he was with them.

 

6. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit.

 

This example of sincere and godly living was being followed by all who received Christ as Saviour, although it brought with it persecution. The young church endured this persecution joyfully, being filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit (compare Acts 5:41). By their sufferings, the believers at Thessalonica were not only following the apostles, who suffered for their faith, but the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who by His suffering left us an example that we might follow in His steps (1 Pet. 2:21 ; 3:18). Paul always taught new converts that they would suffer trouble for their faith in the gospel (Acts 14:22).

 

7. So that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

 

In turn, by their faithfulness to Christ in the face of persecution, the Thessalonian believers had become examples to all the other believers throughout Greece. Just to think how great a change the gospel can produce!

 

Note:  Are we good examples to younger converts? "Christians have a big responsibility; people follow Christ by following us" WESLEY

 

 

The Power of the Gospel.

 

8,9. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God.

 

The conversion of the Thessalonians was being spoken of throughout the whole world.  It was common knowledge, giving witness to the power of the gospel, for it showed how the gospel could turn heathen idol worshippers into worshippers of the Only True and Living God (Psa. 115:4 - 7; John 4:24).

 

10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.

 

This was because God had revealed Himself to them through the gospel. We read the message Paul preached to them in Acts 17:3: explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead,

and saying, "This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ." (NKJVTM)

 

Paul always preached that Christ died for our sins, taking our place that He might deliver us from eternal death; that He rose again from the dead on the third day; that He is alive and able to save to the uttermost all who come to God through Him (Heb. 7:25); and that He will come again to take us to be with Himself. The coming of Christ for His own is the blessed hope of every believer. The Thessalonians eagerly awaited it ,and so should we (Tit. 2:11 - 13).

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