2016-04-19 - 1 Thessalonians Study
Letters to a Young Church ~ Introduction
When I was a child in Elementary and Jr. High School, I hated recess. Often I was the last one chosen for the team, or to play, because I wasn't very good. The environment was so negative for me, that even today, when I think about getting involved in exercise, I lie down until the thought goes away. When I was chosen, it was because the one doing the choosing had to; I was the last one left. I had nothing that would cause anyone to want to choose me, or at least that's how I felt.
Being the one who either wasn't chosen, or who was chosen out of necessity, hurt. But for us, there is one time where we are chosen, though having nothing worthy to be chosen for, when we can rejoice. This is when we are chosen by God for salvation. The reason we can rejoice, is because God chooses us out of His love and mercy - not because He has to - not because we deserve choosing.
We are a group of believers called to be a new body of Christ. We are here because we were chosen to salvation, undeserved, a gift of God, and as we open this study of the letter to the Thessalonians we will see that one of the sources of great joy for Paul was the reality of the call of God to the believers at Thessalonica. These believers were chosen by God as an illustration of His mercy, His grace.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless be- fore him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3–6).
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.