2016-05-08 - 1 Thessalonians Study
Letters to a Young Church ~ Chp 1 Verses 4-5
Verses 4-5: Paul goes on to note that this relationship to God is a product of the fact that they were loved by Him, and they were chosen by Him.
“Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love” (Ephesians 1:4).
This was demonstrated by the fact that when Paul and his associates brought the Gospel to Thessalonica, it was empowered by the Holy Spirit. It was that empowering that was the basis of its efficacy, and therefore their salvation. The other factor in the power of the Gospel was the quality of the witness of Paul, Silvanus and Timothy. Paul pointed out that his group's walk was in part a demonstration of their concern for the Thessalonians.
I think that this makes clear the two aspects of the power of the Gospel, in terms of our own witness. First and foremost, we must understand that we can save no one. It is the call and power of the Holy Spirit that leads to the individual being saved. But, and it's a big but, we are called to witness, and it is the quality of our witness that we are accountable for. The question is; “Is our walk consistent with our words?” Paul's certainly was. While no one is saved or lost based on our walk, we will be judged based on it.
“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:11–15)
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.