2016-06-05 - 1 Thessalonians Study
Letters to a Young Church ~ From Modeling Others to Models for Others
1 Thessalonians 1:7-9
Just as the Thessalonians modeled their lives after Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, just as they modeled their lives after Christ, they were also serving as models for others. Just as they served as examples for others, so we are to serve as models. You can hear the joy in Paul’s voice, as he speaks of the quality of their witness and the scope of its outreach. It almost sounds as if he is speaking with an astonished pleasure. Not only have these individuals come to know Christ, but now others are learning of Him through them.
Paul notes that as they turned to God, they simultaneously turned from idols. That is, as a result of their salvation, they also repented from their unacceptable lifestyles. They couldn’t worship God, yet at the same time, fall down before idols. This change was observed by the people around them. They were no longer of the world, but of the Lord. It seems that when one is saved, there will be immediate changes in one’s life. This, in and of itself, was testimony of their election, of their salvation.
The product of their salvation was a quality of life, a quality of walk, that led to an awareness of their faith throughout the area; in fact, everywhere the word of their salvation had gone, so had the word of the quality of their faith, their walk.
The thinking in Greek is the root of the word we use, echo (eksechetai, rang out). The word of the Lord had sounded forth throughout the area, because of their testimony. These areas included southern parts of Greece, in provinces other than their own. In fact, the idea of echo is carried out by Paul, saying that the report has come back (echoed back) of their growth. It is men of these other locations that have given reports to Paul about the quality of the lives of the Thessalonians. In fact, these individuals were aware of the lives of the Thessalonians, both before and after they were saved, and it was this that must have made an impression.
To be continued.
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.
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