2016-07-31 - 1 Thessalonians Study
Letters to a Young Church ~ Paul on the Thessalonians
Being Jewish, one of the great joys of my youth was debating. I didn't care which side of an argument I was on, as long as I could win. I even handled faith the same way. I read lots of Josh McDowell books. Well actually I only got half way through More Evidence That Demands A Verdict; I thought it was sooo boring!!!! When I witnessed, I really wanted people to be saved. I knew it was my joy, and could win them through the force of my arguments. Funny thing was that I never did. It was only when I realized it was God's job, that I had the joy of seeing someone saved.
As part of Paul's letter, he again reiterates the emphasis of God’s work of in the lives of the Thessalonians, making it clear it was faith in God, not him (Paul), that led to their salvation.
It was a real joy for the missionary group, (Paul, Silvanus and Timothy) to be able to serve and work with this group of young believers. The Lord had given them something to observe, something that we don't often get the chance to see ourselves, the results of their work. The believers in this city had not only been saved, but they had already been demonstrating growth, increasing maturity, and showing the reality of the Gospel at work in their lives.
We have also seen there is a cost to serving the Lord. Paul and his associates had been persecuted in their attempts to give out the Gospel. They had been chased from city to city. But in spite of this, they had given out the Word, and people had been saved.
In this passage, we see Paul summarizing what he has observed in the lives of the Thessalonians. His focus is on the results of giving out the Gospel, as he talks about its acceptance, application, and his affection for those with whom he has had the joy of working. For Paul, the Thessalonians are the real believers.
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.