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1 Thessalonians 1

Paul’s Relationship with the Thessalonians
1 Thessalonians 1 – 3
1 Thessalonians 1 – 3.

In ch.1 of First Thessalonians, Paul commends the saints for believing the gospel, and maintaining a bright testimony for the Son of God, in the midst of a pagan world. In ch.2, Paul reminds the Thessalonians of his behavior among them, to show that he loved and cared deeply for them. In ch.3, Paul explains that he greatly desired to see them again, and attributed the riots of Acts 17 to Satan's efforts to hinder him. Paul says that he was "bereaved" of their company, and "separated for a little moment in person, not in heart" (1 Thess. 2:17). This was to show that his sudden departure was no indication that he loved them any less. If anything, the epistle would show that Paul had a special place in his heart for new converts. It was Paul's great love for the Thessalonians that caused him to send Timothy back to Thessalonica while Paul was in Athens (1 Thess. 3:1). When Timothy returned with a good report, it caused Paul to praise the Lord, and beseech Him for an opportunity to return to Thessalonica in person. Nevertheless, Paul recognized that he would have to wait for God's direction. By the language of ch.3, it would appear that the timing of the first epistle was shortly after Timothy's return; "Timotheus having just come to us from you" (1 Tim. 3:6). Since Paul was only a short time in Athens, he probably wrote 1 Thessalonians from Corinth, where he stayed for eighteen months.

Thanks for the Thessalonians: Their Conversion and Testimony
1 Thessalonians 1

Salutation (1:1)

1 Paul and Silvanus and Timotheus to the assembly of Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you and peace. v.1 As usual when writing to an assembly, Paul includes with him at least one other brother, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses everything might be established. When the saints in Thessalonica were saved, Paul recognized that it was a work of the Spirit of God. The Spirit formed a local assembly in that location! Paul did not refer these new converts to Philippi or Berea for fellowship; they had all that was needed.

A Blessing to Others (1:2)

2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you at our prayers, 

A Balanced Walk: Faith, Hope and Love (1:3)

3 remembering unceasingly your work of faith, and labour of love, and enduring constancy of hope, of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father; 

A Part of God’s Sovereign Purpose (1:4)

4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, your election. v.4 Paul viewed them in light of God’s sovereignty. It was really a work of God that the Thessalonians were saved. Sometimes we think that we should avoid the subject of election with new believers because it is so debated among Christians. But Paul didn’t avoid it. Election is a truth that should be taught to babes in Christ. It has a remarkable way of stabilizing and comforting the soul.

The Subject of Paul’s Labors: Assurance of Salvation (1:5)

5 For our glad tidings were not with you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance; even as ye know what we were among you for your sakes: 

Discipleship and Testimony to Believers: Waiting for the Son (1:6-10)

6 and “ye” became our imitators, and of the Lord, having accepted the word in much tribulation with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that ye became models to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia: 8 for the word of the Lord sounded out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith which is towards God has gone abroad, so that we have no need to say anything; vv.6-8 These young believers became a testimony, whether or not they were conscious of it or not.
9 for they themselves relate concerning us what entering in we had to you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to await his Son from the heavens, whom he raised from among the dead, Jesus, our deliverer from the coming wrath. vv.9-10 Their conversion salvation and expectation. 
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