1 Thessalonians: Faith, Hope & Love
Only 6 of the many churches Paul started received a letter…Corinth and Thess received 2
50 or 51 AD Acts 17:1-10
Expectant church – all 5 chapters mention Jesus return.
Reputation of the Church
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Work of faith – they believed Jesus would return and reward them.
Labor of love – We love each other, because he loved us first.
Patience of hope – Confidence in Jesus soon return motivated them.
God gave Paul a sudden harvest in Thess.
Often the work is difficult…Carey in India, Judson in Burma, Morrison in China, and Moffat in Africa each waited 7 years for their first convert.
1 Thessalonians 1:6-7 So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.
The Holy Spirit gave them joy! We do not go through persecution alone…the Lord meets us in it!
1 Thessalonians 1:8 And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it.
The word translated ringing out…is very picturesque. The Greek letters simply changed into English characters spell our word ECHO. The gospel is reverberating to Greece and everywhere.
They were very open about their faith!
1 Thessalonians 2:13 Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.
Reputation of His Enemies
1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 And then, dear brothers and sisters, you suffered persecution from your own countrymen. In this way, you imitated the believers in God’s churches in Judea who, because of their belief in Christ Jesus, suffered from their own people, the Jews. For some of the Jews killed the prophets, and some even killed the Lord Jesus. Now they have persecuted us, too. They fail to please God and work against all humanity as they try to keep us from preaching the Good News of salvation to the Gentiles.
Know God’s Will
1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor…
Be Holy as I am Holy – peculiar people
1 Thessalonians 4:9 But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.
Love of God…
Know God’s Way
1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.
Christians were dying…they believed Jesus would come in their lifetime due to what Jesus said to John.
Responsibility of the Church
Be watchful – 1 Thessalonians 5:6
Be respectful – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
Be mindful – 1 Thessalonians 5:14
Be joyful – 1 Thessalonians 5:16
Be prayerful – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Be faithful – 1 Thessalonians 5:21