1 Thessalonians Chapter One
I. Content of the Chapter
A. The basic elements of the normal blessedness (v.1-5):
1. Because of the perfect coordination of the
fellow workers (v
2. Because of the provision of God and Christ (v.1b);
3. Because of the constant remembrance of the Lord’s workers in prayers (v.2-3);
4. Because of the love and election of God (v.4);
5. Because of the right gospel preached by the normal workers (v.5);
B. The normal blessed conditions (v.6-10):
1. With joy of the Holy Spirit in much
2. Receive the word and become followers of the Lord’s workers (v.6b);
3. Have the work of faith and become examples to all those who believe (v.7-8);
4. Turn to God from idols and serve God with labor of love (v.9);
5. Wait for the Lord’s second coming in patience of hope (v.10);
II. Verse by Verse commentary
1Thess. 1:1 “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
YLT: “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, to the assembly of Thessalonians in God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!”
Meaning of Words: “Paul”: tiny, little; “Silvanus”: woody, of many trees; “Timothy”: honor God, dear to God, whom God honors;
Literal Meaning: “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy”, “Silvanus” and “Timothy” were fellow workers that Paul elected in his second missionary journey (Acts 15:40; 16:1-3). Both of them were gifted with the talent of teaching (see 2Cor. 1:19), and were also taught and developed by Paul. Here, though Paul mentions Silvanus and Timothy together, the epistle must still be written by Paul himself, not by them together. Paul mentions their names to show respect to his fellow workers and wishes that the church will also respect them.
“Silvanus”, the name is slightly different from that in the Book of Acts (“Silas”), but both of the names refer to the same person. Paul prefers to use the formal names in his epistles, and Luke likes to use the informal and intimate names.
“To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”, “Thessalonians”, Thessalonica, the place where the church is in; “in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”, it shows the nature of the church ---- those who are composed of the church have received the life of God and become the children of God, so they call God the Father. They are also those who have obtained the salvation of Jesus Christ and become those who are of Him, so they call Him the Lord.
“The church”, the word in the original is composed of “out of” and “calling”, so it means that “those who are called out of are gathered”. The church is those who are called out of the world by God and are gathered before Him and receive His word, and thus the church is enabled to preach the gospel to testify Him and serve Him in life and shine on the earth and wait for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ from the heaven.
“In…”, it indicates that the church is apparently in the world and yet is living in God and Christ. “In…”, it contains the meanings as bellows: 1) the testimony of the church is in God and Christ. It is not the church without God and Christ; 2) the church is kept and protected in God and Christ (John 10:28-29); 3) the church can obtain the provision and enjoyment of life in God and Christ; 4) when the church is built in God and Christ, the whole body will be fitted and knit together.
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” “Grace”: graciousness, namely, the favor given by God to men for free enjoyment; the greatest grace to men is that God delights in men’s obtaining and enjoying of Him. “Peace”, it does not refer to peaceful or smooth environment, but quite and restful mood in one’s heart. In other words, peace is a kind of mood of those who have enjoyed God’s salvation, which brings peace between God and men, and among men themselves.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Paul keeps the basic attitude of disinterestedness and unselfishness in his works ---- he does not have all the effect of the works to himself and is disposed to share the accomplishments. No wonder that he has received great effect in his preachment.
2) Every Christian shall never regard the divine works as his own work, but shall be willing to work with others together and share happiness as well as misery. Everyone has to devote his labor and mind for the Lord and the church.
3) Today, the Lord’s workers are nominal fellow workers, for they scheme against each other and are wary of one another for fear of being taken advantage of, thus attacking one another.
4) Those five thousands-gifted leading servants should be willing to raise those common fellow workers like Paul so as to change the bad habits and set examples for the church.
5) The church is composed of the local members (those who are in Thessalonica) who have the same life in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. A local church is composed of all believers there in Christ.
6) The true church is living in God and God lives in the church ---- the church can not exist without God.
7) Since the church is “in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”, no matter it is favourable or unfavourable, God will take care of and protect the church.
8) Since the church is of God, every believer is of God. Since we have God who is in charge of all, what do we fear on earth? What is more, God is willing to bestow grace and peace to all those who are of Him.
9) Since Christians are those who have enjoyed the grace of God, their life must have its pleasantness. Christianity that is of no attraction is not true Christianity.
10) Grace is a gift that men can not obtain by themselves, for men are unworthy of receiving grace through themselves
11) Grace is the source of peace, and peace is the fruit of grace. It is impossible for men to obtain peace before receiving grace.
12) “Grace” is the source of all blessings. And those who have received grace will have “peaceful” effects in his life.
13) We have no true peace without the grace of God. If we have no spiritual peace, it shows that we have not truly known and received the grace of God.
14) We shall not seek peace outside of God. The shortcut of true peace is keeping the will of God.
15) The “peace” of believers has nothing to do with objective environment or external things
16) “Grace” is God’s generosity toward men. Peace is the state of believers toward God. The more faith believers have in God, the more will they enjoy grace. The more believers obey God, the more peace will they enjoy.
1Thess. 1:2 “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers,”
YLT: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers,”
Meaning of Words: “always”: unceasingly;
Literal Meaning: “we give thanks to God always for you all”, “we” refers to Paul and his fellow workers (including Silvanus and Timothy); “you all”: refer to believers in Thessalonica; “always”, it shows that the thanksgiving out of sincerity endures long.
“Making mention of you in our prayers”: make mention of your names in our prayers;
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The commonest mistake that men (including believers) often make is the lack of appreciation to others and thanksgiving to God. Therefore, they are often dissatisfied, complaining and grievous.
2) Paul gives thanks to God for the condition of the receivers after greeting in almost every epistle, which indicates that he always sees the advantages of believers and then mentions the points in which they have to improve.
3) Each believer has some good points more or less. If we desire to remove one’s weak points, the best way is to praise his strong points. If we want to improve one’s disadvantages, the best way is to praise his advantages.
4) Someone says, “When we see other believers, we shall see the new creation in them. When we see ourselves, we shall see the old creation”. Therefore, we will appreciate others and give thanks to God for them.
5) Paul gives thanks to God for the conditions of believers, which also indicates that if Christians have good performance, it is always out of the grace of God and the production of men’s enjoyment of God’s grace.
1Thess. 1:3 “remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,”
YLT: “unceasingly remembering of you the work of the faith, and the labour of the love, and the endurance of the hope, of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the presence of our God and Father,”
Meaning of Words: “work”: toil, act, deed, doing; “labor”: trouble, weariness;
Literal Meaning: “your work of faith”, “work” refers to toil or deed. True faith will surely produce the work of faith (see James 2:17, 22). The problem is that many believers’ works or deeds are not out of faith, but of their own ability and talent. Such works have no difference with that of the common people.
“Labor of love”, “love” (“agape” in the original): the unselfish, generous, perfect and divine love; here the love includes love to both God and men;
True love will yield selfless solicitude and help, making men disposed to offer themselves and pay the cost and work hard in order to perfect others.
“And patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father”, there is a definite article before “hope” in the original, which refers to the hope of the Lord’s second coming. Believers will truly obtain the adoption, namely, the redemption of our body, when the Lord comes again (Rom. 8:23). However, we can not be set free form the bondage of corruption. And since the outward man perishes day by day (2Cor. 4:16) and we have tribulations in the world (John 16:33), we need endurance.
“Patience”, it is not only passive endurance but also long-suffering leading to positive victory against difficulties.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) We call God the Father, for He has begotten us so that we have the life of God and become the children of God. And the life of God has sure proof and testimony, namely, “work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope”.
2) Once Christians have faith, it will be manifested in their works, for the faith without works is dead (James 2:17).
3) He who really has faith will surely have works. Therefore, only the works done by faith are the works that God remembers.
4) “Work of faith”, faith is the motive power of believers’ works as well as the nature of our works. All our works should be out of faith and according to the principle of faith.
5) “Labor of love”, love is the motive of believers’ labor. All the labor of love in the Lord is not in vain (1Cor. 15:58).
6) “And patience of hope”, hope is the origin of believers’ patience. Less hope, less patience. More hope, more patience.
7) The synchronous mention of the three
spiritual merits in the New Testament (
8) Faith, love and hope are the basic elements in Christians’ life and work (1Cor. 13:13). If these three points are omitted, our life and work will be of no difference with men in the world.
9) Faith, love and hope must yield the fruit of works ---- “work, labor and patience”. However, we have to be careful, for our “work and labor and patience” may not be out of faith, or love or hope (see Rev. 2:2).
10) In faith, man will have efficacious work. And in love, man will be disposed to labor. And in hope, man will work in difficulty with patience.
11) The work of faith will be more strengthened by love and thus bear the fruit of labor. And sometimes the labor of love may come to an end, so we need hope to continue the work of love.
12) Faith is the beginning and foundation of the life and work of Christians. Love is the nature and character of the life and work of Christians. Hope is the maintenance and encouragement of the life and work of Christians.
13) Faith is built in the past, and love is manifested at present, and hope is looking upon the future. Such order is rather natural.
14) Faith is towards God (v.8), and love is towards others (3:2), and hope is towards oneself ---- receive the perfect salvation when the Lord comes again (1:10; 5:8, 23).
15) “Work of faith” is manifested in the sacrificed service and individual life; “labor of love” is manifested in the church life of having the same concern and helping one for another; “patience of hope” is shown in afflictions and difficulties.
16) The faith and hope and love of a Christian do not lie in his mouth, but in his life ---- he shall often have the reality and practice of faith, hope and love.
17) Though it is difficult to measure how much faith and love and hope we have on earth, we can roughly know the degree of our faith and love and hope from our work, and the labor out of love and the patience in tribulations.
18) Many Christians claim to have believed the Lord, and yet have no good or clean works; they claim to love the Lord, and yet are indisposed to serve the Lord by labor; they claim to have the hope of eternal life in the Lord, and yet can not bear the tribulations caused by faith at all.
1Thess. 1:4 “knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.”
YLT: “having known, brethren beloved, by God, your election,”
Literal Meaning: “beloved brethren”, it is not only beloved in the past but also at present.
“Knowing … your election by God”, “know”: in the original, it is the knowledge
obtained by observation, not by revelation or acquisition. “Election”, it is in
the heart of God, and no man “knows”. However, the election will produce faith,
for faith is the gift of God (
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) It is utterly out of God’s great love that we are elected by Him to be His people. The love of God is the most important element of our election by Him.
2) Our active response to the gospel proves that we are elected by God (see v.3, 6-7), through which others will also know our election by God.
3) The election will be accomplished by both the preachment of the gospel by His servants as well as the reception of those who hear the gospel. Therefore, if there is no preachment or reception of the gospel, we can never know who is elected by God.
4) God has His will and purpose in His election. Therefore, after we have been saved, we should walk according to the will and purpose of God. Thus the grace of God will not be given to us in vain and our life will be meaningful.
1Thess. 1:5 “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.”
YLT: “because our good news did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, even as ye have known of what sort we became among you because of you,”
Meaning of Words: “gospel”: good news;
Literal Meaning: “For our gospel did come to you”, “our gospel” refers to the gospel
preached by Paul and his fellow workers, namely, the gospel of God (
“Not … in word only”, “word” refers to the message of the gospel. Though the gospel truth needs to be preached and opened by man’s words, man’s word is not the only and chief channel. Man’s word can produce its effect in power and the Spirit and assurance and conversation.
“But also in power and in the Holy Spirit”, “power” refers to the great power that God has manifested in the gospel (Rom. 1:16), which is able to subdue man’s heart (they were pricked in heart; Acts 2:37). “And in the Holy Spirit”, it refers to the transmission of God’s power ---- shine and condemn in men’ heart (John 16:8-11) and lead men to know the gospel truth (John 16:13).
“And in much assurance”, here the “assurance” refers to the assurance of the preacher, not that of those who hear the gospel. The assurance of the preacher will make the working of the power of the gospel and the Spirit to extremes.
“As you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake”, “what kind of men we were”, it refers to the daily and conversation (see Phil. 1:27). If the gospel has not been proved in the preachers, it will not convince those who believe.
The five key elements of the preachment of the gospel are mentioned in this verse: 1) word ---- the content of the gospel; 2) power ---- the power of the gospel; 3) the Spirit ---- the transmission of the gospel; 4) assurance ---- the working of the power of the gospel; 5) conversation ---- the testimony of the gospel;
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “Not … in word only”, it does not mean
that the word is not important. Eloquence and proper word are still needed in
the preachment of the gospel (see Eph. 6:19;
2) We do not preach the gospel by word vainly
but manifest the power of God (
3) The word of God should not be preached as some knowledge, but with “power” so as to shine and reproach men so that men will bow down to confess their sins.
4) He who preaches the word of God should firstly be immersed and filled with God’s word and let the word work in himself and then he will be able to preach the word with power (see Matt. 7:28). In other words, he who preaches the word of God should take the lead in obeying the word of God.
5) If there is not the working of the Spirit, the word we preach will be in vain. The Spirit not only exposes man’s sins but also bears witness to the Lord Jesus Christ (John 15:26-27).
6) If we desire to bear witness to the Lord, we need both the indwelling Spirit and overflowing Spirit, thus being enabled to obtain the spiritual power (Acts 1:8).
7) The “much assurance” is needed in the preachment of the gospel, for assurance will yield more assurance. The preacher himself shall firstly have much assurance. Then he is able to help those who hear the gospel to obtain assurance by words.
8) If the preacher does not completely believe what he preaches is true from the bottom of his heart, the message will be of no effect. If we preach the gospel with much assurance, the gospel of God will be more proved to be true and reliable.
9) The apostles not only preach the gospel with all their strength, but also live the gospel with all their heart. The life they are living for the sake of others is the best testimony of the gospel they have preached.
10) Believers should take heed of their conversation for the sake of men in the world ---- we shall firstly have a kind of life worthy of the gospel (Phil. 1:27). One who is causal in his walking is unable to have true effect when he preached the gospel to others.
11) Faith with works can bear good witness to the Lord, for men in the world are unable to see God, but able to see those who are with God.
12) If one who is morally corrupted preaches the gospel, it is rather unconvincing.
1Thess. 1:6 “And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,”
YLT: “and ye -- ye did become imitators of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Spirit,”
Literal Meaning: “in much affliction”, “affliction”, here it especially refers to the persecution of believers in Thessalonica (see 2:14).
“With joy of the Holy Spirit”, such joy is the fruit after one is filled with the Spirit (Gal. 5:22).
“Joy” is opposite to “affliction”. The affliction should make men distressed, but such joy of the Holy Spirit makes men transcend the affliction and even ignore it.
“Having received the word”, “word”: “logos”, namely, the truth of the gospel;
“You became followers of us and of the Lord”, “follower”, here it especially emphasizes the imitation of the apostles’ “faith” (see v.5, 8) as well as the spirit of the Lord and the apostles who are disposed to suffer the persecution or affliction (see 2:4).
Note that here “us” is before “the Lord”, for they have firstly seen the examples of the Lord’s workers and then see the Lord from them.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Martin Luther said, “Since our Lord wore the
crown of the thorns, we who follow Him would not expect to wear the crown of
roses”. Affliction is ordained to all the true believers in the world (John
2) “In much affliction… with joy”, such joy is not the joy because of the smooth environment, but the joy in the Holy Spirit only.
3) “Affliction”: it is persecution on account of belief; “joy”: it is given by the Holy Spirit. Both of them are not of man himself, but out of the appointment of God. Therefore, man needs not to seek them particularly.
4) If a Christian is indisposed to suffer for the sake of the gospel, he is unable to understand how amazing and abundant the joy that God has bestowed in tribulations through the Spirit is.
5) A preacher himself should be an imitator of the Lord so that he will also become the object for others to imitate. When imitate the leaders that have spoken to us, we imitate the Lord in them instead of the external speech or acts of them.
6) The true workers of the Lord always turn believers’ eyes from them to the Lord. And the “lawless workers” (Matt. 7:23) only make men praise, admire or uphold their own advantages, not see the Lord.
1Thess. 1:7 “so that you became
examples to all in
YLT: “so that ye became patterns to all those believing in Macedonia and Achaia,”
Meaning of Words: “example”: pattern, model, form;
Literal Meaning: “Macedonia and Achaia”, both of them were provinces that time, which now occupy a half of the domain of Greece.
“Became examples to all”, they became typical Christians for believers to learn and imitate.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Believers in Thessalonica had become the examples to all those who had believed the Lord, which had great concern with their good and clean beginning when they were saved (v.6).
2) If we want to be the examples of all those who have believed the Lord, we shall be firstly the imitators of those who preached the word of God to us, namely, the imitators of the Lord Jesus manifested on them (v.6).
3) The good examples of workers produce the good examples of believers. If the preachers set them as examples, it will be more influential than any doctrine.
4) Many believers are concerned about our condition after we have believed the Lord.
1Thess. 1:8 “For from you the word of
the Lord has sounded forth, not only in
YLT: “for from you hath sounded forth the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God did go forth, so that we have no need to say anything,”
Meaning of Words: “sound forth”: sound out, resound, echo; “go out”: issue, depart, escape, go forth;
Literal Meaning: “the word of the Lord has sounded forth…Your faith toward God has gone out”, “the word of the Lord” refers to the objective word of the Lord (logos); “your faith” refers to the subjective faith of believers, namely, faith with works (v.3). Believers testify and declare the word of the Lord through the work of faith, so both of them are preached out together.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The fearless spirit manifested by the early church was really as loud as the sound of the horn.
2) Both “the word of the Lord” and “faith toward God” are partners of testimony. When “faith toward God” is matched with “the word of the Lord”, there will produce great influence.
3) The main reason for the wide preachment of the gospel is that those who have believed the Lord bear good witness to their faith earnestly.
4) The life of believers in Thessalonica has borne witness to the word of the Lord and has sounded it forth. The life of Christians is inseparable from the word of life. The word of the Lord can not be preached out unless there is the new life out of the word of life.
1Thess. 1:9 “For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,”
YLT: “for they themselves concerning us do declare what entrance we had unto you, and how ye did turn unto God from the idols, to serve a living and true God,”
Meaning of Words: “declare”: announce; “entry”: entrance, coming; “serve”: be a slave to, be in bondage;
Literal Meaning: “for they themselves declare
concerning us”, “they themselves” refer to all the believers in
“What manner of entry we had to you”, “what manner of entry”: Paul himself has provided explanation in chapter two (v.1-12).
“And how you turned to God from idols”, “idols” refer to all the false gods and the devil and evil spirits behind them as well as all things that men seek and worship outside of God.
We can see from this verse that most of the members
in the church in Thessalonica are Gentile pagans. In the first century,
serve the living and true God”, it shows that the
purpose of our life after we have been saved is serving God. Since we are
beloved and elected by God, we are supposed to present our bodies a living
sacrifice to serve Him (
“The living and true”, it shows that the idols are dead and false.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The “declaration” of believers everywhere indicates it is obvious to all that in what manner of entry the Lord’s workers preach the gospel into a certain place and how the believers serve God there.
2) The God that Christians believe is a living and true God, who is utterly different from the pagans’ worship of idols.
3) When we preach the gospel to the Gentiles, we should primarily pay attention to lead them to “turn to God from idols” (see Acts 14:15).
4) If a believer has really seen the falsehood of idols and the living and true God he believes, he will surely turn to God from idols and serve Him in delight.
5) God is a God of jealousy, who never allows men to have other worship outside of Him. Therefore, we should forsake and put all things of idolatry and superstition to an end.
6) A true Christian has not any idol. He has not only forsaken the idols made by hands but also refused anything outside of God to occupy his heart.
7) We “have turned to God”, not to any group or any spiritual giant or any doctrine.
8) Since we “have once turned to God”, we will be always of Him. We can neither turn to God and to the world at the same time, nor love God and pleasures of sin.
9) In our daily life, if God is not living and true on us, men cannot feel the living and true God from us.
10) Christians serve the living and true God all their life, not their own bellies (see Rom. 16:18).
1Thess. 1:10 “and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
YLT: “and to wait for His Son from the heavens, whom He did raise out of the dead -- Jesus, who is rescuing us from the anger that is coming.”
Literal Meaning: “and to wait for His Son from heaven”, “and” shows that “wait for …” parallels “serve God …” in verse nine. “Wait for …”, it is another important sign of believers’ turning to God. This verse indicates that the believers clearly lead a life of “waiting for” the Lord’s second coming.
“Wait”, it is the present tense in the original, which means waiting for the Lord’s second coming everyday all the time.
He raised from the dead”, “He” refers to God the Father; it is God that
raised His Son from the dead
(Acts 2:24; Rom. 4:24; 10:9; 1Pet. 1:21).
God raised the Lord Jesus, which has at least the following purposes: 1)
declare the Lord Jesus is the Son of God (
“Even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come”, “deliver”: draw, rescue; redemption is done once, but deliverance is repeated and continual. The Lord Jesus has delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver and will also deliver us (see 2Cor. 1:10).
wrath to come”, it refers to the
judgment of God upon sins (
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) When Christians are called, their hands shall catch the opportunities to serve God and their hearts shall wait for the coming glory. We shall have faithful service and patient waiting before the inheritance of the glory in the heavens.
2) The Lord Jesus redeemed us by His crucifixion and resurrection in his first coming upon the earth so that we shall be delivered from the coming wrath of God. When the Lord comes again, he shall let us realize what we wait for and hope.
3) The typical pattern of the apostles’ preachment at that time is mentioning the resurrection of Christ together with His second coming (see Acts 17:31).
4) How the Lord treats us in His second coming is determined by how we “wait for” Him today. And our condition of “waiting for” the Lord today is completely relevant to the condition of our serving God today (v.9).
III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons
A. A church who is strong in service (v.1-4):
1. She has workers who serve the Lord
faithfully ---- Paul, Silvanus,
and Timothy (v
2. She is a local church belonging to the saints (v.1b);
3. She is a church built in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (v.1b);
4. She has the greatest gift of God ---- grace
and peace (v
5. She is a church for whom the worker gives
thanks and prays and remembers unceasingly (v.2
6. She is a church who work by labor and with patience:
a. Work of faith (v.3b);
b. Labor of love (v.3b);
c. Patience of hope
7. She is a beloved and elected church (v.4).
B. A church who has strongly converted to God (v.5-10):
1. They have workers who preach the gospel in right way:
a. The preachment of the gospel does not come in word only (v
b. The preachment of the gospel is also in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance (v.5b);
c. They preachers shall walk properly for the sake of the gospel (v
2. They receive the word of truth in spite of
objection and persecution (v
3. They have good testimony (v.6b-8):
a. They became followers of the Lord’s workers and of the Lord (v.6b);
b. They became examples to all those who believe the Lord nereby (v.7);
c. The word of the Lord has sounded forth from them (v
d. Their faith has gone out everywhere (v.8b);
4. They have true transformations (v.9-10):
a. They turned to God from idols (v.9b);
b. They serve the
living and true God (v
c. They wait for the Lord Jesus from heaven (v.10);
A. Three model workers ---- Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy (v.1);
B. Three kinds of model ministries ---- prayer, oral teaching, conversation (v.2, 5);
C. Three aspects of model prayer ---- thanksgiving, remembrance and knowledge (v.2-4);
D. Three layers of model messages ---- power, the Holy Spirit and much assurance (v.5);
E. Three model responses ---- turn, serve and wait (v.9-10);
F. Three kinds of model manifestations ---- work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope (v.3);
G. Three stages of model progress ---- receive the word, become followers of the Lord and of His workers, become examples to all those who believe the Lord (v.6-7);
How to Give Thanks to God for Other Believers?
A. The way of thanksgiving ---- prayer (v.2);
B. The form of thanksgiving ---- remembrance (v.3);
C. The reason for thanksgiving ---- knowledge (v.4, 6-10);
Three Kinds of Virtues of Believers (v.3)
A. To God ---- faith ---- which is manifested in their work;
B. To men ---- love ---- which is manifested in their labor;
C. To oneself ---- hope ---- which is manifested in their patience;
Three Groups of the Relative Words
A. Faith, love and hope (v.3);
B. Work, labor and patience (v.3);
C. Turn, serve and wait (v.9-10);
Know the Salvation
A. Salvation is out of the Holy Trinity:
1. The election of God the Father in love (v.4);
2. Jesus Christ delivers men through His death and resurrection (v.10);
3. The Holy Spirit preaches the gospel into men’s heart (v.5);
B. Three manifestations of salvation ---- faith, love and hope (v.3):
1. We are not saved by faith and works, but by the faith producing works (James 2:14-26);
2. We love God and brothers, for the love of
God is shed abroad in our hearts (
3. Only those who are truly saved will wait for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ earnestly with patience (v.10).
C. Three ways of preaching the salvation for men (v.5):
1. Open the gospel by men’s words;
2. Manifest the Spirit and power by men’s faith;
3. Manifest the life by men’s conversation;
D. Three practical effects of the salvation:
1. With joy of the Holy Spirit (v.6);
2. The word of the Lord has sounded forth (v.8);
3. Believers serve the living and true God (v.9);
Three Great Elements of Believing and Receiving the Lord
A. Election by God
(v.4; see 2Thess. 2:
B. Man’s Preachment of the gospel (v
C. The inspiration of the Spirit (v.5b; see 2Thess. 2:13b);
The Fellow Workers of the Holy Trinity
A. Concerning the preachment of the gospel:
1. God the Father elected men in love (v.4);
2. The Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead for men and delivered men from the wrath to come (v.10);
3. The Spirit makes the word of the gospel work in men (v.5);
B. Concerning the relationship with believers:
1. The living and true God is the object of our service (v.9);
2. The Lord Jesus Christ is the object of our imitation and hope (v.6, 3);
3. The Holy Spirit is the reason for our joy (v.6);
The Models of Those Who Believe the Lord
A. Received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy
B. Become followers of those who preach God’s word and of the Lord (v.6b);
C. The word of the Lord and the faith toward God have sounded forth (v.8);
D. Turned to God from idols (v.9b);
E. Serve the living and true God (v
F. Wait for His Son from heaven (v.10);
G. Manifest the virtues of faith and love and hope (v.3);
The Models of the Preachment of the Gospel
A. In word (v
B. In power and in the Holy Spirit (v.5b) ---- the working and inspiration of the Spirit (see 2Thess. 2:13);
C. In much assurance (v.5b) ---- preach in faith;
D. As you (those who hear the
what kind of men we were (v
The Chain Effects of the Model Christians
A. The first perfect example is the Lord Himself
B. The Lord’s servants who imitate the Lord’s example become the examples of common believers (v.5b-6b);
C. True believers who imitate the Lord’s servants are just imitators of the Lord, thus becoming the examples of all those who believe the Lord (v.6b-7);
The Thessalonians Manifest Their Faith and Hope and Love by Conversation
A. The manifestations of faith:
1. Become followers of the Lord and the Lord’s servants and become examples to all those who believe the Lord (v.6-7);
2. Turn to God from idols (v.9);
B. The manifestations of love:
1. Preach the word of the Lord (v.8);
2. Serve the living and true God (v.9)
C. The manifestations of hope:
1. In much affliction with joy of the Holy Spirit (v.5);
2. Wait for the Son from heaven (v.10);
The Conditions that Believers Are Supposed to Have
A. From idols ---- abandon the idols (v.9b);
B. Turn to ---- turn to God (v.9b);
C. Serve ---- serving the living and true God
D. Wait ---- wait for His Son from heaven (v.10);
The Past, the Present and the Future of Believers
A. The past ---- turn to God from idols (v.9b);
B. The present ----serve the true God (v
C. The future ---- wait for the Son from heaven (v.10);
Three “C”s that the
A. Conversation (the transformation of belief) ---- turned to God from idols ---- the domain of faith (v.9b);
B. Consecration (the transformation of
identity) ---- serve
the living and true God ---- the realm of
C. Contemplation (the transformation of purpose) ---- wait for His Son from heaven ---- the sphere of hope (v.10);
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Mary Zhou