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1 Thessalonians Chapter One


1 Thessalonians 1

The apostle, in declaring (as was his custom) that which he felt respecting them-the aspect in which they appeared to his heart and mind, speaks neither of gifts, as to the Corinthians, nor of the grand features of an exaltation that embraced the Lord and all saints, as to the Ephesians and even to the Colossians (with the addition of that which their state required); nor of the brotherly affection and fellowship of love which the Philippians had manifested in their connection with himself; nor of a faith that existed apart from his labors, and in communion with which he hoped to refresh himself, adding to it that which his abundant gifts enabled him to impart to them, as he writes to the Romans whom he had not yet seen.

Here it is the life itself of the Christian in its first fresh impressions, in its intrinsic qualities, as it developed itself by the energy of the Holy Ghost on earth, the life of God here below in them, which he remembers in his prayers with so much satisfaction and joy. Three great principles, he tells the Corinthians (l Cor.13) form the basis, and ever abide as the foundation of this life-faith, hope, and love. Now these three were the powerful and divine motives of the life of the Thessalonians. This life was not merely a habit; it flowed, in its outward activities, from immediate communion with its source. These activities were quickened and maintained by divine life, and by keeping the eye constantly fixed upon the object of faith. There was work, and labour, and endurance. There were the same in Ephesus, as we see it in Revelation 2. But here it was a work of faith, labour undertaken by love, endurance fed by hope. Faith, hope, and love are, we have seen, the springs of Christianity in this world. The work, the labour, the endurance continued at Ephesus, but ceased to be characterised by these great and mighty principles. The habit continued, but the communion was wanting They had forsaken their first love.

The first to the Thessalonians is the expression of the living power in which the assembly is planted: Ephesus, in Revelation 2, of its first departure from that state.

May our work be a work of faith, drawing its strength, its existence even, from our communion with God our Father! May it be, each moment, the fruit of the realisation of that which is invisible, of the life which lives in the certainty, the immutable certainty, of the word! May it thus bear the impress of the grace and truth that came by Jesus Christ, and be a testimony to it.

May our labour in service be the fruit of love, not performed merely as duty and obligation, although it was this, if we know that it is before us to be done!

May the patience that we must have, in order to go through this wilderness, be, not the necessity we feel because the path is before us, but an endurance sustained by the hope that belongs to our view of Jesus by faith, and that is waiting for Him !

These principles, faith, hope, and love, form our character as Christians: [1] but it cannot, and ought not to, be formed in us without having objects. Accordingly the Spirit presents them here. They have a twofold character. The heart rests by faith on Jesus, waits for Him, counts upon Him, links itself with Him in its walk. He has walked here below, He represents us in heaven, He watches over us as the good Shepherd. He loves His own; He nourishes and cherishes them: our faith and our hope keep Him always in view. The conscience is before God our Father; it is not in the spirit of fear: there is no uncertainty as to our relationship. We are the children of a Father who lovesus perfectly; but we are before God. His light has authority and power in the conscience: we walk in the sense that His eye is upon us, in love but upon us. And light makes everything manifest. It judges all that might weaken the sweet and peaceful realisation of the presence of God, and our communion with Jesus, and our confidence in Him, the intimacy of the intercourse between our souls and the Lord. These two principles are of all importance for abiding peace, for the progress of our souls. Without them the soul flags. The one sustains confidence, the other keeps us in the light with a good conscience. Without the latter, faith (not to say more) loses its liveliness; without the former, the conscience be comes legal, and we lose spiritual strength, light and ardour.

The apostle reminds them also of the means used by God to produce this condition, that is, the gospel, the word, brought in power and in much assurance to the soul by the Holy Ghost. The word had power in their heart-came to it as the word of God; the Spirit Himself revealed Himself in it, giving the consciousness of His presence; and the consequence of this was the full assurance of the truth in all its power, in all its reality. The apostle's life, his whole conduct, confirmed the testimony which he bore-formed a part of it. Accordingly (it is always the case) the fruit of his labors answered in character to him who laboured; the Christianity of the Thessalonians resembled that of Paul. It was like the walk of the Lord Himself whom Paul followed so closely. It was " in much affliction," for the enemy could not bear so plain a testimony, and God granted this grace to such a testimony, and " with joy of the Holy Ghost."

Happy testimony to the power of the Spirit working in the heart! When this is so, everything becomes testimony to others. They see that there is in Christians a power of which they are ignorant, motives which they have not experienced, a joy which they may scoff at but which they do not possess; a conduct which strikes them, and which they admire, although they do not follow it; a patience which shews the impotence of the enemy in striving against a power that endures everything, and that rejoices in spite of all his efforts. What can we do with those who allow themselves to be killed without becoming less joyful, nay, whom it makes more so; who are above all our motives when left to themselves, and who, if oppressed, possess their souls in perfect joy in spite of all our opposition; and who are unconquered by torments, finding in these only an occasion for bearing a stronger testimony that Christians are beyond our power? At peace, life is all of it a testimony; death even in torture, is still more so. Such is the Christian, where Christianity exists in its true power, in its normal condition according to God-the word (of the gospel) and the presence of the Spirit, reproduced in the life, in a world estranged from God.

Thus it was with the Thessalonians; and the world, in spite of itself, became an additional witness to the power of the gospel. An ensample to believers in other places, they were the subject of report and conversation to the world, which was never weary of discussing this phenomenon, so new and so strange, of people who had given up all that governed the human heart, all to which it was subject, and worshiped one only living and true God, to whom even the natural conscience bore testimony. The gods of the heathen were the gods of the passions, not of the conscience. And this gave a living reality, an actuality, to the position of Christians and to their religion. They waited for His Son from heaven.

Happy indeed were those Christians whose walk and whole existence made of the world itself a witness for the truth, who were so distinct in their confession, so consistent in their life, that an apostle did not need to speak of that which he had preached, of that which he had been among them. The world spoke of it for him and for them.

A few words on the testimony itself, which, simple as it may be, is of great importance,and contains principles of great moral depth. It forms the basis of the whole life, and of all the christian affections also, that are unfolded in the Epistle, which, besides this development, contains only a special revelation of the circumstances and the order of the coming of Christ to call His people to Himself, and of the difference between that event and the day of the Lord to judge the world, although this latter follows on the former.

That which the apostle points out, as the testimony borne by the faithful walk of the Thessalonians, contained three principal subjects: 1st, they had forsaken their idols to serve the living and true God; 2nd, they were waiting for His Son from heaven, whom He had raised from among the dead; 3rd, the Son was a safeguard from the wrath which was to be revealed.

An immense fact-simple but of vast import-characterises Christianity. It gives us a positive object; and this object is nothing less. than God Himself. Human nature may discover the folly of that which is false. We scorn false gods and graven images; but we cannot get beyond ourselves, we cannot reveal anything to ourselves. One of the most renowned names of antiquity is pleased to tell us, that all would go well if men followed nature (it is manifest that they could not rise above it); and, in fact, he would be in the right if man were not fallen. But to require man to follow nature is a proof that he is fallen, that he has degraded himself below the normal state of that nature. He does not follow it in the walk that suits its constitution. All is in disorder. Self-will carries him away, and acts in his passions. Man has forsaken God, and has lost the power and centre of attraction that kept him in his place and everything in his own nature in its place. Man cannot recover himself, he cannot direct himself; for, apart from God, there is nothing but self-will that guides man. There are many objects that furnish occasion for the acting of the passions and the will; but there is no object which, as a centre, gives him a regular, constant, and durable moral position in relationship with that object, so that his character should bear its stamp and value. Man must either have a moral centre, capable of forming him as a moral being, by attracting him to itself and filling his affections, so that he shall be the reflex of that object; or he must act in self-will, and then he is the sport of his passions; or, which is the necessary consequence, he is the slave of any object that takes possession of his will. A creature, who is a moral being, cannot subsist without an object. To be self-sufficing is the characteristic of God.

The equilibrium which subsisted in the unconsciousness of good and evil is lost. Man no longer walks as man, having nothing in his mind outside his normal condition, outside that which he possessed; not having a will, or, which comes to the same thing, having a will that desired nothing more than it possessed, but that gratefully enjoyed all that was, already appropriated to its nature, and especially the companionship of a being like himself, a help who had his own nature, and who answered to his heart-blessing God for everything.

Now man wills. While he has lost that which formed the sphere of his enjoyment, there is in him an activity which seeks, which is become unable to rest without aiming at, something farther; which has already, as will, thrown itself into a sphere that it does not fill, in which it lacks intelligence to apprehend all that is there and power to realise even that which it desires. Man, and all that has been his, no longer suffices man as enjoyment. He still needs an object. This object will either be above or below the man. If it be below, he degrades himself below himself; and it is this indeed which has taken place. He no longer lives according even to nature (as he to whom I have alluded says), a state which the apostle has described in the beginning of the Epistle to the Romans with all the horrors of the plain truth. If this object be above himself and below God, there is still nothing to govern his nature, nothing that puts him morally in his place. A good being could not take this place to exclude God from it. If a bad object gains it, he becomes to the man, a god, who shuts out the true God, and degrades man in his highest relationship-the worst of all degradations. This too has taken place. And since these beings are but creatures, they only can govern man by that which exists, and by that which acts upon him. This is to say, they are the gods of his passions. They degrade the idea of the Divinity: they degrade the practical life of humanity into slavery to the passions (which are never satisfied, and which invent evil when they are surfeited with excess in that which is natural to them) and are thus left without resource. Such in fact was the condition of man under Paganism.

Man, and above all, man having knowledge of good and evil, should have God for his object; and as an object that his heart can entertain with pleasure, and on which his affections can be exercised: other wise he is lost. The gospel-Christianity-has given him this, God, who fills all things, who is the source of, in whom is centered, all blessing, all good-God, who is all love, who has all power, who embraces everything in His knowledge, because everything (except the forsaking of Himself) is but the fruit of His mind and will-God has revealed Himself in Christ to man, in order that his heart, occupied with with Him, with perfect confidence in His goodness, may know Him, may enjoy His presence, and reflect His character.

The sin and misery of man have but lent occasion to an infinitely more complete development of what this God is, and of the perfection of His nature, in love, in wisdom, and in power. But we are here considering only the fact, that He has given Himself to man for an object. Nevertheless, although the misery of man has but given room for a much more admirable revelation of God, yet God Himself must have an object worthy of Himself to be the subject of His purposes, and in order to unfold all His affections. This object is the glory of His Son-His Son Himself. A being of an inferior nature could not have been this to Him, although God can glorify Himself in His grace to such and one. The object of the affections, and the affections that are exercised with regard to it, are necessarily correlative. Thus God has displayed His sovereign and immense grace with regard to that which was the most wretched, the most unworthy, the most necessitous; and He has displayed all the majesty of His being, all the excellence of His nature, in connection with an object in whom He could find all His delight, and exhibit all that He is in the glory of His nature. But it is as man-marvelous truth in the eternal counsels of God!-that this object of God the Father's delight has taken His place in this glorious revelation by which God makes Himself known to His creatures. God has ordained and prepared man for this, Thus the heart that is taught by the Spirit knows God as revealed in this immense grace, in the love that comes down from the throne of God to the ruin and misery of the sinner; he finds himself, in Christ, in the knowledge and in the enjoyment of the love which God has for the object of His eternal delight, who also is worthy of being so; of the communications by which He testifies that love (John 17:7,8); and, finally, of the glory which is its public demonstration before the universe. This latter part of our ineffable blessedness is the subject of Christ's communications at the end of John's Gospel. (Chaps 14, 16, and, in particular 17) [2] From the moment that the sinner is converted and believes the gospel, and (to complete his state, I must add) is sealed with the Holy Ghost, now that the blessed Lord has wrought redemption, he is introduced--as to the principle of his life-into this position, into these relationships with God. He is perhaps but a child; but the Father whom he knows, the love into which he has entered, the Saviour on whom his eyes are opened, are the same whom he will enjoy when he shall know as he is known. He is a Christian; he is turned from idols to God, and to wait for His Son from heaven.

We may observe, that the subject here is not the power which converts, nor the source of life. Of these other passages speak clearly. Here it is the character of the life in its manifestation. Now this depends on its objects. Life is exercised and unfolded in connection with its objects, and thus characterises itself. The source from which it flows makes it capable of enjoying it; but an intrinsic life which has no object on which it depends is not the life of a creature. Such life as that is the prerogative of God. This shews the folly of those who would have a subjective life, as they say, without its having a positively objective character; for this subjective state depends on the object with which it is occupied. It is the characteristic of God to be the source of His own thoughts without an object-to be, and to be self-sufficing (because He is perfection, and the centre and source of everything), and to create objects unto Himself, if He would have any without Himself. In a word, although receiving a life from God which is capable of enjoying Him, the moral character of man cannot be formed in him without an object that imparts it to him.

Now God has given Himself to us for an object, and has revealed Himself in Christ. If we occupy ourselves with God in Himself (supposing always that He had thus revealed Himself), the subject is too vast. It is an infinite joy; but in that which is simply infinite there is something wanting to a creature, although it is his highest prerogative to enjoy it. It is necessary to him on the one hand, in order that he may be in his place, and that God may have His place in regard to him, and on the other hand that which exalts him so admirably. It must be so; and it is the privilege given unto us, and given unto us in a priceless intimacy, for we are children, and we dwell in God, and God in us; but with this in itself there is a certain weight upon the heart in the sense of God alone. We read of "a far [3] of glory." It must be so: His majesty must be maintained when we think of Him as God, His authority over the conscience. The heart-God has so formed it-needs something which will not lower its affections, but which may have the character of companion and friend, at least to which it has access in that character.

It is this which we have in Christ, our precious Saviour. He is an object near to us. He is not ashamed to call us brethren. He has called us friends; all that He has heard from His Father He has made known to us. Is He then a means of our eyes being turned away from God? On the contrary, it is in Him that God is manifested, in Him that even the angels see God. It is He who, being in the bosom of the Father, reveals to us His God and Father in this sweet relationship, and as He knows Him Himself. And not only this, but He is in the Father, and the Father in Him, so that He who has seen Him has seen the Father. He reveals God to us, instead of turning us away from Him. In grace He has already revealed Him, and we wait for the revelation of glory in Him. Already also on the earth, from the moment that He was born, the angels celebrated the good pleasure of God in man, for the object of His eternal delight had become a man. And now He has accomplished the work which makes possible the introduction of others, of sinners, into the enjoyment with Himself of this favour of God. Once enemies, "we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son."

It is thus that God has reconciled us to Himself. By faith thus knowing God, we " turn from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven." The living and true God is the object of our joyful service. His Son, whom we know, who knows us, who will have us to be where He is, who has identified us with His own glory and His glory with us, He who is a glorified man for ever and firstborn among many brethren, is the object of our expectation. We expect Him from heaven, for our hopes are there, and there the seat of our joy.

We have the infinity of a God of love, the intimacy and the glory of Him who has taken part in all our infirmities, and, without sin, has borne all our sins. What a portion is ours !

But there was another side of the truth. Creatures are responsible; and, however great His love and His patience, God cannot allow evil nor contempt of His authority: if He did, all would be confusion and misery. God Himself would lose His place. There is a judgment; there is wrath to come. We were responsible; we have failed. How then shall we enjoy God and the Son in the way that I have spoken of?

Here comes in the application of the third truth of which the apostle speaks: "Which delivered us from the wrath to come." The work of Christ has perfectly sheltered us from this wrath; He took our place in responsibility on the cross to put away sin for us by the sacrifice of Himself.

These then are the three great elements of christian life. We serve the living and the true God, having forsaken our idols outward or inward. We expect Jesus for glory; for this sight of God makes us feel what this world is, and we know Jesus. As to our sins and our conscience, we are perfectly cleansed; we fear nothing. The life and walk of the Thessalonians was a testimony to these truths.


[1] They are found oftener in Paul's writings than is thought; as 1 Thessalonians 5:8 and Colossians 1:4, 5. In 2nd Thessalonians 1:3 we have faith and love, but he has to clear up their thoughts as to hope.

[2] Compare Proverbs 8:30,31, and Luke 2:14, where read, "good pleasure in men." It is beautiful to see the angels unjealously celebrating it. Love downwards in grace is great according to the misery and unworthiness of the object; upwards as the affection of the soul according to the worthiness; see both in Christ, Eph 5:2 In both in Christ self is wholly given up. He gave, not sought, Himself. The law takes self as measure as to the neighbor, and supposes him on the same footing. There is no love downwards.

[3] Weight and glory are the same word in Hebrew- "Cabod".

── John DarbySynopsis of 1 Thessalonians


1 Thessalonians 1

Chapter Contents

The faith, love, and patience of the Thessalonians, are evident tokens of their election which was manifested in the power with which the gospel came to them. (1-5) Its powerful and exemplary effects upon their hearts and lives. (6-10)

Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5

(Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5)

As all good comes from God, so no good can be hoped for by sinners, but from God in Christ. And the best good may be expected from God, as our Father, for the sake of Christ. We should pray, not only for ourselves, but for others also; remembering them without ceasing. Wherever there is a true faith, it will work; it will affect both the heart and life. Faith works by love; it shows itself in love to God, and love to our neighbour. And wherever there is a well-grounded hope of eternal life, this will appear by the exercise of patience; and it is a sign of sincerity, when in all we do, we seek to approve ourselves to God. By this we may know our election, if we not only speak of the things of God with out lips, but feel their power in our hearts, mortifying our lusts, weaning us from the world, and raising us up to heavenly things. Unless the Spirit of God comes with the word of God, it will be to us a dead letter. Thus they entertained it by the power of the Holy Ghost. They were fully convinced of the truth of it, so as not to be shaken in mind by objections and doubts; and they were willing to leave all for Christ, and to venture their souls and everlasting condition upon the truth of the gospel revelation.

Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10

(Read 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10)

When careless, ignorant, and immoral persons are turned from their carnal pursuits and connexions, to believe in and obey the Lord Jesus, to live soberly, righteously, and godly, the matter speaks for itself. The believers under the Old Testament waited for the coming of the Messiah, and believers now wait for his second coming. He is yet to come. And God had raised him from the dead, which is a full assurance unto all men that he will come to judgment. He came to purchase salvation, and will, when he comes again, bring salvation with him, full and final deliverance from that wrath which is yet to come. Let all, without delay, flee from the wrath to come, and seek refuge in Christ and his salvation.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on 1 Thessalonians


1 Thessalonians 1

Verse 1

[1] Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul — In this epistle St. Paul neither uses the title of an apostle, nor any other, as writing to pious and simple-hearted men, with the utmost familiarity. There is a peculiar sweetness in this epistle, unmixed with any sharpness or reproof: those evils which the apostles afterward reproved having not yet crept into the church.

Verse 3

[3] Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

Remembering in the sight of God — That is, praising him for it.

Your work of faith — Your active, ever-working faith.

And labour of love — Love continually labouring for the bodies or souls of men. They who do not thus labour, do not love. Faith works, love labours, hope patiently suffers all things.

Verse 4

[4] Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

Knowing your election — Which is through faith, by these plain proofs.

Verse 5

[5] For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

With power — Piercing the very heart with a sense of sin and deeply convincing you of your want of a Saviour from guilt, misery, and eternal ruin.

With the Holy Ghost — Bearing an outward testimony, by miracles, to the truth of what we preached, and you felt: also by his descent through laying on of hands.

With much assurance — Literally, with full assurance, and much of it: the Spirit bearing witness by shedding the love of God abroad in your hearts, which is the highest testimony that can be given. And these signs, if not the miraculous gifts, always attend the preaching of the gospel, unless it be in vain: neither are the extraordinary operations of the Holy Ghost ever wholly withheld, where the gospel is preached with power, and men are alive to God.

For your sake — Seeking your advantage, not our own.

Verse 6

[6] And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

Though in much affliction, yet with much joy.

Verse 8

[8] For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

For from you the word sounded forth — (Thessalonica being a city of great commerce.) Being echoed, as it were, from you. And your conversion was divulged far beyond Macedonia and Achaia. So that we need not speak anything - Concerning it.

Verse 9

[9] For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

For they themselves — The people wherever we come.

Verse 10

[10] And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Whom he hath raised from the dead — In proof of his future coming to judgment.

Who delivereth us — He redeemed us once; he delivers us continually; and will deliver all that believe from the wrath, the eternal vengeance, which will then come upon the ungodly.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on 1 Thessalonians


Chapter 1. The Salvation of Coming Again

Joy Given by the Spirit
Welcome the Message

I. Work Produced by Faith

  1. Receive Salvation Already
  2. Turn from Idols
  3. Turn to God

II. Labor Prompted by Love

  1. Life of Today
  2. Serve the Living God
  3. Examples of Believers

III. Endurance Inspired by Hope

  1. Glorious Hope
  2. Wait for the Son of God
  3. Descend from Heaven

── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament


Chapter One General Review
1) To understand how the virtues of faith, hope, and love should 
   express themselves
2) To notice the potential a new congregation has for spreading the 
   good news of the gospel of Christ, and being a positive example to 
   all believers
Joined by Silvanus and Timothy who had been with him when the gospel
was first preached in Thessalonica, Paul offers his salutation along
with a petition for grace and peace.  He follows with an expression of
thanksgiving for their work of faith, labor of love, and patience of
hope, knowing their election by God (1-4).
His assurance of their election is bolstered by the manner in which
they received the gospel.  It had come to them not only in word, but in
power, in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance.  Having imitated Paul
and the Lord by receiving the word in much affliction and joy, they in
turn had become examples to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
From them the word had sounded forth in every place, and the news of
their own faith toward God had so spread that Paul did not need to tell
others about them.  Indeed, others were telling Paul of the
Thessalonians' conversion from idols to serve the true God, and how
they were waiting for the resurrected Jesus to return from heaven who
would deliver them from the wrath to come (5-10).
      1. From Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy (1a)
      2. To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the
         Lord Jesus Christ (1b)
      3. Grace and peace from God and Jesus (1c)
      1. Offered to God in their behalf, making mention of them in his
         prayers (2)
      2. Mindful always of their:
         a. Work of faith 
         b. Labor of love 
         c. Patience of hope in the Lord Jesus Christ
         ...in the sight of our God and Father (3)
      4. Knowing their election by God (4)
      1. The gospel came to them not only in word, but...
         a. In power
         b. In the Holy Spirit
         c. In much assurance
         ...for they knew what kind of men Paul and his companions had
            been for their sakes while with them (5)
      2. They had become followers of Paul and of the Lord, having 
         received the word...
         a. In much affliction (6a)
         b. With joy of the Holy Spirit (6b)
      3. They had became examples to the believers in Macedonia and 
         Achaia (7)
      1. From them the word of the Lord had sounded forth in Macedonia,
         Achaia, and beyond (8a)
      2. Their faith toward God had gone out, so Paul did not need to
         say anything (8b)
      3. Others were telling Paul...
         a. What manner of entry Paul had to them (9a)
         b. How they had turned from idols to serve the living and true
            God (9b)
         c. How they were waiting for the resurrected Jesus to return
            from heaven, who delivers from the wrath to come (10)
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Introduction (1-4)
   - Reflections regarding their condition (5-10)
2) Who joined Paul in the salutation of this epistle? (1)
   - Silvanus and Timothy
3) How did Paul address the church? (1)
   - The church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord 
     Jesus Christ
4) What three things was Paul especially thankful for regarding the 
   Thessalonians? (3)
   - Their work of faith
   - Their labor of love
   - The patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ
5) What did Paul know concerning the Thessalonians? (4)
   - Their election by God
6) How had the gospel come to the Thessalonians? (5)
   - In Word, in power, in the Holy Spirit, in much assurance
7) How had they become followers of Paul and the Lord? (6)
   - By receiving the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy
8) For whom had they became examples? (7)
   - All the believers in Macedonia and Achaia
9) What two things had sounded forth, or gone out, from the
   Thessalonians? (8)
   - The word of the Lord
   - Their faith toward God
10) What two things describe the manner in which they received Paul?
   - Their turning from idols to serve the living and true God
   - Their waiting for Jesus from heaven
Introduction To The Epistle (1:1)
1. A wonderful hope of the Christian is the promise of the Lord's
   a. A promise given when Jesus ascended into heaven - Ac 1:9-11
   b. A promise designed to motivate Christians to live holy and godly
      lives - 2 Pe 3:10-14
2. How then should we live as we anticipate the Lord's return? This
   question is addressed in Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonians
   a. In which every chapter has some mention of the Lord's return
   b. In which we find practical instructions for holy and godly living
[That we might be ready for the Lord's return, we begin this series of
sermons based on First Thessalonians. In this lesson, we shall consider
some background information on this epistle...]
   A. PAUL...
      1. Known formerly as Saul of Tarsus, persecutor of the church
         - Ac 9:1-2
      2. Who became known as the "apostle to the Gentiles" - Ac 9:15
      3. Author of half of the books of the New Testament
      1. Silvanus, also known as Silas
         a. Originally an emissary from the apostles and elders in
            Jerusalem - Ac 15:22,27
         b. Identified as a prophet, who exhorted the brethren in
            Antioch - Ac 15:32
         c. Who remained in Antioch, later to become Paul's traveling
            companion - Ac 15:34,40-41
         d. Who suffered mistreatment and imprisonment with Paul in
            Philippi - Ac 16:19-25
         e. Who together with Paul established the church in
            Thessalonica - Ac 17:1-4
      2. Timothy, also known as Timotheus
         a. A young disciple who traveled with Paul - Ac 16:1-3
         b. Who is mentioned with Paul in many of his letters - e.g.,
            2 Co 1:1; Ph 1:1
         c. Recipient of two letters from Paul - 1 Ti 1:1; 2 Ti 1:1
         d. Who suffered imprisonment himself - He 13:23
         e. Who had just returned from a trip to Thessalonica - 1 Th 
[These three men had a vested interest in the welfare of the church in
Thessalonica.  Speaking of that church, let's now focus on...]
      1. It was the capital and largest city of the Roman province of
      2. Located on the Egnatian Way, a major road from Rome to the
         eastern provinces
      3. The city served as a center of trade and commerce
      -- Today, it is known as Thessaloniki (formerly Salonica)
      1. Its establishment is recorded in Ac 17:1-9
         a. On his second journey, Paul and his companions had just
            left Philippi
         b. Traveling through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they arrived at
         c. Paul immediately located the synagogue and used their
            Sabbath gathering as an opportunity for evangelism
         d. For three weeks he reasoned with the Jews, converting some
            and a number of prominent Gentiles
         e. Unbelieving Jews soon caused a disturbance, forcing Paul to
      2. Despite such ominous beginnings, a strong church was 
         a. It quickly gained a good reputation - 1 Th 1:8
         b. It was mostly Gentiles - 1 Th 1:9
         c. Members included Jason (Ac 17:9), Aristarchus and Secundus 
            (Ac 20:4)
[The reputation of this church is even more remarkable when we consider
how young it was.  The young age of the church becomes apparent when
we consider...]
   A. THE PLACE...
      1. The letter itself indicates it was not written long after 
         Paul's departure
         a. Paul had only been gone a short time - 1 Th 2:17-18
         b. He had sent Timothy from Athens, who had returned - 1 Th 
      2. From Luke's record in Acts, it is evident Paul wrote this 
         epistle soon after arriving in Corinth on his second 
         missionary journey
         a. For Paul did not stay long in Athens - Ac 17:16-18:1
         b. And Timothy came back from Macedonia after Paul arrived in
            Corinth - Ac 18:5
      -- So the place of writing is most likely Corinth
   B. THE DATE...
      1. Writing soon after his arrival in Corinth, this would place 
         the date sometime around 50-52 A.D.
      2. This would make First Thessalonians one of Paul's earliest 
         known writings, if not the first
[Now let's examine...]
      1. Paul had been anxious about the condition of the church
         a. Occasioned by his abrupt departure - Ac 17:10
         b. He wanted to return, but was hindered - 1 Th 2:17-18
         c. His anxiety prompted him to send Timothy to encouraged them
            - 1 Th 3:1-3
      2. Timothy had brought back good news! - 1 Th 3:6-8
         a. Of their faith and love, and of their desire to see Paul
         b. Their steadfastness comforted Paul greatly
      3. From the content of the letter (see below), it becomes 
         apparent that Paul had a three-fold purpose in mind as he 
         wrote this letter:
         a. To praise them for their steadfastness under persecution
         b. To instruct them concerning holy living
         c. To correct any misunderstanding, especially regarding the 
            second coming of Christ
      1. The epistle is unique in that every chapter ends with a 
         reference to the second coming of Christ - 1 Th 1:10; 2:19; 
         3:13; 4:13-18; 5:23
      2. Here is a brief outline of the epistle:
         a. Personal reflections (1-3)
            1) Regarding their condition - 1:1-10
            2) Regarding his conduct - 2:1-12
            3) Regarding his concern - 2:13-3:13
         b. Apostolic instructions (4-5)
            1) Walk in holiness - 4:1-8
            2) Walk in love - 4:9-10
            3) Walk in diligence - 4:11-12
            4) Walk in hope - 4:13-18
            5) Walk in light - 5:1-11
            6) Walk in obedience - 5:12-28
1. With such an emphasis on steadfastness and holy living, an
   appropriate theme for this epistle would be:
           "Holiness In View Of The Coming Of Christ"
2. In keeping with such a theme, I offer the following passage as the
   key verses of the epistle:
   "And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one
   another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish
   your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the 
   coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints."  
                                                      - 1 Th 3: 12-13
As we proceed through this epistle, it will be my prayer and aim that
our study will lead to greater faithfulness and holiness in our service
to God as we wait for the coming of Jesus!
Are you ready for His coming?  Even if you should die before He
returns, are you ready to face Him in the Judgment?  Let the apostles
of Christ tell you what you need to do be ready for that day - cf. Ac
2:36-38; 17:30-31
Only then can it truly be said:  "Grace to you and peace from God our
Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Th 1:1c)
Their Faith, Love, And Hope (1:2-3)
1. As noted in our previous study, the beginning of the church in
   Thessalonica is recorded by Luke in Ac 17:1-10...
   a. On his second missionary journey, Paul and his companions had 
      just left Philippi
   b. Traveling through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they arrived at 
   c. Paul immediately located the synagogue and used their Sabbath 
      gathering as an opportunity for evangelism
   d. For three weeks he reasoned with the Jews, converting some and a 
      number of prominent Gentiles
   e. But unbelieving Jews soon caused a disturbance, forcing Paul to 
2. We also noted that the epistle commonly called 1st Thessalonians...
   a. Was written not long after Paul had left Thessalonica
   b. Probably from Corinth, sometime during 50-52 A.D.
3. What was the church in Thessalonica like?
   a. Without Paul, did the young church survive?
   b. Had persecution discouraged the new converts?
   -- These were some of the concerns that prompted Paul to send 
      Timothy - cf. 1 Th 3:1-6
[Timothy brought back news that was certainly encouraging, and in
Paul's opening remarks in this epistle we learn about "Their Faith,
Love, And Hope."  First we notice that Paul is thankful to God for...]
      1. In other words, a faith that was alive! - cf. Ja 2:20,26
      2. Their faith was likely centered in the person of Jesus Christ 
         - cf. Co 1:4
      3. It was likely prompted by love - cf. Ga 5:6; Jn 14:15
      -- In his second letter to them, Paul would remark about how 
         their faith continued to grow exceedingly - 2 Th 1:3
      1. Is our faith a living faith?
         a. A faith manifesting itself in obedience to the word of God?
         b. Or are we like some who believe, but do not obey Jesus?
            1) Such as some of the Jewish rulers who believed in Jesus
               - Jn 12:42,43
            2) Such as the demons who believe, but only tremble - Ja 
      2. Is our faith strongly centered in Jesus Christ?
         a. A faith produced by the word of God? - cf. Ro 10:17
         b. A faith that leads to life in Jesus Christ? - cf. Jn 20:
      -- If our faith is like that of the Thessalonians, then it too 
         will "grow exceedingly", evidenced by our faithful service to 
         the Lord!
[Paul was also thankful to hear of...]
      1. A love that was not in word only, but in deed and truth! - cf.
         1 Jn 3:18
      2. Their love was likely directed toward their brethren in Christ
         - cf. Co 1:4
      3. Paul would later commend their brotherly love - 1 Th 4:9-10
      -- In his second letter, Paul would remark about how their love 
         continued to "abound" - 2 Th 1:3
      1. Is our love in word or tongue only, or in deed and truth?
         a. Do we "walk the walk"?
         b. Or do we just "talk the talk"?
      2. Is our love directed toward our brethren in Christ?
         a. Which is a mark of true discipleship - Jn 13:34-35
         b. Which is an indication of spiritual life - 1 Jn 3:14,18-19
      -- If our love is like that of the Thessalonians, then it too 
         will "abound", evidenced by serving one another in love - cf.
         Ga 5:13
[Finally, we note Paul's gratitude for...]
      1. A strong hope is that which gives one patience - cf. Ro 8:25
      2. Their hope was likely focused on what was laid up for them in 
         heaven - cf. Co 1:5
      3. Peter referred to this hope as an inheritance "incorruptible 
         and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven 
         for you" - 1 Pe 1:3-4
      -- Paul would later encourage them to wear this "hope" as a 
         helmet - 1 Th 5:8
      1. Do we have a strong hope?
         a. A hope that comes from reading the Scriptures? - Ro 15:4
         b. A hope that spurs us to be diligent, living holy and godly 
            lives? - cf. 2 Pe 3:10-14
         c. A hope that prompts people to wonder why we have it? - cf. 
            1 Pe 3:15
      2. Is our hope focused our "inheritance" laid up for us in 
         a. That city whose builder and maker is God? - He 11:10,16; 
         b. The new heavens and new earth, in which righteousness 
            dwells? - 2 Pe 3:13
         c. Which is beautifully described by John? - Re 21:1-7
      -- If our hope is like that of the Thessalonians, then we too 
         shall let it be a "helmet" protecting our minds from the 
         distractions of this world which is passing away! 
         - cf. 1 Jn 2:17
1. This "triad" of faith, love, and hope is a common refrain of Paul...
   a. He wrote of them in his epistle to the Colossians - Co 1:4-5
   b. Also in his first epistle to the Corinthians - 1 Co 13:13
   -- But he likely first wrote of them in this epistle to the 
2. While they do not constitute all the graces to be found in 
   Christians (cf. Ga 5:22-23; 2 Pe 1:5-8)...
   a. They certainly are among the most important - 1 Co 13:13; Co 3:14
   b. Where found, the others will likely follow
May the remarkable faith, love and hope of the church of the
Thessalonians, who were but recent converts, inspire us to grow in our
own faith in Christ, our love for the brethren, and our hope for the
inheritance reserved in heaven!
Their Election By God (1:4-5)
1. As Paul contemplated the condition of the church at Thessalonica, he
   had much for which to be thankful - 1 Th 1:2-3
   a. They had a faith that worked
   b. They had a love which labored
   c. They had a hope that gave them patience
2. He also took consolation in knowing that they were "chosen"...
   a. He refers to their "election by God" - 1 Th 1:4
   b. As evidence, he reminds them of how God had worked through such 
      men as Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy - 1 Th 1:5
3. In some way, these Thessalonians had become part of God's chosen 
   a. A special people as described in 1 Pe 2:9-10
   b. Just as the nation of Israel had been chosen by God - Deu 10:15
4. Several questions naturally come to mind regarding the Thessalonians
   and their election by God...
   a. When did God make His choice?
   b. Were the Thessalonians chosen individually, or as part of some
      coporate or general choice?
   c. Was their election by God final, i.e., was it impossible for them
      to lose their privilege of being God's chosen people?
   -- And how might the answers to these questions relate to our own 
      election by God?
[Let's first focus our attention on the idea of...]
      1. Comes from ekloge {ek-log-ay'}, meaning "the act of picking
         out, choosing"
      2. Related to the idea of being chosen, which comes from the 
         Greek eklegomai {ek-leg'-om-ahee}, and means "to pick out, 
         choose, to pick or choose out for one's self"
      1. God made His choice "before the foundation of the world" - Ep
      2. Just as with Christ Himself, who was foreordained "before the
         foundation of the world" - 1 Pe 1:20
      1. When God made His "choice" before the world began...
         a. Did He chose certain individuals to become His elect?
         b. Or was His choice more general in nature?
      2. Two popular answers to this question:
         a. The Calvinist believes that this choice was...
            1) Individual (only certain select individuals have been
            2) Dependent solely upon God's gracious and mysterious 
               will, without any foreknowledge of good or evil on the 
               part of those selected
            3) Unconditional and final (there is no possibility of
         b. The Arminian believes that this choice was...
            1) Individual (certain select individuals have been chosen)
            2) Based upon foreknowledge of those souls who would 
               respond to the gospel and persevere in the faith
            3) Unconditional and final, in the sense that God already
               knows those who will persevere to the end
      3. Paul says simply that God "chose us in Him" (i.e., Christ)
         - cf. Ep 1:4
         a. I understand this election by God to have been general, not
            particular; corporate, not individual
         b. To refer to the body of Christ, the church as a whole, 
            which God chose for His divine and gracious purposes He 
            planned to carry out in Christ
         c. Just as Israel (as a nation) had been chosen by God to 
            receive His blessings
      1. How did the Thessalonians become part of God's chosen people?
      2. Paul explains in his second epistle - 2 Th 2:13-14
         a. "through sanctification of the Spirit"
            1) Here we see God's part, the sanctifying work of the
            2) This the Spirit did through the truth, or Word of God,
               which He revealed through the apostles - cf. Jn 16:13;
               17:17; Ep 6:17
         b. "and belief of the truth"
            1) Here we see man's part, as the Thessalonians heeded the
               Word of God
            2) Therefore when they heeded the preaching of the gospel, 
               they were saved, and as such became God's elect!
         c. This God accomplished by calling them through the gospel 
            proclaimed by the apostles - 2 Th 2:14
[Today, when a person heeds the gospel of Christ, they are "sanctified"
(set apart) by the Holy Spirit as a result of believing the truth.
According to God's choice made before the world began, all who obey
Christ become part of that great body of the saved in Christ, God's
elect!  But is their participation in the blessings of the elect
      1. God's election or choice was general
      2. He chose to save people "in Christ"
      3. That choice is unconditional and final
         a. There is no way anyone can be saved without Christ
         b. As Jesus Himself said, "no one can come to the Father 
            except through Me" - Jn 14:6
         c. As Peter would later say, "there is no other name under 
            heaven given among men by which we must be saved." - Ac 
      1. Whether we as individuals remain in the body or church, (God's
         elect) is conditional
      2. We must be "diligent to make your calling and election sure" 
         - 2 Pe 1:10
         a. Just as Israel (as a nation) had been chosen by God to 
            receive His blessings
         b. But individually, the Israelites also had to "make their 
            calling and election sure"   
         c. Remember the many Israelites who became God's elect at
            Mount Sinai, but died later in the wilderness!
      3. Thus we find many warnings in the Scriptures to remain
         a. Or fall just like many did in the wilderness - He 3:12-19
         b. Or come short of our heavenly rest, like they failed to 
            enter the Promised Land - He 4:1-3,9-11
      4. Jesus Himself warned His disciples
         a. Be fruitful, or be cut off! - Jn 15:1-6
         b. Be faithful, to receive the crown of life! - Re 2:10
1. It was the faithful and fruitful lives of the Thessalonians that 
   gave Paul confidence concerning their election...
   a. Their active faith, love and hope - 1 Th 1:2-3
   b. Their reception of Paul and the Word - 1 Th 1:6-7
2. But whether they remained part of God's elect was not final...
   a. If it was, why even bother to worry about them? - 1 Th 3:1,5-6
   b. As long as they remained faithful, Paul was comforted - 1 Th 3:7
3. Dear friends and brethren, what about us...?
   a. Are we included among God's elect?
      1) God's choice regarding salvation is still sure and final
      2) Only in Christ Jesus is there salvation!
      3) Through the gospel, God is still calling people
      -- Obey the gospel, and you will be set apart by the Spirit to
         become one of God's chosen!
   b. Are we being diligent to make our calling and election sure?
      1) Are we faithful and fruitful in our service to Christ?
      2) Will we persevere to the end, or fall short of our heavenly 
That we may experience the eternal blessings God has prepared for His
Elect, let us heed the admonition of Scripture:
   Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart
   of unbelief in departing from the living God;
   but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest
   any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
   For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning
   of our confidence steadfast to the end.
                                                      (He 3:12-14)
A Church Worthy Of Imitation (1:6-10)
1. A good role model is very important...
   a. It demonstrates what can be done
   b. It provides direction for what should be done
   c. It inspires one to do what ought to be done
2. Christians are blessed to have many role models...
   a. As individuals, we have many good role models in the Scriptures
   b. As churches, we also have role models that ought to inspire any
3. Among the many churches described in the New Testament, the church
   of the Thessalonians proved to be a congregation worthy of
   a. Paul commended their example in 1 Th 1:7
   b. Even though they were a rather young church
[In 1 Th 1:6-10, Paul mentions several things for which the
Thessalonians were exemplary.  To encourage us both individually and as
a congregation of the Lord, we shall review why they were "A Church
Worthy Of Imitation".  Note first that they were commended for...]
      1. Following after the example of Paul and the Lord
      2. Following after the example of other churches - 1 Th 2:14
      3. Something Paul commanded the church in Corinth to do - 1 Co 
      4. He likewise commanded the Philippians to imitate or follow the
         example of others - Ph 3:17
      5. Even as he himself sought to imitate Christ - 1 Co 11:1
      -- Note well:  those who would be good examples to others must
         first be imitators!
      1. Are we seeking to imitate others who are good examples?
      2. As disciples of Jesus, we should certainly seek to imitate 
         Him! - cf. Jn 13:13-15
      3. As children of God, we should also imitate Him - Ep 5:1
      4. It is likely that we also have other role models worthy of
         emulation, both individuals and churches
      -- Focus on being good imitators, and we shall also be "A Church
         Worthy Of Imitation"!
[Next we notice that Paul commends them for...]
      1. First, it was "in much affliction"
         a. They received the word despite persecution - cf. Ac 17:
            1-10; 1 Th 3:1-4
         b. In this they were like the churches in Judea - 1 Th 2:14
      2. Second, it was "with joy of the Holy Spirit"
         a. Joy is a fruit of following after the Spirit - Ga 5:22
         b. In response to prayer, God imparts joy to the believer 
            through the Holy Spirit - Ro 15:13
         c. Especially when the Word is received in times of 
            persecution - Ac 13:49-52
      3. Later, Paul describes further how they received the Word 
         - 1 Th 2:13
         a. Not as the word of men
         b. But as the Word of God
      -- An important part of becoming an example worthy of imitation 
         is receiving the Word of God in the right way
      1. How is our reception of the Word of God?
         a. Do we receive the Word only when it is convenient?
         b. Do we take advantage of opportunities to study God's Word?
         c. Is our attendance of worship and Bible study classes 
         d. If we do not experience the joy the Holy Spirit imparts, 
            could it be related to neglecting the Word of God?
      2. Are we "A Church Worthy Of Imitation" when it comes to the 
         Word Of God?
         a. If every one studied the Bible like we do...
            1) Would churches grow?
            2) Would churches have elders?
         b. As individuals, are we receiving the Word properly?
            1) With meekness, aware of our need for the Word? - Ja 1:21
            2) Like newborn babes desire their mothers' milk, knowing 
               that the Word is necessary for spiritual growth? - 1 Pe
      -- If we do not set the right example regarding our reception of 
         the Word, then we will be following the example of those who 
         were rebuked - cf. He 5:12
[The Thessalonians were not only good students and learners of the
Word, they were also commended for...]
      1. From them the Word had "sounded forth"
         a. They did not keep quiet about their faith
         b. They did not limit their evangelistic efforts to just being 
            good examples of what it means to be a Christian
      2. From them the Word spread to other places
         a. Throughout Macedonian and Achaia (provinces of modern day
         b. Also in every place (to regions beyond their own country)
      3. Such was clear indication of their "faith toward God"
         a. Not only the Word itself, but their own faith had become 
            known to others
         b. Implying that spreading the Word is an indication of 
      -- "A Church Worthy Of Imitation" will be one with an 
         evangelistic focus that looks beyond the local community
      1. Do we have a similar evangelistic focus?
         a. Are we looking beyond the needs of our local community?
         b. Are we working toward spreading the gospel in other places?
      2. The need for such churches is still great today!
         a. How shall people believe unless they have heard, and how 
            shall they hear without preachers who are sent? - Ro 10:
         b. Just as Antioch sent out Paul and Barnabas - Ac 13:1-3
         c. Just as Gaius helped missionaries along the way - 3 Jn 5-8
      -- Until a church grows to the point that it sounding forth the 
         Word in other places by sending or supporting preachers, it 
         has yet to become "A Church Worthy Of Imitation"
[Just as the Word of God and the faith of the Thessalonians spread and
become known, so had news regarding...]
      1. They had "turned to God from idols"    
         a. The word "turned" suggests a conversion
         b. A dramatic shift from devotion to idols to devotion to God
         c. Which Paul preached on other occasions - cf. Ac 14:15
      2. This conversion made their service to God possible
         a. One cannot serve both God and idols
         b. To serve God, we must turn away from those things that 
            would draw us away from God - cf. Mt 6:24
      -- Genuine, faithful service to God requires a true conversion, 
         in which we turn away from things of the world as well as turn 
         toward God
      1. There are "idols" from which we need to turn away
         a. E.g., covetousness is defined as idolatry - Ep 5:5; Co 3:5
         b. We can be just as guilty of idolatry today, when we allow 
            other things to distract our service to God
      2. Is our service to God hindered by divided devotion?
         a. Trying to serve God while still wanting to serve the world?
         b. Wanting to love the things of the world while loving the 
      -- As John made clear, such divided devotion is not possible! 
         - 1 Jn 2:15-17
[Finally, the church in Thessalonica was "A Church Worthy Of Imitation"
      1. The word "wait" suggests they were looking for and 
         anticipating His return - cf. Ph 3:20
      2. This anticipation is one that all Christians are to have 
         - Ti 2:11-13; 2 Pe 3:11-12
      3. For Jesus will come for salvation to those who "eagerly wait 
         for Him" - He 9:28
      -- A church worth imitating will be one that always has the hope 
         of Jesus returning
      1. Are we eagerly waiting for Jesus to return?
      2. Does the return of Jesus even enter our minds?
         a. When it does, do we hope that it will be delayed?
         b. Or is our attitude like that of John, who prayed "Even so, 
            come, Lord Jesus!" - Re 22:20
      -- How we answer such questions reveals much about our spiritual
         condition, and whether we as a church are worthy of imitation!
1. Remember that the church in Thessalonica was very young...
   a. It had been established only a short time before Paul penned 
      these words
   b. Yet Paul could write such complimentary words about them
2. It demonstrates what can happen when people totally give themselves
   to Jesus...
   a. When they seek to imitate Jesus and His apostles
   b. When they receive the Word, even it the middle of persecution
   c. When they turn from the world, and turn to God in full devotion
   d. When they let the promise of Jesus' return motivate their lives
   -- Through such a church the Word of God will be "trumpeted forth", 
      as well as the reputation of their faith...Will this be true of 
3. In conclusion, we note that Jesus' coming will deliver us from "the
   wrath to come"...
   a. In his second epistle to this church, Paul described that wrath 
      to come - 2 Th 1:7-10
   b. How does Jesus deliver us from that wrath?
      1) Through His death on the cross - Ro 5:8-9
      2) Through His life which reconciles us to God - Ro 5:10-11
Will Jesus deliver us from that wrath to come when He comes again?  It
all depends upon whether we accept the goodness of God that should lead
us to repentance - cf. Ro 2:4-10

--《Executable Outlines


The salvation of coming again

Joy given by the Spirit

Welcome the message


I.  Work produced by faith

1.    Receive salvation already

2.    Turn from idols

3.    Turn to God

II.Labor prompted by love

1.    Life of today

2.    Serve the living God

3.    Examples of believers

III.       Endurance inspired by hope

1.    Glorious hope

2.    Wait for the Son of God

3.    Descend from heaven

-- Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament


A Model Church—In Triplets


1 Model pastors of God’s flock—Paul, Silvanus, Timotheus (1 Thess.1:1)

2 A Model Ministry—Praying, preaching, persecuted (1 Thess.1:2, 5; 2:2)

3 A Model Message—In power, in the Holy Spirit, in much assurance (1 Thess.1:5)

4 A Model Response—turned—to serve—and to wait (1 Thess.1:9~10)

5 A Model activity—work of faith, labor of love, patience of hope (1 Thess.1:3)

6 A Model prayer for them—with thanksgiving, remembrance and knowledge (1 Thess.1:2~4)

7 A Model programme followed—they became recipients of the Word, imitators of the apostles, and examples to the believers (1 Thes..1:6~7)




1 Conversion—turned to God from idols—the Sphere of Faith (1 Thess.1:9)

2 Consecration—serve the living and true God—the Domain of Love (1 Thess.1:9)

3 Contemplation—wait for His Son from heaven—the Realm of Hope (1 Thess.1:10)