1 Thessalonians Chapter 1 and 2

August 25, 2011

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on 1 Thessalonians. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

Listen to the study by clicking here

or you can watch it below:

1 Thessalonians 1 and 2 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

Let’s get some context for the letters to the Thessalonians by reading from Acts 17.

Acts 17:1-10a (NIV)
1 When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,” he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women. 5 But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go. 10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea.

Now, just a few years later, here is what Paul writes to the church that was started in Thessalonica.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (NIV)
1 Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. 2 We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. 3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia–your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead–Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

1 Thessalonians 2:1-20 (NIV)
1 You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. 2 We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed–God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, 7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 9 Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. 13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last. 17 But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 18 For we wanted to come to you–certainly I, Paul, did, again and again–but Satan stopped us. 19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 20 Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

1 Thessalonians 1:1

Paul, introduces himself as the writer along with Silas and Timothy now sending this letter to the church established in Thessalonica.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Paul, Silas and Timothy, express their joy in what God has done in Thessalonica, and commends them for their faith, love and endurance.

They had exercised faith in Christ when they had believed the gospel, they were loving Christ in the present, and they were hoping for His return in the future. It is a picture of people who have Jesus as the focus of their lives.

1 Thessalonians 1:4-8

This focused life in the Lord had brought about not only a change to the people in the church, but had an impact on the surrounding area, with many people coming to Christ because of the lives and ministry of the church in Thessalonica. They had not only received the message from Paul, they had become imitators of what they had seen and continued to not only live the gospel but to share it with others.

1 Thessalonians 1:9 – 2 Thessalonians 2:17

Paul had heard from other people about the impact that the gospel had had on Thessalonica since his departure. All of chapter 2 is an expansion of verse 9, which really talks about the power of the gospel to change lives. Through the preaching of the gospel, and the way that Paul and his companions had lived among the Thessalonians, not only had they heard and received the message, the resulting change in them was demonstrated by the fruit in their lives.

Paul talks about his love for the Thessalonians, he talks about feeling like a proud father. I think as he looks at the fruit that has come from his ministry, he is filled with a sense of the goodness of God and sees the purpose of his life and ministry.

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