Jul 11, 2021. I Thessalonians 1:1-5

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A LIGHT IN THESSALONICA.  I Thessalonians 1:1-5.  7/11/21.  #01.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-5 [New King James Version]

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 [a]from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 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, 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 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.

  1. Quick plant church
    1. Thessalonica = at top of the Aegean Sea on the E road
    2. Paul moved from Philippi to Thessalonica after release from jail
    3. Paul was only in Thessalonica for 3 weeks (1 THS. 17:1-15) 
      1.  As in other cities, the Greek population respond more positively than the Jews
      2.  The Jews were jealous and stirred up the town against Paul and his companions
    4. A mob attacked Jason’s house where Paul was staying
      1.  Jason had to post a security bond, guaranteeing the peaceful conduct of Paul and his group
      2.  The new converts escorted Paul out of town on the way to Berea until the Jews followed him there
    5. Paul was concerned that since he had so little time with the Thessalonians, they would falter under persecution
  2. A good start for the church
    1. Paul was gratified and astounded that the Thessalonica held firm under persecution and even boldly shared their faith
    2. The church developed a great reputation for faith and love
      1.  New believers can grow strong and fast
      2.  Desire to know about God and serve him can greatly speed up the maturity of a believer
    3. Paul encourages the church to continue to grow in faith
    4. Paul ends up dealing with 3 basic issues:
      1.  Basic morality and ethics, which was lacking in all Greek cities (faith applied to daily life)
      2.  They misunderstood Paul’s teaching on end times, thinking Christ was coming immediately
      3.  Dealt with rumors that Christ had already come and saints who had died had missed it
  3. Greetings, gratitude, and grace
    1. Paul has Timothy and Silvanus with him
      1.  Timothy is Paul’s main messenger and aid
      2.  Silvanus is Paul’s scribe or secretary
        1.  Being a Greek, he knew proper grammar
        1.  Silv. served Peter in same way (1 Pt. 5:12)
    2. Paul is very thankful for Thessalonica believers and their testimony
      1. We don’t know how a new convert will grow
      2.  Paul prays continually for them and their faith (not just lead them and then leave them=>prayer)
    3. Paul was grateful to God for specific traits shown by them
      1.  Work of faith = though new converts, they immediately began evangelizing, discipling, and helps
      2.  Labor of love = love of God and fellow man
      3.  Patience in hope in Lord = already learned how to forbear under trials by trusting in Lord
    4. Philippians 2:12 their life demonstrated that they were truly God’s elect (God chose them for himself)
    5. Paul testifies that the Holy Spirit empowered the words of the Gospel spoken to them (Heb. 4:12)
      1.  Paul did not have any power (God’s alone)
      2.  Jn. 15:5 we can do nothing without Lord (tools)
    6. Their faithfulness gave strong assurance of their faith
      1.  They observed and accepted testimony of Paul and those with him (each had good reputation)
      2.  The Thessalonicas embraced the truth and left old life behind
    7. Those open to the truth can completely change quickly
      1.  Always still more growth and danger of slipping
      2.  A determined faith is a victorious faith