Jul 18, 2021. I Thessalonians 1:6-10

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SPIRIT EMPOWERED.  I Thessalonians 1:6-10.  7/18/2021.  #2.

1 Thessalonians 1:6-10 [New King James Version]

6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. 8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. 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, 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.

  1. A changed life
    1. The Thessalonian church showed such change in their lives, that Paul was convinced that they were empowered by the Spirit
    1. They became followers of Christ
      1.  Bold witness in spite of great affliction and trials
      1.  Logically, no one would join a persecuted group on their own
      1.  They joyfully embraced Christ even in suffering
    1. They became evangelists throughout Macedonia and Achaia (middle of Greece including Athens)
      1.  3 sections of Greece: Macedonia, Achaia, Peloponnesus which includes Sparta
      1.  In short order, they spread the gospel throughout the region
      1.  Moved from new believers to bold witnesses
      1.  Their witness moved from Greece to the utter most parts of the known world
    1. They turned from idols to God
      1.  They were multi-generation pagans (thousands of years of idol worshippers)
      1.  The truth made sense, where idol worship was full of contradiction and immorality
    1. Paul and aides were well received by the Thess.
  2. Paul teaches Thess. the doctrinal basis for belief and practice
    1. Salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit, not man
      1.  Not by clever argument
      1.  John 16:8 the Spirit convicts, draws, regenerates, seals, gifts, and tasks
    1. Resurrection of Jesus = the key evidence of faith
      1.  They accepted the evidence that the Athenians rejected
      1.  This is the pivotal point of coming to Christ
    1. Second Coming of Christ
      1.  Serving the Lord in the light of the return of Christ motivates us to serve faithfully
      1.  To anticipate great reward allows us to endure great trials ( Romans 8:12-25)
    1. We are rescued from the wrath to come
      1.  Two levels of divine wrath:
        1.  The Great Tribulation – Paul had taught the Thessalonians about God’s great outpouring of wrath upon sinful man
        1.  The Great White Throne Judgment = the ultimate judgment of the lost (Revelation 20)
      1.  The Thess. were confused about the timing and details of end times events, especially as it related to the church (Paul did not have time to fill in all the details before he had to flee)
    1. The return of Christ for his church
      1.  Paul indicates that the reward for faithfulness is worth the price of serving him in trials
      1.  The rapt anticipation of glory swallows up the fear of persecution (Matthew 10:28)
  3. Keep focused
    1. Paul wanted to commend the Thessalonian for their faithfulness
    1. Paul wanted to correct their doctrine so their faith would not be tarnished by false belief
    1. Paul encourages them to keep going
    1. Initial enthusiasm wears off, so spiritual growth must replace enthusiasm wit spiritual maturity

Key verse: Romans 8:12-25

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.