(10 verses, 1:20 to read)
What I am about to READ:
- Paul’s introduction to his first letter to the Thessalonians, which is one of the earliest epistles written by Paul.
MARK & LEARN
- 1-3: God had given the Thessalonians a tremendous gift: faith in Jesus Christ. Paul gives thanks to the source of this gift; he thanks God alone.
- 4-5: Paul reminds the Thessalonians that it was God who had chosen them. They didn’t choose God. Their “full conviction” was the result of the Holy Spirit working through the preached word of God, the Gospel.
- 6: Paul and his companions had suffered persecution before they came to Thessalonica, and they suffered more there. From their example, the Thessalonians learned to be patient in affliction. They also followed the model of Jesus, who did not seek revenge or even to defend himself. Instead he trusted in God to vindicate him. They did the same. Their faith was producing the fruits of faith. The fruit of their faith was evidence that God had called them.
- 7-8: Their faith and the fruits of that faith became well known. God had caused them to become great examples of faith, turning from idol worship to faith in Jesus Christ.
- 9-10: The Thessalonians looked forward to the return of Christ. They knew that on judgment day he would deliver them not only from the hardships and the persecutions they were suffering but from hell itself. The eternal life Jesus had won was the heart and soul of their faith.
The Thessalonians had become imitators of Jesus and of the faith of Paul. Their trust and their hope of eternal life became models for all believers. God continues to create faith in our hearts and minds in the same way He created faith in the Thessalonians. The Holy Spirit, working through the word/Gospel creates faith in our idolatrous hearts. Paul preached Christ crucified. Jesus died to pay for every one of our sins. He rose to give us eternal life. He will return to take us away from the pain and sorrow of this life into eternal joy.
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Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.