I Thessalonians 1
"Remembrance at all Times Through Thanksgiving and Prayer"
This Bible Study is
written by Roger Christopherson, and made available with
written permission by http://www.theseason.org
The church of the Thessalonians was started by Paul, along with Silas and Timothy. This is recorded in Acts 17:1-9. the first church of the Thessalonians was a mixture of Jews and Gentiles, however, the majority of them were Gentiles. Their joyful reception of Paul's message of the Word of God was the start of active work in Achaia, and Macedonia. So you might say that the Thessalonians were a model church.
The Thessalonians were true followers of God's Word, and they were the examples to all other believers as to the "power of God" in the believers life. The apostle Paul writes to them in a joyful spirit, for here he had just received glad tiding of their faith from Timothy.
A large part of I Thessalonians is occupied with the doctrine of the "Lord's coming again", and it is this coming which Paul himself announces. This is the "coming of the Lord" that Jesus spoke of the night before being taken before Pilot, and His going to the cross, in Matthew 24:36, 25:31, and Acts 1:7. This is when Jesus said; "It is not for you to know the times nor the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power." This is concerning Jesus Christ's second coming, at the seventh [last] trumpet of Revelation 11:15.
Paul's language concerning the "times and the seasons" were very similar to what Jesus said [I Thessalonians 5:1], and in fact, this topic of the coming of Christ is emphasized through the entire book of I Thessalonians. This idea of the nearness of Christ's return is unique in many respects; chronologically, as well as canonically; in it's use of special terns in relation to the special coming [Parousia, and epiphaneia, in the Greek] of the Lord.
This letter from Paul was the earliest writing of Paul, and was sent from Corinth, in 52, or 53 A.D. Some hold that it was the first letter of the New Testament. Thessalonica, is now called "Salonica", in the AEgean Sea, and is one of the busiest ports of Macedonia. Though it is much smaller today, it has always had a large Jewish population.
I Thessalonians 1:1 "Paul, and Sil-va'-nus, and Ti-mouth'-e-us, unto the church of the Thess-a-lo'-ans which is in God the Father and in the Lord Je'-sus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Je'-sus Christ."
When Paul taught, he taught on three levels; The Gentiles; the leaders of the day; as well as to "Israel", or Gods election. This is why all of Paul's work, as you read it over and over, will continue to grow in your mind each time, on a different level.
Silvanus and Timotheus are Greek forms of Silas and Timothy. There is no doubt that the Thessalonians are in God; for Paul is pleased that his thirty days of teaching the message of God's grace, and the Word has taken hold.
I Thessalonians 1:2 "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;"
I Thessalonians 1:3 "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Je'-sus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;"
"Your work of faith", is what was important; and the work of love and hope in Jesus Christ is given freely. There is only one way to have "faith", and that is to simply believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The opposite of faith is to doubt, and many strengthen their "faith" in prayer. However, you either have faith, or you do not.
What does faith consist of?
First you believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, and that this concept was from the Almighty God, and within His perfect plan. This is no problem for the Christian who knows the power and Spirit of the Almighty God. By this we know, that Jesus is the Son of the Almighty God. This is why we pray, and our prayers are all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, or redeemer.
When you ask in the "name of Jesus Christ", it means you believe in Him. That is your only credentials that you are a believer, and have faith, and are a "Christ-man [Christian]". Your faith and your credentials [asking in Jesus Christ's name] is the measuring stick on having your prayers answered. How is your prayer life doing? Are you doing any work for the Lord daily?
God is your Father, a person who is concerned about all of His children. He is not just a force floating about, compared as any force, or part of nature that exists. We are made in His image, and likeness. The world today is reforming the image of God into a force, unseen and explainable only through nature. The Kenite mind is trying to strip God and Jesus Christ of their deity, and reduce your thought of Him into something they can control. In this manner, they reduce God to something they can use, and thus, the Kenites feel superior to you, by the control of this image that they have created.
A Christian can see right through the "Kenite" tricksters, and we know our Heavenly Father as a caring person of love. A person who protects, guides, and corrects His children, in the same manner as our earthly father's do. The only thing that God gives in advance is salvation; after that it's up to you as to your blessings and answers to prayer.
I Thessalonians 1:4 "Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
"Knowing...your election of God". What a strong statement. Some of you have been elected from before the foundations of this earth age, as pointed out in Acts 9:15-16. Chosen by God to do a specific mission, to witness to specific people, just as Paul was.
These chosen ones just knew there was more to God's word then they were taught. This is brought out in [Ephesians 1:4], "According as he hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of this world [earth age], that we should be holy and without blame [blemish] before Him in love:"
I Thessalonians 1:5 "For the gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
Paul is telling them, we never just got up and spoke, but there are things in our message that gave you the assurance we are from God. We came to you for your sake, and not ours. Now when you see a person that holds a special gift of God, you don't question it's source; it's there and can be seen, heard and felt if your in tune with the Spirit of God. This Word of God is powerful, and will bring you peace of mind, security, and blessings.
Paul is saying, God's Word is not just a bunch of word's, but as you grow in it, read it, and then see God's blessings falling on you; it will change your entire life [manner]. You will not be the same person. This is all done not for God's sake, but "for your sake".
I Thessalonians 1:6 "And ye became followers [imitators] of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit:"
Things were rough in the early days of Christianity, and the preaching of God's Word; with Paul and Silas being thrown in jail and beaten, gave an example to the others.
I Thessalonians 1:7 "So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Mac-e-do'-ni-a and A-chai'-a."
I Thessalonians 1:8 "For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Mac-e-do'-ni-a and A-chai'-a, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing."
When a person works under affliction for the Lord, it makes Him sharper and much more appreciative of what he has accomplished, and finally gets. When the Thessalonians were brought up, and talked about anywhere in the world, that report was good. They spoke of their solid faith, and their work of promoting the gospel of Christ. Paul was pleased that this church didn't stop at the salvation message, and the saving of their souls, but they reached out to others. They grew in their faith, and had fruits of that effort to show.
I Thessalonians 1:9 "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;"
The service you give to the Lord is given right where you are, and within those opportunities that God lays in your path. Even if it is just a smile, or a word of encouragement. As you progress in your faith and works, it shows us [Paul and Silas] how well we did with you.
The Thessalonians turned from their traditions of men, and idols, to the living and true God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
And now Paul takes us to the subject of the entire book in verse ten.
I Thessalonians 1:10 "And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Je'-sus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."
The coming of "His Son", Jesus Christ, is the second advent. The most popular thinking amongst Christians today, is the traditional teaching by men that they will be gone when this wrath of God comes. They think they will fly like the birds out of here when the Antichrist sets his feet on this earth, and in traditional thought, it is called the "rapture".
Who is God's wrath directed against? His enemies. If you have accepted God [Jesus Christ], and have faith in Him, you are no longer an enemy of God, but one of His children. God is going to turn His real wrath on His enemies. However, God's protection will also extend to His children, as He gave in Daniel 3:21-25 to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the fiery furnace. This will be like the type of God's protection for His own children when the Babylon of the end times comes.
God is in total control at all times, and in all places, for He keeps His Word. Your reliance on His ability to keep His Word, and fulfill His promises are what is called "faith". Don't get carried away with the doomsayers of today, they are the ones making plans and laws that go opposite to God's Word. God is in control.
Jesus Himself, while on this earth said in Luke 21:12-17, that you will be delivered up to give answer in the "synagogues of Satan" [the churches of today], and that even your family and friends will betray you. "Ye shall be hated of all men for My Name sake". You know it will happen to us, because we are living in the "times and season" of the last generation, and He is talking to "His elect" in this generation. He is not talking to a pack of birds about to fly away.
Then Jesus said; "But their shall not an hair of your head perish." [Luke 21:18] Jesus then tells us where and how it comes about. "In your patience possess ye your souls." [Luke 21:19] We will win through our patience on waiting for the True Christ. Not jumping on the band wagon of the Antichrist, who will come first. If you think you will fly out first, you do not have that patience and you will take Satan [Antichrist] as your savior, Jesus said!
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