1 Thessalonians 1
Summary: Paul spent three weeks in Thessalonica preaching the Gospel. In that three weeks people came to faith in Christ and the Church was established. However, the Gospel was making such an impact it upset many of the unbelievers and they began to persecute the Church. Paul and his team were chased out of town. Four months after leaving he sent Timothy & Silas back to check on the Church. They reported back to Paul that even in persecution the Church was thriving and their faith was known all over the region so Paul wrote back to encourage and answer questions that had been raised there.
(V. 1-7) The first part of this chapter is a clear picture of how the Gospel worked in the church of Thessalonica. Paul says “our Gospel came to you not only with words but also with power, the Holy Spirit, and deep conviction.” So they heard the Gospel, the power in the Holy Spirit opened their eyes to the only path to salvation (Jesus), and it led them to repentance. After that Paul speaks about them becoming imitators of him and of Christ. This teaches us that after salvation our lives are shaped by the Gospel. We begin to look more like Christ and less like the old sinful us. Because the Gospel had this effect on the church, vs. 7 says they became an example to all believers. This should be our lives.
(V. 8-10) In these verses we see that after the Gospel saved and shaped the believers it sent them. Paul said the faith of the Thessalonians had gone forth everywhere. This is God’s design for the Gospel: Ordinary people hearing and being transformed by the Gospel, then taking that message into the world. Paul closes the chapter by talking about how they are waiting for God’s son from heaven. This is reassuring for believers because we know we can continue to work for the Lord no matter the circumstances because he will return one day and make all things new.
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
(V. 1-7) Explain the Gospel message and what it means.
(V. 1-7) How is Jesus the only way to salvation?
(V. 1-7) What has repentance looked like in your life?
(V. 1-7) How did the Gospel shape the Thessalonians?
(V. 8-10) Why is it important for believers to share the Gospel message?
(V. 8-10) When was the last time you shared the Gospel?
(V. 8-10) How does Christ’s return compel and sustain us to live sent?