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Showing posts from April, 2020

1 Thessalonians 1:4

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, (1 Thessalonians 1:4 - ESV)
Once again, Paul directs his praise all toward God. These Thessalonians that are displaying Faith, Love, and Hope through their Work, Labor, and Steadfastness... They are Loved by God. 
Now, ask the question, "Are they loved by God because of their displays of Faith, Hope, and Love? Or are they displaying these things because they are loved by God?"
I believe that the answer is obvious for two reasons. Consider first that Paul is thankful TO God for the Faith, Hope, and Love of the Thessalonians. He is not thanking the Thessalonian people for these things, he is thanking God! And if there is any question, consider also that final statement in this verse: that God has CHOSEN them!  What a great reality this is.

1 Thessalonians 1:3

remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:3 - ESV)
Now Paul is getting into the specifics on why he is thankful to God for these Thessalonians. Notice the "triad" of things he is thankful for... 
1. Faith -- Displayed in Work.  2. Love -- Displayed in Labor 3. Hope -- Displayed in Steadfastness. 
This is not the first (or last) time that Paul mentions these three together: Faith, Hope, and Love. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, he ends by pointing these three out, the order is different here, but the same three are mentioned. For the Corinthians, Paul may have ended on Love because that is what they were most needing to hear about, and it truly is the greatest of these. For the Thessalonians, Paul may have ended on Hope, because that is the place where they were in most need of encouragement. 
Faith was displayed in work. This is actions and behaviors. Things that the Thessalonians …

1 Thessalonians 1:2

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, (1 Thessalonians 1:2 - ESV)
"We" is Paul, Silas (Silvanus), and Timothy; and this trio is thanking God, in unison, for this Church at Thessalonika. 
When are they doing this? -- Always. Constantly mentioning them in their prayers. Paul, Silas, and Timothy's thankfulness is to God for the Thessalonians. This demonstrates that the things that they will be thankful for and have been thankful for, are attributed to God's grace displayed in the lives of the Thessalonians.

1 Thessalonians 1:1

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. (1 Thessalonians 1:1 - ESV)
Paul and Silas (Silvanus) had left Philippi and entered Thessalonika. After being there and ministering, he had been basically forced to leave the city. Paul is now in Corinth and thinking of the church that was planted in Thessalonika, missing them, worrying about them, praying for them, and writing a letter to them. 
He begins his letter to that church in the way he most often does. He includes who he is with, now joined by Timothy, and greets them in the name of the Father and the Son, hoping that God's Grace and Peace are on them.