1 THESSALONIANS INTRODUCTION
AUTHOR- The greeting identifies Paul as the author and mentions Silvanus – (Silas) and Timothy: They were co-workers with Paul and helped him in establishing the church in Thessalonica on his second missionary journey – (Acts 17:1-9):
DATE- First Thessalonians was written in Corinth in AD 50-51, About six months after the church in Thessalonica was founded…It is probably the first of Paul’s New Testament epistles, and most likely the first twenty-seven New Testament Books to be written…
MAJOR THEME- A HOLY LIFE LEADS TO ETERNAL LIFE: Paul calls believers to be holy – (1 Thessalonians 3:13; 4:3; 5:23), with particular calls to (a): CONTINUE AS EXAMPLES to others – (1 Thessalonians 1:7), (b): WALK WORTHY OF GOD’S CALLING – (1 Thessalonians 2:12), (c): STANDFAST IN THE FAITH – ( 1 Thessalonians 3:8), and (d): MAINTAIN MORAL PURITY – (1 Thessalonians 4:3): The letter closes with instructions and comfort concerning the Second Coming of Christ – (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11), along with other exhortation concerning the spiritual life…
BACKGROUND- The church in Thessalonica was founded in the summer of AD 50 during Paul’s second missionary journey – (Acts 15:36-18:22): Built on the Aegean Sea, Thessalonica was the most prominent city in the Roman province of Macedonia and served as a naval and commercial center…While many of the early churches were composed primarily of Jews who believed in Christ, the Thessalonian believers were mostly Gentiles, former idol worshippers – (1 Thessalonians 1:9): They experienced persecution by fellow citizens, stirred up by the Jews – (1 Thessalonians 1:6; and 2:14, Acts 17:5-9), and had difficultly adhering to Christian values in a pagan setting…
1 Thessalonians 1 Study Guide & Breakdown
Greeting and Thanksgiving (1 Thessalonians 1:1-10)
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 [a]from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men, we were among you for your sake.
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.
1:1: IN THE FIRST-CENTURY GREEK WORLD, there was a general pattern by which all letters were begun: name of sender(s), the addressee(s), the greeting itself…As with most of Paul’s epistles, this pattern is followed here but Christianized…
1:2: GIVE THANKS IN THE NT (Greek is eucharisto), from which we get our English word “EUCHARIST” A spirit of thanksgiving constantly pervades the prayers of Paul, as here when he specifically remembers the Christians in Thessalonica…
1:3: REMEMBERING AND WITHOUT CEASING describe effective prayer – (see 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 5:16-18): FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE are the three Christian virtues Paul links together in other letters – (1 Corinthians 13:13; Colossians 1:4-5): These virtues are connected to actions: faith, works, love labors, hope produces PATIENCE, showing that salvation goes beyond attitudes and even actions…
1:6: FOLLOWERS – (IMITATORS) of Christ also imitate spiritual leaders- THE JOY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT is not an easy emotional high, but comes with the struggles that are proper with a having a spiritual life, and including and preserving us through afflictions: The one who suffers is the one who is comforted…
1:7-10: What a tribute to all the Thessalonian believers…People all around them were speaking of them!!!
1:10: The early Christians expected Christ to return in their lifetime…This hope helped them purged their lives of sin…
1 Thessalonians 2 Study Guide & Breakdown
Defense of Paul’s Past Work – (1 Thessalonians 2:1-12)
2 For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain. 2 But [a]even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict. 3 For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit.
4 But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. 5 For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a [b]cloak for covetousness—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 9 For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.
10 You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; 11 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and [c]charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
2:1-16: Paul defends his apostolic work, claiming he has served with courage – (vv. 1, 2), humility – (vv. 3-6), love – (vv. 7-8), financial integrity – (v. 9), and godly authority – (vv. 10-12)- Following this example, the Thessalonians can manifest similar holiness amidst hostility – (vv. 13-16):
2:2: Christians are repeatedly challenged in the NT to be BOLD in confessing Christ before others – (see Acts 4:29-31; and Romans 1:16):
2:4-6: Paul has been accursed of seeking his own glory, but he knows God does not share His glory with any other – (Isaiah 48:11): As His servants, we must step outside the circle of world-pleasers and into the arena of pleasing God, whatever the cost…
2:7-8: Spreading the gospel means one thing putting our lives on the line for those we seek to reach, as a mother sacrifices herself for her children: The holy martyrs gave their lives with great joy for Christ and His Church…
2:11: Note the three verbs Paul uses to describe his apostolic preaching to the Thessalonians: (1): EXHORTED, which can also mean encouraged; (2): COMFORTED; and (3) CHARGED or IMPLORED: These elements are just as important for our preaching today!!!
Fruit of Paul’s Work: They Endured Persecution (1 Thessalonians 2:13-16)
13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. 14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are [a]contrary to all men, 16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.
2:14-15: While the persecution in Thessalonica comes primarily from Greeks, Paul, a Jew, is frank concerning his countrymen of that day who reject their Messiah, noting that they (1): KILLED…THE LORD JESUS – (v. 15), (2) KILLED THEIR OWN PROPHETS, (3): PERSECUTED the apostles, (4): DO NOT PLEASE GOD, and (5) act with hostility to ALL MEN: This is a strong indictment: but Paul’s love for the Jews never wavers…He wishes himself to be cursed if that could cause his fellow Jews to turn to Christ for salvation – (Romans 9:3; 10:1)…
Paul’s Present Relationship with Thessalonica – (1 Thessalonians 2:17-20)
17 But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire. 18 Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
2:18: Though unable to prevail against the Church – (Matthew 16:18) or overcome the faithful – (Ephesians 6:11-13; and Revelation 12:11), The enemy at times is permitted to hinder faithful Christians…It is here that we enact God’s promise- “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” – (James 4:7)
PSALM 44 (45) STUDY & BREAKDOWN
45 My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a [c]ready writer.
2 You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever. 3 [d]Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One, With Your glory and Your majesty. 4 And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness; And Your right hand shall teach You awesome things. 5 Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; The peoples fall under You.
6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions. 8 All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia, Out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad. 9 Kings’ daughters are among Your honorable women; At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.
10 Listen, O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your father’s house; 11 So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him. 12 And the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; The rich among the people will seek your favor.
13 The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; Her clothing is woven with gold. 14 She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors; The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You. 15 With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought; They shall enter the King’s palace.
16 Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons, Whom You shall make princes in all the earth. 17 I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.
PSALM 44 (45) Is a prophetic description of the Word Incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ – (THE END), and His Church, composed of both Jews and Gentiles: THE BELOVED ONE is the Word Himself, and His Incarnation brought about changes – (THINGS THAT SHALL BE CHANGED, v. 1): For He established His Church – (THE PEOPLES), and even changed HIS ENEMIES into friends – (v. 6): vv. 2-9 describe Him (see also Hebrews 1:8-9); and vv. 10-18 describe His Mother, the Mother of God, who is both His QUEEN – (v. 10) and HIS DAUGHTER – (vv. 11, 14): These verses also describe the Church begotten from her – (daughters, v. 10; THE DAUGHTERS OF TYRE, v. 13-The Gentiles; THE VIRGINS, v. 15; SONS, v. 17): MYRRH AND STACTE – (v. 9) are sweet-smelling fragrances or incense: CASSIA was used in ancient medicines, a reference to healing…
DISCIPLESHIP- The life of learning, growing, self-sacrifice, and commitment required of every Christian: A Christian not only believes in Christ but leaves everything to follow Him… (See also Matthew 4:18-22, & Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 9:23; and Galatians 5:24)
HOPE- An expectation of something desired through faith – (Hebrews 11:1): Hope for Christians is to “LOOK FORWARD TO THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD AND THE LIFE OF THE WORLD TO COME…” – (THE CREED) – (See also John 16:20-24, 33; Romans 5:2; 8;24-25; 2Thessalonians 2:16)
WE ARE ALL DISCIPLES AND WE ALL LIVE A LIFE OF LEARNING, GROWING, SELF-SACRIFICE, LIVING THAT COMMITMENT AS A CHRISTTIAN A TRUE FOLLOWE OF YESHUA (JESUS)- CHRIST OUR GOD!!! HOPE IS WHAT GIVES US THE STRENGTH AND ENERGY TO FURTHER OUR MISSION IS SPREADING THE GOSPEL LIKE PAUL AND HIS DISCIPLES LIKE TIMOTHY AND SILVANUS…