So, we are going to read 1 Thessalonians today and see what answers we can find there. I encourage you to get your Bible out and read it there and even write notes or underline in it as we go along. But if you don’t have a Bible handy, here is the passage.
1 Thessalonians 1
1Paul and Silvanus and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. 2We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 4knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; 5for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
Now, I want to give some Bible study tips before we keep going. First, remember a few things when studying the NEw Testament, especially the letters write by Paul and the other apostles. Remember when they talk about the scriptures, the Word of God, etc. they are always referring to the Old Testament books. Because the New Testament was not written yet. Second, remember that these things take place after Jesus Christ, that is Yeshua Messiah, had died, rose again, and returned to heaven. Next, always read these letters as if they are written to the people and time in which they were written. They were NOT written to us in this day and age, but to a people that lived more than a thousand years ago. That is not to say that God the Father did not intent for us to read and apply them to our lives, it just means that we were not the first intended party.
So, the writers of this letter are Paul, Silvanis, and Timothy, aposltes of our Lord Yeshua Messiah. They are writing this letter of encouragement to the church they planted in Thessalonica. They begin by saying how much they thank God for this congregation of believers, and how they pray for them daily, and how they knew from the Holy Spirit that they were a part of the family of God. The reason they know with no doubt that these people are true believers is because when they came to them and proclaimed the word of God to them, they readily received it. They turned from idol worship and embraced the truth that Yeshua was the Messiah for ALL PEOPLE, and that His Message was for all people. They knew also that they were true believers there because the message of how they embraced the truth of the Word of God was heard in nearby cities and towns. In other words, these people in Thessalonica that were TRUE BELIEVERS some how looked different than other people.
So, my question is what did they embrace? The Word of God.
What is the Word of God?
How did it change them?
HOw did they clearly look different than other people?
These are the questions I hope we can answer in the next post.
Keep reading with me and see what I find out.