- I Thessalonians 1:1-10
- I Thessalonians 1:1-3 – The church in Thessalonica was new and was formed in a rough environment. If the gospel can work in Thessalonica and Corinth, it can work anywhere! Their faith and growth gave Paul great joy.
- I Thessalonians 1:1 – See I Peter 5:12; Acts 15:22, 40 – Silvanus (Silas)
- I Thessalonians 1:4-5 – “God has chosen you.” See II Thessalonians 2:13-14. Regarding being “chosen” by God, consider Acts 16:9-10; 17:2-5; I Thessalonians 2:13; 3:5, 8; II Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15; I Timothy 2:4. Men are chosen by the gospel. Upon hearing the gospel, some will believe, and some will not. God is not choosing individual people; He is choosing those who will have faith. Paul was constantly exhorting people to stand firm in the Lord, indicating that it was possible they could fall away. It is not the case that God chooses a person and forces that person to be faithful forever. God chooses those who have faith.
- I Thessalonians 1:6-8 – See Acts 16:34. The Philippian jailer experienced this same type of joy.
- The Thessalonians were already an example to others. We don’t get to a certain age and suddenly become examples to others!
- I Thessalonians 1:9-10 – Excavations of ancient Thessalonica showed idolatry including Greco-Roman idols and Egyptian idols. It would be quite serious to turn from all this idolatry to serving God. We still have idolatry today, but it tends to take other forms – sports, TV, money, or even ourselves. Anything that takes the place of God can become an idol.
- The Thessalonians were doing such a good job that other people were bringing news of their good deeds back to Paul! What a great example they were!
For further study, see also:
election by God
Paul's missionary journeys
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