1 & 2 THESSALONIANS STUDY 2
The revolution of a new life:
Commitment to Christ 1 Thess. 1:1-10
The story in this chapter of the Thessalonians’ turning to Christ makes thrilling reading. We can set our experiences alongside theirs. Many lessons emerge.
1. Don’t forget to pray (vs. 2,3)
We need to look at Paul before we concentrate on the Thessalonians. Think about the significance of his use of the words “always”, “all”, and “continually” in these verses. What do they teach us about praying?
2. Put your faith to work (v. 3)
How does this relate to v. 9 “turning to God from idols”?
Faith is not mere academic belief (James 2:14-19). Notice how faith involved “work” for Abraham (Heb. 11: 17-19). What “work” demonstrates faith today?
3. Let love control you (v. 3)
The word “labour” carries the idea of “effort to the point of exhaustion”. What does that tell us about the way the Thessalonians loved? Was that what lay behind Acts 17:10? Does the way new Christians learn to love have anything to do with the way those who lead them to Christ and nurture them, show love in their own lives? If so, think about the effect of Paul’s love on them (1 Thess. 2:8,9). Note: “toil” in v. 9 is the same Greek word as “labour” in 1:3.
How does 1 Cor. 13:5 “love is not self-seeking” tie in with all of this? What practical implications are there here for us?
4. Keep hope dominant (v.3)
Where was the Thessalonians’ hope placed? (v. 3). What do you think they were hoping for? Note what hope achieves (Rom. 5:2-5). What is our Christian hope?
5. Make sure the foundation is firm (vs. 4,5)
That seems to be the point Paul is making in these verses, as he reminds them of the facts on which their hope is founded:
a. God’s love (4), takes us back to the roots of our salvation (see 1 John 4:10)
b. His choice (4), not ours, as all-important (see Eph. 1:4)
c. His gospel (5) is made real by the power of His Spirit (think about 1 Cor. 2:2-5).
Why are these facts important as the ground of our salvation?
6. Copy good examples (vs. 5b, 6)
Paul not only preached and taught but lived as an example. Why is this important? Think about Paul’s statements in 1 Cor. 4:16 and 11:1. Why is it necessary for Christians to be good examples? (Think about Matt. 5:16 and Phil. 2: 14, 15). Who else had the Thessalonians been copying (v. 6)? 1 Peter 2:21-23 are important verses for us in this connection. Notice that Paul and the Lord had been good examples for the Thessalonians, especially in the context of suffering (v.6). They also suffered like the Judean Christians who had been an example for them (2:14, 15).
Why do Christians suffer persecution? Paul says it comes to all Christians (2 Tim. 3:12).
7. Become an example (vs. 7-11)
Good imitators or followers become in turn good examples. So what does this suggest should be happening in Oakhall Church? In which two areas had they become examples to other believers? Verses 8 and 9 provide the clues.
If both spoken witness and life style are important, how do we rate as a church? What life style characteristics do you feel are important in making an impact on those around us?