Three Things About The Word
George Marshall III - 1/8/2023
Call to worship: Psalm 145:1-13
Text: 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10
Full of thanksgiving. Some people complain Paul has a too frequent harsh tone. The reality is that Paul loves God's people deeply, and so he takes the holiness of the saints, God's chosen people, seriously. And as he reminds himself of the faith of the Thessalonian church, he can't help but thank God for their response to the gospel. He considers not just their conversion from lifeless idols to the living God, but he wonders at the outworking of that faith and their steadfast patience. As Paul and his associates follow Christ, the church at Thessalonica has fruitfully imitated both, and Christians all over now echo the results. Underlying all is the Word.
- Read 1 Thessalonians 1.
- What is Paul's thanksgiving based on in 1:2-3? What does Paul give as the grounds for the fruit he sees (1:4)? What characterized the gospel message for Paul, what other elements aided and verified it (1:5a)? How do we see the inseparable work of the trinitarian persons in 1:2-5a?
- How did the Thessalonians imitate Paul and his coworkers (1:5b-8)? Was it their teaching, their actions, their lives, or some combination? What effect did this have on believers in the surrounding area? What effect did this have on Paul and his companions? Is imitation something you see as positive, or something to be treated cautiously? Who in your life is worthy of emulation, and what is it that sets them apart?
- In what way are the Thessalonians an encouragement to other believers (1:8-9)? What actions or stances are they taking that deserve commendation? Are these things that are primarily individual or corporate?
- What appears to be the focus for the church in Thessalonica (1:10)? What character traits already mentioned are likely related to Paul's praise here?