Summary: Paul really loved the church of Thessalonica, this young church was doing many things right this sermon looks at a few of them.
What A Church…
INTRO: I have been focusing on the book of 1 Thessalonians in my daily study for the past few months and I am continually amazed at the depth and the richness of this book. One of the things that I love about this book of the Bible is that it is in many ways a practical guide for the church and for Christian living. So over the next few months we are going to be breaking this book down and looking at it in a systematic way.
I want to encourage you to bring your Bibles every week to church because you are going to want to underline things and make notes in your Bible's as we go through this book. You might even want to invest in a Bible that has room in the margins for you to write and study out of. We have a few of those in the back at the CD Table if you would like to purchase one.
The other thing I want to encourage you to do is read the book of 1 Thessalonians this week. Spend sometime in it so that when we gather each week to worship you will be familiar with the text and ready to dive in and really get a lot out of these messages.
So that we can accurately and more fully understand the content of this book we first need to get a little bit of background information. In the coming weeks we will build on this basic knowledge when more background and history is needed but for today the basics are all that are necessary.
Authorship: Paul is identified as the author in the first verse and in chapter 2:18 his authorship is widely accepted. Some think that the book was not authored by Paul but we are not going to spend anytime examining their reasons because I find them to have little merit.
Date: As with most letters in the Bible it is hard to pin point a specific date however we do know it was written around 51 A.D. This is important because this makes this letter one of the first letters that Paul ever wrote that became part of the Bible. Some believe it is the first others place the book of Galatians as the first letter Paul wrote.
Context: (Show MAP). Several months ago we talked about the 4 Great things that are needed when it comes to evangelism. During that sermon I showed you this same map so you may remember some of the context.
If you will remember Paul originally had his heart set on going up north to Bithynia (Acts 16:7). But instead the Spirit of God sent them into Macedonia. There first stop in Macedonia was up here in Philippi. We know about Paul's ministry to this church from His letter to them called Philippians. The had a successful ministry in Philippi but it was not an easy ministry.
Acts 16:22-24 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
And he even recounts this in his letter to the Thessalonians when he says.