Summary: The Thessalonian Christians are our examples in our christian living.
We noted from the Apostle Peter that the writings of the Apostle Paul are full of godly wisdom. Bible Scholars tell us that the Letters to the Thessalonians were the first letters written by Paul; and so after praying and consultation with our Elders, we will study these letters to the Thessalonians for the next several weeks.
Now, many of us have read or seen stories with this question, “What was the M-O for the crime?” What is an M-O??
As we start a new message series, let us ask ourselves, What is our M-O in life? What is my M-O in life?
Before we read the first letter to the Thessalonians, let us briefly get the background of that church. Open your Bibles to the Book of Acts, Chapter 17:1-15….
And so we note that the Church in Thessalonica was initiated by Missionaries Paul, Silas, and Timothy. Both Jews and Gentiles in Thessalonica accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord! We also note from the book of Acts that those in Thessalonica who did not accept the Gospel of Christ persecuted the Christians, even following them to a different town!
This is always true; the Gospel must be preached; there will be those who will receive Jesus Christ but there will always be persecution from those who do not believe.
Let us now turn to the First Letter to the Thessalonians. Most Bible Scholars will tell us that the apostle Paul wrote the Letter; but let us note right away that this letter is part of God’s Scriptures, therefore it is really God Himself who wrote the letter for Christians. And so, before reading our text, let us together pray our commitment to God’s Word…..
Read along with me now 1 Thessalonians 1….
We read in v1 that the letter actually did come from the 3 ministers, Paul, Silas, and Timothy. What were these Ministers’ motives for writing to the Thessalonicans?
We note in the beginning how the ministers saw the church, even though they started the church! They did not see it as “their” church!
v1a: acknowledged the church in God the Father and the Lord Jesus!
The Ministers were encouraged by a true Christian church! The Ministers were motivated by what belongs to God, not man!
And we note in,
v1b: The Ministers were motivated by God’s Grace and peace. Grace here is charis, which is a gift, an undeserved favor from God! And Peace in this verse is eirene which is peace of mind and wholeness from God!
In v2 we note that Paul, Silas, and Timothy thanked God and believed in prayer! They were motivated with a good God and connection with God through prayer!
v3: Work, labor, and endurance of the Thessalonian Christians motivated Paul, Silas, and Timothy!
We’ll talk about what motivated the Thessalonian Christians in a moment, but there are a couple more things which motivated Ministers Paul, Silas, and Timothy.
What can we note from v4-10? Paul, Silas, and Timothy experienced the Triune God’s miraculous work of love, gracious choosing, and empowerment through the Thessalonians!
Our Scripture of the Week to memorize is the second part of v9……
The Thessalonian Christians are the examples of how Christians are to be after Pentecost, the Apostles and the writing of the New Testament Scriptures and as they waited for the return of Christ! Christians today are to be like the Thessalonian Christians of 2000 years ago!
What were the motives of the Thessalonian Christians?
Look at v3 again with me…..
The Thessalonians were motivated to live the Christian life because of v3: faith in, love from, and hope in Jesus Christ! They really knew who Jesus Christ was, is, and is to come! They had a living relationship with God through Jesus Christ!
Now, read again with me v4-6…. What is this saying?
v4-6: The Thessalonian Christians were motivated by God’s power, God’s message, and God’s ministers!
And finally look again at v10…
We can note 3 things which motivated the Thessalonians to live the Christian life; what were they??
v10: motivated by return of Christ, resurrection power, and deliverance from judgment of sin!
The application for our lives today is simple:
Christians today are to be like the Thessalonian Christians of 2000 years ago!
1. Really know Jesus Christ!
- Why believe and trust Him?
- How does He love me?
- What is my future with Him?
2. See and experience God’s power in everything! What does this mean? Everyday, look for God in everything!
3. Read and be encouraged daily with God’s Word!
4. Grasp the meaning of Hebrews 12:1… Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.