1 Thess 1:2-3
- Paul did not necessarily pray long prayers for the church in Thessalonica but “mentioned” the church before God. The important thing is not the length of the prayer but the content and the heart behind it.
- Here we see Paul’s famous “faith, hope and love” for the first time (1 Corinthians 13:13).
- The Thessalonians had “previously” come to believe in Jesus, were “now” laboring in love and “waiting” for Jesus.
- For those who believe in Jesus, loving deeds naturally follow (Jas 2:14-17) or as James wrote, “be doers of the word, not hearers only” (Jas 1:22).
1 Thess 1:4
- Paul calls the Thessalonians “brothers”, indicating that he did not see himself as their superior, even though he had more knowledge than them and had founded the church. God is our Father and we are all equal brothers (Matthew 23:9).
- Since Paul has seen so many signs that the Thessalonians really belong to God, he understands that they are chosen by God.
- The Thessalonians received the word with joy, they became followers of Jesus, they suffered for Jesus and they spread the word.
1 Thess 1:5
- The Gospel is not only teaching and preaching, but also miracles, healings and power.
- If a sermon consisted only of fine rhetoric, not many would be convinced, but if the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of the listeners, then many will want to turn to Jesus (John 16:8, 1 Corinthians 2:1-5).
- The Holy Spirit can create such a supernaturally strong faith that it will not give in to anything.
1 Thess 1:6
- Paul was not ashamed that the Thessalonians followed him because he knew that he himself followed Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:1).
- A believer is often more eager to live fully for Jesus if he is forced to do so in the midst of severe suffering. A believer who lives in peaceful conditions risks becoming comfortable, apathetic and forgetting the importance of spreading the Gospel.
- The severe sufferings Paul describes are first of all the riots that occurred in Thessalonica when Paul preached the gospel there (Acts 17:4-10).
1 Thess 1:7
- First Paul was an example to the Thessalonians, now the Thessalonians are in turn examples to the Macedonians. In the same way, we should have Christian examples and also lead people to faith who in turn can become examples for others.
- The Romans divided Greece into the northern province of Macedonia, with Thessalonica as its capital, and the southern province of Achaia, with Corinth as its capital.
- After the Thessalonians themselves had come to faith, they spread the gospel throughout the rest of Greece.
1 Thess 1:9-10
- All men will perish because all men have sinned. But God sent Jesus to save all those who believe in Jesus so that they will not perish (John 3:16).
- It is equally important today that Christians spread the gospel, the good news, throughout the world that there is salvation from wrath by turning from idols and to God through faith in Jesus.
- Just as Jesus has ascended among the clouds, he will one day return among the clouds (Acts 1:9-11). The Thessalonians were eagerly awaiting this.
- Since Jesus may return at any time, we Christians today should also wait eagerly for Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:2).