January 12th - Bob Marsh - 1 Thessalonians

 

Preparation for Sunday’s Bible study, read I Thessalonians 1:1-10, and if possible, in several translations.  I use the NIV for  teaching, but do read other translations.

As we begin a study in I Thessalonians, keep in mind:

1.    Some believe this may have been Paul’s first letter, and whether that is factual or not, it certainly is one of the earliest letters.

2.    Acts 17 gives the historical background of this letter. The CHURCH OF THE THESSALONIANS was founded by Paul, Silas, and Timothy.Paul spent time in the city, preaching in the synagogue about Jesus as fulfillment of OLD COVENANANT. Paul and Silas fled from Thessalonica to Berea, then to Athens and eventually to Corinth (ACTS 18:1).  It is in Corinth that Paul writes this first letter to the CHURCH OF THE THESSALONIANS who are “in God the Father and In the Lord Jesus Christ .”

3.    The purpose of the letter is to combat some misinformation that was being passed around by enemies of Paul. (1) Paul’s message was not true, so those who said they were converted by Paul’s message were not in fact converted. (2) Paul is ignoring the Thessalonians, interested in them for his own gain. (3) The believers who have died believing in Jesus?? What happens to them?

As you read chapter 1, note carefully: (1) vs 1, CHURCH OF THE THESSALONIANS. How did a Church spring up in such an idolatrous and immoral city? (2) What does it mean “IN GOD THE FATHER AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST?” (3) Have you noticed how often Paul uses the introduction GRACE AND PEACE TO YOU? Why does he always mention GRACE first and then PEACE?

(4) For what  is Paul thankful? Vs 2-3.

(5) What is it that Paul knows about the Church? Vs 4.

(6) How did they become CHOSEN PEOPLE OF GOD? Ephesians 1:11-14, Romans 10:8-13, Galatians 3:26-29. What were some of the manifestations of their having been chosen? According to the New Covenant, who are the CHOSEN PEOPLE? I Peter 1:9-10.

Vs 7, they became a MODEL of how a body of believers should look and act. From 7-10 Paul is describing a MODEL CHURCH. Note carefully vs 9-10. They TURNED, THEY SERVED, THEY WAITED. He COMMENDS THEM AND ENCOURAGES THEM.

As we study this chapter, may Christ the living Word become more real and more precious to all of us.

 

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