1 Thessalonians 1
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.
7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Relationships are delicate things. They can be
exquisite one day and stormy the next. Paul’s relationship with the
Thessalonians was deep in feeling yet short on contact. Paul’s first visit to
Thessalonica lasted only a few weeks, yet something deep within his soul was
stirred by that contact. Paul couldn’t bear separation from them, so he wrote a
letter to assure these believers that they remained at the center of his
thoughts and prayers.
In verses 6-10 Paul continues giving reasons why he is
thankful to God for the Thessalonian believers. The church was
imitating the character of Jesus and the apostles and becoming a model for
new believers everywhere. Both the apostles and the Lord had suffered
unjustly, yet experienced joy in the midst of suffering (1 Thess 2:1-2; Heb 12:1-2). The
fact that the Thessalonians were doing likewise was for Paul further evidence of their
spiritual growth. Paul had been worried about their spiritual condition in the
days before getting news about them (see 1 Thess 3:1-8). When
he finally heard of their faithfulness, it drew out from him a paean of praise
and thanksgiving to God (1:2-10).
Loma Linda University