Sunday: Boldness in Suffering (1 Thess. 2:1, 2)

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:12 in light of Acts 16. What connection does Paul draw between his earlier ministry in Philippi and his ministry in Thessalonica?

First Thessalonians 2:1 picks up on the themes of the first chapter. The “you yourselves know” (NKJV) of this verse recalls the same language in 1 Thessalonians 1:5. And Paul’s reference to “coming” or gaining “entrance” with the church recalls 1 Thessalonians 1:9. So, Paul is continuing the themes that he raised in the opening chapter of the letter. The end of the previous chapter was concerned with what “everybody” knew about the Thessalonians. In this chapter he discusses what the readers know about the apostles and their commitment to the faith.

Paul recalls how he and Silas were shamefully treated in Philippi on account of preaching the gospel. On the long road from Philippi to Thessalonica, every step was a painful reminder of that treatment. No doubt they bore outward signs of their pain, even upon arriving in Thessalonica. It would have been easy at that point for the apostles to take a less direct approach to evangelism in the new city. After all that they had just been through, who would have blamed them?

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But the Thessalonians proved eager and open for the truth. Reality said, “Don’t ever preach the gospel again.” But in the midst of their pain and suffering, God was saying to Paul and Silas: Be bold. Be strong. So, they “began to be bold” (1 Thess. 2:2, author’s translation) in spite of the likelihood that persecution would arise again. There was a strong and visible contrast between their human condition (and all the frailties that come with it) and their empowerment by God.

In the end, the Lord used these outward circumstances to His glory. The visible wounds of the preachers provided evidence of two things to the Thessalonians. First, the gospel they preached truly came from their personal conviction. They were not doing it for personal advantage (see 1 Thess. 2:3-6). Second, it was clear to the hearers that God was with Paul and Silas in a mighty way. The gospel that they preached was not just an intellectual construct; it was accompanied by the living presence of the Lord as revealed in the lives of the apostles (see vs. 13).

What would you point to as evidence that God has changed your life? How is this evidence visible to others? Or is it visible at all?



Sunday: Boldness in Suffering (1 Thess. 2:1, 2) — 4 Comments

  1. The inner motif of the apostels, enduring such suffering, their feet fettered and fastened in the stocks, was the consciousness of partaking in Christ`s suffering agony. Beams of glory from heaven, illuminating their hearts, made them sing hymns at midnitht, transforming dungeons darkness into glimpses of eternity. What a victory! What a motivation of service! (See Acts 16:19-25; Philippians 1:29-30; 1 Peter 4:12-13; AA 213-214.
    Winfried Stolpmann

  2. We the church of today needs to pray and pray hard consistantly because we easily give in even to the slightest opposition. Thanks to the church leaders who saw it fit to put into place revival and reformation activities. The question remains,"can we lift up the name of Jesus despite the opposition and the abuse that might come our way?" God help us, God have mercy. Like Paul and his companions let's take up the yoke and take the Gospel to the people. God help us, Amen!

  3. Glory to God because the lesson has come to us just in time. But the question is as the youths of this generation can we stand for Christ in this wicked world? Can we be bold enough as Paul and Silas did even in harsh and unfavorable conditions? Brethren we have to pray without ceasing and also for one another.

  4. At your own little corner, do you preach the gospel, if you do, in whose favor, to favor and please men or God? Inspite of circumstances, sufferings, oppositions, unfavorable, etc, are you strong and bold enough to stand and proclam the words of our Lord Jesus Christ which Paul let us to know that it (gospel) was entrusted to us to preach, by God. He can not leave us alone, back or abandon us, if only we will obey his commands and pray continually for his grace upon us. The world may expect us to speak in their own interest but I plead you to speak in God's interest in order to win souls for him. REMAIN BLESS AS YOU IT, AMEN!!


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