Monday: God’s Will: Holiness (1 Thess. 4:3)
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

First Thessalonians 4:3-8 forms a complete unit of thought. The will of God for each Thessalonian believer is “holiness” or “sanctification” (1 Thess. 4:3, 4, 7, ESV). What Paul means by holiness here is explained by two following clauses. Each believer is expected to “avoid sexual immorality” and to “control his own body” (1 Thess. 4:3, 4, NIV). Paul concludes the unit of thought with three motivations to holy living (1 Thess. 4:6-8): (1) God is an avenger in these matters, (2) He has called us to holiness, and (3) [...]

Sunday: Abounding More and More (1 Thess. 4:1, 2)
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Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Read 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 and 4:1-18. How does the content of chapter 4 expand on various parts of the prayer in 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13? What is the relationship between Paul’s prayer and his inspired words to the Thessalonians?

Paul’s prayer in 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 contains a number of key words that anticipate the content of 1 Thessalonians 4:1-18. The prayer is about “abounding” in “holiness” and mutual “love” in light of the second coming of Jesus. All of these themes point to specific passages in chapter 4.

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Sabbath: Living Holy Lives (1 Thess. 4:1-12)
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gless07

Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Thess. 4:1-12; Matt. 25:34-46; Gen. 39:9; John 13:34, 35.

Memory Text: “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” (1 Thessalonians 4:7, NIV).

Key Thought:  Though human sexuality is a gift from God, as with all gifts, it can be abused.

The three opening chapters of 1 Thessalonians focused primarily on the past. In chapters 4 and 5, however, Paul turns to the future. There were things that were lacking in the faith of the Thessalonian believers (1 Thess. [...]

Further Study: Friends Forever
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“The arrival of Silas and Timothy from Macedonia, during Paul’s sojourn in Corinth, had greatly cheered the apostle. They brought him ‘good tidings’ of the ‘faith and charity’ of those who had accepted the truth during the first visit of the gospel messengers to Thessalonica. Paul’s heart went out in tender sympathy toward these believers, who, in the midst of trial and adversity, had remained true to God.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 255.

“True, heaven-born love is not selfish [...]

Inside Story: Finding the Way Home, part 1
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gis06

Verusca’s brothers had become Adventists and often talked about their new faith. Verusca knew that what her brothers told her was probably true, but she wanted no part of a church that didn’t allow dancing or drinking or other things that she enjoyed. But her brothers wouldn’t take a hint; they kept talking to her about their faith.

Marques, one of her brothers’ friends, often visited the family’s home. He talked about God, too, and invited her to study the Bible [...]

Thursday: Paul’s Renewed Prayers (1 Thess. 3:11-13)
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

The second coming of Jesus is a powerful incentive to spiritual growth. Every act of abuse or oppression will be brought to justice. Every act of love or kindness will be recognized and rewarded (see, for example, Matt. 10:42). That means that every act in this life, no matter how small, has meaning in the ultimate scheme of things.

But equally important for Paul, and the emphasis in this week’s lesson, is that the Second Coming will be a glorious reunion of family and [...]

Wednesday: The Result of Timothy’s Visit (1 Thess. 3:6-10)
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Image © Jack Pardue from GoodSalt.com

Read 1 Thessalonians 3:6-8. Timothy was sent to encourage the Thessalonians. What aspects of Timothy’s report brought joy and encouragement to Paul? That is, what did Timothy see in the Thessalonians that Paul thought was so good?

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The “but now” of verse 6 is very emphatic. Paul did not waste any time before sitting down to write to the Thessalonians. The instant he got the news from Timothy, he immediately wrote 1 Thessalonians.

What do we learn [...]

Tuesday: Timothy’s Substitute Visit (1 Thess. 3:1-5)
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Read 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5 and Matthew 24:9-22. In what larger context does Paul see the sufferings of the Thessalonians and himself?

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Paul is so distressed about his absence from the Thessalonians that he decides to forgo the companionship of Timothy in Athens in order to get firsthand news of their situation. His intense longing for them leads him to prefer being without Timothy rather than being without news of how they are faring.

Because Timothy’s mission is to be [...]

Monday: Paul’s Hope and Joy (1 Thess. 2:17-20)
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Image © John Baker from GoodSalt.com

In the fourteen verses that run from 1 Thessalonians 2:17 through 3:10, Paul offers a chronological account of his separation from the Thessalonian believers. The theme of friendship runs throughout the passage. These Thessalonians are not just parishioners of Paul; they are truly friends. The entire passage pulses with deep emotion.

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Paul wants all of his later advice to, and criticism of, the church (in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5) to be read in light of his [...]

Sunday: The Judean Example (1 Thess 2:13-16)
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

First Thessalonians 2:13-16 reads on the surface like a digression from the previous themes of pleasing God and caring for the new believers (1 Thess. 2:1-12). But verse 13 continues the theme of how the Thessalonians responded to the apostles and the gospel that they brought to Thessalonica. With verse 14, Paul returns to the theme of imitation. The persecution in Thessalonica echoed the earlier persecution of Christians in Judea. Some Jews persecuted Jewish Christians in Judea, while Gentile and [...]