Wednesday: Doing What Paul Would Do (1 Thess. 1:6, 7)
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Read 1Thessalonians 1:6-7. What is Paul’s message there? How are we to understand this in light of the idea of Christ as our ultimate example?

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Most translations do not show this, but in verse 6 Paul continues the same sentence that he began in verse 2 and carries it on through verse 10. The main topic of this lengthy sentence is Paul’s list of reasons for the thanksgivings that he recites in his prayers. Verses 6 and 7 add two items to that [...]

Tuesday: Assurance in Christ (1 Thess. 1:5)
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Read 1 Thessalonians 1:5. How do we gain the assurance that we are right with God? What three evidences in the lives of the Thessalonians indicated to Paul that they were right with God?

Verse 5 begins with “for” or “because.” In this verse Paul details the grounds for his conviction that the Thessalonians were “chosen” by God (1 Thess. 1:4). He is also underlining further reasons as to why his prayers are so filled with thankfulness (1 Thess. 1:2). Paul rejoices at the real-life evidence [...]

Monday: God Has Chosen You (1 Thess. 1:4)
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Read 1 Thessalonians 1:4. What does it mean that God has chosen or elected us? Does that mean we don’t really have a choice? On the other hand, does it mean that someone who is not chosen by God cannot have salvation even if he or she wants it?

Verse 4 continues the same extended sentence that Paul began in verse 2, with “we give thanks.” One of the reasons Paul gives thanks to God is that he knows God has “chosen” [...]

Sunday: A Prayer of Thanks (1 Thess. 1:1-3)
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In the opening words of 1 Thessalonians, we catch a glimpse of the selflessness of Paul. While he was clearly the author of this letter (1 Thess. 2:18, 3:5, 5:27), he gives recognition to his coworkers Silas and Timothy.

Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3. For what things are Paul, Silas, and Timothy giving thanks? What do these things mean in a practical sense? That is, how would they be manifested in daily life? For example, how is the “work of faith” expressed in how we live?

The opening [...]

Sabbath: Joyous and Thankful
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Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Thess. 1:1-10, 1 Corinthians 13, 1 Tim. 1:15, Gal. 5:19-23, Dan. 12:2.

Memory Text: “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ”(1 Thessalonians 1:2, 3, ESV).

Key Thought: Paul has many good things to say to the Thessalonians, at least when he begins writing to them in the first letter. What he praises [...]

Further Study: Thessalonica in Paul’s Day
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“Providence had directed the movements of nations, and the tide of human impulse and influence, until the world was ripe for the coming of the Deliverer. . .

“At this time the systems of heathenism were losing their hold upon the people. Men were weary of pageant and fable. They longed for a religion that could satisfy the heart.”-Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 32.

“Outside of the Jewish nation there were men who foretold the appearance of a divine instructor. [...]

Inside Story: Etienne’s Second Chance
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Most Adventist churches in Haiti hold evangelistic meetings in January. Etienne’s host family invited her to attend the meetings in their church. Etienne went to please her hosts, but she paid little attention to the speaker.

Then on January 12, 2010, the earth shook furiously. Etienne staggered out of the house just moments before it collapsed. She stared in disbelief at the rubble around her. Once again she was homeless. Then she realized, God has saved me again. “Lord,” she prayed, [...]

Thursday: Home Churches
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Read Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; and Philemon 1, 2. What do all these texts have in common?

In the Roman world there were two main types of residences. There was the domus, a large, single-family home built around a courtyard, typical of the wealthy. Such a home could provide a meeting place for 30-100 people. The other type of residence was the insula, with shops and workplaces on the ground floor facing the street and apartments (flats) on the floors above. This was the primary [...]

Wednesday: Paul, the “Street Preacher”
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The first-century Greco-Roman context experienced a proliferation of popular philosophers who, in public forums, sought to influence individuals and groups-similar to what street preachers might do today.

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These philosophers believed that people had an inner capacity to change their lives (a form of conversion). Philosophers would use public speech and private conversation in order, they hoped, to produce change in their students. They sought to create in their listeners doubts regarding their current ideas and [...]

Tuesday: The Gospel as a Point of Contact
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Given what we learned yesterday, it is not difficult to see why-when the gospel came to Thessalonica-many non-Jews of the city responded positively. Whether or not Paul was aware of the Cabirus cult before arriving in the city, his Messianic approach in the synagogue resonated with the unique spiritual longings of the local pagans.

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When the gospel came to Thessalonica, the working classes of the city were ready for it, and they responded in large [...]