Read 1 Thessalonians 2:4-6. Describe the contrast between Paul’s motivation for ministry and the worldly alternatives he mentions. Why is it not always so easy to see the differences; that is, how can people deceive themselves regarding the purity of their own motives? Why is that so easy to do?
The word often translated “approved” (1 Thess. 2:4) reflects the idea of testing or examination. The apostles allowed God to test the integrity of their lives and intentions. The purpose of that testing was [...]
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:3. What key point is he making there about motives?
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It was widely known in the ancient world that there were three keys to persuading people to change their ideas or practices. People judge the power of an argument on the character of the speaker (in Greek: ethos), the quality or logic of the argument itself (logos), and the power of the speaker’s appeal to the hearer’s emotions or self-interest (pathos). In 1 Thessalonians 2:3-6 Paul [...]
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:1, 2 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 [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Thess. 2:1-12, Acts 16:1-40, Deut. 10:16, Ps. 51:1-10, 2 Cor. 8:1-5, Luke 11:11-13.
Memory Text: “But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4, ESV).
Key Thought: By revealing what the true motive in ministry must be, Paul can help us all examine our hearts and lives in light of the gospel.
This week’s lesson marks a major transition from the [...]
“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. He longed to visit them in person, but as this was not [...]
Six children of the Jacksonville Southpoint Adventist Church in Florida wanted to share their faith with others. They attended a weekend training program for kids called “Go Fish!” and learned several fun ways to tell others about Jesus. They learned to tell stories, lead singing, and use puppets. They returned home excited about what they had learned.
“So,” their pastor asked with a smile, “How are you going to tell others about Jesus?”
The children loved learning to work with puppets, making [...]
Read 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10. In what ways does this passage offer additional evidence of the Thessalonians’ faith?
Paul continues the sentence that began in verse 2 by explaining how he knows the Thessalonians have become a model or type to the other believers in Macedonia (where Thessalonica was located) and Achaia (where Corinth was located).
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First, they were a model of evangelistic effort and success. From them the word of God “rang out” (NIV) into both these provinces, and beyond. Paul also [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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” [...]