03: Thessalonica in Paul’s Day – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought : Presenting the gospel in a way that meets the needs of others requires a solid grasp of the Word and an understanding of the needs of those we wish to reach. [Teaching plan for “Thessalonica in Paul’s Day” July 16.2012] 1. Have a volunteer read John 11:48-50. A. Ask class members to … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: The Gospel as a Point of Contact
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Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

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. When … [Click to read more …]

Monday: A Pagan Response to Rome
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

The pagan response to the powerlessness many Thessalonians felt was a spiritual movement scholars call the Cabirus cult. The cult was grounded in a man named Cabirus who spoke up for the disenfranchised and was eventually murdered by his two brothers. He was buried along with symbols of royalty, and the cult came to treat … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: The Romans Arrive in Thessalonica
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Image © Erik Stenbakken from GoodSalt.com

Read John 11:48-50. How were the political and religious decisions regarding the ministry of Jesus impacted by the arrival of the Romans in first-century Palestine and Jerusalem? Think through the logic expressed here. In what frightening ways does it make sense? In the context of a civil war among the Greek city-states, the Thessalonians invited the … [Click to read more …]

Sabbath: Thessalonica in Paul’s Day
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Read for This Week’s Study: John 11:48-50, 1 John 2:15-17, 1 Cor. 9:19-27, John 3:3-8, 1 Cor. 16:19. Memory Text: “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible” (1 Corinthians 9:19, NIV). Key Thought: A short study of the context of ancient Thessalonica demonstrates that Paul’s approach to the … [Click to read more …]

Further Study: Preserving Relationships
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“If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful(emphasis supplied), there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one. But, though professing to be converted, we carry around with us a bundle of self that we regard as altogether too precious to be … [Click to read more …]

02: Preserving Relationships – Thought Starters
Joyce Griffith

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A journey through time “Would you look at that? A perfect illustration of the god particle.” Fred held up the second week’s lesson of the Bible Study Guide and pointed to the picture of two hands reaching for each other. “Whatever are you talking about?” Sherry said, her eyebrows lifting toward her hairline. “Whatever in the world does … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: Paul Reveals His Heart
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Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:10. What does this passage tell us about Paul’s emotional attachment and relationship to these believers? What can we learn from it regarding how we should relate with those to whom we minister? Paul’s depth of thought and confrontational tone (see, for example, Gal. 1:6, 7; 3:1-4; 4:9-11) sometimes make him appear dismissive of feelings and personal relationships. But … [Click to read more …]