Sunday: A Prayer of Thanks (1 Thess. 1:1-3)

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. 2:183:55:27), 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 of this letter is typical of ancient Greek letters, but with an interesting twist. To the typical Greek opener (“grace”), Paul adds the familiar Jewish greeting “peace” (shalom in Hebrew). “Grace” and “peace”-apt depictions of what an experience with Jesus is all about.

Who was Silvanus? The name reflects the Latin equivalent of the Aramaic name “Silas.” Jews who lived outside Palestine usually adopted Greek or Latin names to go along with their Jewish ones (this is how “Saul” became “Paul”). Silas was a Jerusalem Christian like Mark, who was one of Paul’s first traveling companions. By having trusted leaders of the Jerusalem church with him on his missionary journeys, Paul was doing his best to maintain unity in the church.

What group of words in 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 has become famous because of the way they are used in 1 Corinthians 13? Which of them has the primary emphasis in 1 Corinthians, and why?

In his prayers, Paul concentrates on reality, not giddy spirituality. Faith provokes serious work. Genuine love produces much labor. And hope requires much patience. The stress in these words is on action, not abstract ideas. The order of faith, love, and hope varies in the New Testament, but the most important of the three is listed last in each case (see 1 Cor. 13:13). The order in verse 3 underlines the importance of last-day events in Paul’s mind throughout the two letters to the Thessalonians.

Paul is also thankful before God because he remembers the way in which the Thessalonians have responded to the gospel. He probably hopes, too, that their positive emotional response to the praise Paul offers them will incline them to be more open to the concerns that he will soon express to them.



Sunday: A Prayer of Thanks (1 Thess. 1:1-3) — 6 Comments

  1. Heavenly Father, We come to You at this time asking that You would allow me and my family to be able to obey the instructions of Your word like through the study of Sabbath School Lesson like Silas and Timothy did from God through Paul. Like last quarter's lesson on Christian and Training for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, bless me and my family to be whole Christians and whole persons rightly divided in the study of God’s word, that we know what we believe, know were it is found, and know how to use it correctly, amen!

  2. Paul's inspired writings just laid the foundation for practical Christianity in this what is referred to as contemporary world. As Seventh day Adventists, we should seek God's divine intervention for us to be the real IODIZED SALT in this world by living according to the principles laid by God in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophesy so that the children of God can be redeemed and restored with all of us MARCHING TO ZION, on the GREAT DAY OF RESURRECTION AND translation to heaven TO MEET OUR LONG AWAITED KING.

  3. We need to really give thanks to the people who assisted you in the work of the Lord, especially when we look at where this world is heading, in regards to the laborers in the work of the Lord.

  4. We should not only pray for ourselves but for others also, remembering them without ceasing. Where there is true faith, it will work, it will affect both the heart and life. Faith works by love; it shows itself in love to God, and love to our neighbour.

  5. "2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers."
    ... we need not pray without mentioning the people we are praying for.. we learn from 1 Thessalonians 1:2 that it is imperative that we expressly mention those we are praying for by NAME. Paul mentioned his freinds in his prayers. HAPPY SABBATH...

  6. Paul is putting much emphasis on love,but do we Adventists show genuine, Christ's love to others? We need be a good example, it was because of God's love that we were saved, politics is here, sorrounding us, let us not be tempted to an extent of developing hatred, its worldy matters, let us be the light, the salt, happy Sabbath.


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