Read 1 Thessalonians 4:4, 5. What message do you find in these verses? What do they say to you, personally?
Although the moral philosophers discussed in lesson 3 attacked many forms of sexual excess, Gentile society as a whole had little or no sexual restraint in Paul’s day. According to the well-known pagan orator Cicero, “If there is anyone who thinks that youth should be forbidden affairs even with courtesans, he is doubtless eminently austere . . . but his view is contrary [...]
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) [...]
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.
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. [...]
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Timothy 3:12, NIV
When I awake each morning, I can enter my den and open my Bible for morning Bible study with nary a thought that anything should prevent me from enjoying this time in the Word. I can also pray for my needs and the needs of others before an open window where the morning breezes may carry my words to heavenly ears. [...]
“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 [...]
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 [...]
Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com
Years before ever becoming, or even thinking about becoming a Bible Worker myself, I found myself on a church softball team, captained by the new local Bible Worker. I failed to eat breakfast before running off to play. Not too bright. In the middle of the game, I began to get dizzy and lightheaded. My team was up to bat when I pretty much blacked out. I was sitting right next to the Bible [...]
Do you remember when ‘friend’ became a verb? I know it was sometime after the beginning of Facebook. About the same time, our definition of ‘friend’ changed a bit, didn’t it? All of a sudden, a friend can be someone you’ve never spoken to or met in person. A friend is someone with whom you trade funny pictures or pithy sayings that did not originate from either of you but were passed along from other friends sometimes accompanied by a [...]
The following thoughts and questions are provided to help Sabbath school teachers and others in a small group discussion of the lesson for the week.
Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com
[Thought Questions for Friends Forever August 8, 2012]
1. The bond of friendship. Is there any doubt about the affection Paul felt towards the believers in Thessalonica? What does Paul anticipate more than anything else in the prayer that opens this week’s lesson? Was Paul justified in his love for these Christians in Thessalonica? Were they all [...]
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 [...]
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?
Image © Jack Pardue from GoodSalt.com
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 [...]