1 Thessalonians 1

1:1 Paul, Silas [replaced Barnabas on the second missionary journey (Acts 15:40)] and Timothy, To the church [Gr. (ekklesia): assembly] of the Thessalonians [Paul, Silas, and Timothy first visited Thessalonica (capital and largest city of Roman province of Macedonia) on second missionary journey; they planted a church there but had to leave in a hurry because their lives were threatened; cf. Acts 17:1-10] in [points to true nature of a Christian church and identified what distinguished the Thessalonian church from other assemblies] God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace [receiving from God what we cannot earn and do not deserve] and peace [peace between believers and God made possible by Christ through His death on the cross; the result of grace] to you.

1:2 We [Paul, Silas, and Timothy] always thank God for all [Paul did not want to exclude any of the Thessalonian believers; every one of them had qualities worth thanking God for] of you [thanked God for progress of Thessalonian believers], mentioning you in [on the occasion of] our prayers [how Paul and his companions gave thanks].

1:3 We continually [unceasingly] remember [describes the ground of the thanksgiving] before our God and Father your work [active work or results of work; perhaps refers to missionary work (1:8), acts of goodness toward others (4:9-10), or loyalty to Christ in persecution (1:6)] produced by faith, your labor [hard and wearying toil] prompted by love [(Gr. agape) second mile effort that sustains labor for the sake of others], and your endurance inspired by hope [fortitude in the face of difficulty; faith, love, and hope describe the motivation behind their work, labor, and endurance] in our Lord Jesus Christ [probably refers to second coming of Christ].

1:4 For we know, brothers [affectionate term; denotes spiritual relationship of those bound together in Christ; “brothers” and “brother” used nineteen times in this letter] loved by God [Greek perfect tense: signifying a love existing in the past and realized in the present], that he has chosen you,

1:5 because our [theirs by divine commission (cf. Rom. 1:1) and personal experience; they had been sent by God] gospel [emphasis on the message rather than bearers of the message] came [note four ways in which the gospel came to them] to you not simply [1] with words [not with hollow rhetoric], but also [2] with power [cf. Rom. 1:16 and 1 Cor. 2:4-5 re: “power of God;” words spoken in the power of the Holy Spirit produce positive results; the Holy Spirit makes the gospel meaningful to hearers (cf. Isa. 55:11)], [3] with the Holy Spirit [the source of power; cf. Acts 1:8] and [4] with deep [full] conviction [assurance, confidence in the power of Jesus Christ to change lives]. You know [indicates Thessalonian believers were aware] how [what sort of] we [Paul, Silas, Timothy] lived [lived what they preached] among you [in your midst] for your sake [Paul and his companions were aware of the power of their example].

1:6 You became imitators [Gr. mimetes (source for word mimic); one who follows the example or teaching of another; cf. Phil. 3:17] of us [manner of life] and of the Lord [cf. 1 Cor. 11:1]; in spite of severe suffering [cf. Acts 17:5; 1 Thess. 3:2-4], you welcomed [to receive] the message with the joy given by [inspired by] the Holy Spirit.

1:7 And so [because of their exemplary conduct in the face of persecution] you became a model [pattern; an exact reproduction; an example to be followed] to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia [two provinces that made up Greece].

1:8 The Lord’s message rang out [to sound forth; to sound out as a trumpet; a continuing process] from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere [hyperbole: meant everywhere the evangelistic Thessalonian Christians went or every place where a church had been established; the church had shared the gospel beyond the city limits and had a good reputation]. Therefore [because their faith was so well known] we do not need to say anything about it [the Thessalonians’ faith],

1:9 for they themselves [the people of Macedonia and Achaia] report [other people were talking about the Thessalonian church, their suffering, and how they had received Paul and his companions] what kind of reception you gave us [Paul, Silas, and Timothy]. They tell [note additional topics of conversation re: the Thessalonians] how you turned to God from [the decision to turn to God results in changes in every area of life; indicates the significance of their conversion] idols to serve [to serve as a slave] the living [in contrast to lifeless idols] and true [in contrast to unreal idols] God,

1:10 and to wait [occurs only here in NT; sustained expectation] for his Son from heaven [the second coming of Christ], whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath [refers to when God will destroy all evil (cf. 1 Thess. 5:9; 2 Thess. 1:6-10)].

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s