3: The Faithful Minister (1Thess 2:1-16)
The passage of
this lesson extends from and expands on the opening chapter, in which Paul gave
thanks to God for the exemplary church in Thessalonica. Now he asks the
believers to recall the time when Paul and his companions first brought the
gospel to them. In defending against false allegations, Paul calls upon the
Thessalonians and God to be witnesses to testify to the integrity of the
ministry Paul and his fellow workers had conducted. Then, at the end of the
passage, he gives thanks to God once again for the Thessalonian
believers’ reception of the gospel and strong faith.
“You are witnesses, and God
also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you
who believe” (2:10).
Did You Know…?
1. “Spitefully treated at Philippi”
(2:2): Read Acts 16:16--40 for the account on this event.
1. Observe the
shift in focus from the previous passage to the present passage. Who is this
passage mainly about?
2a. Verses 1-6
consist of many negatives (“not…,” “neither…,” “nor…”). Record each of these.
2b. Verses 7-12,
on the other hand, stress many positives. Record these also.
1. What is Paul’s evaluation of their ministry in
2a. What enables a preacher of the gospel to be bold despite
2b. What positive impact can a preacher’s boldness in sufferings
bring upon the believers?
3. The apostles’ exhortation did not come from
error (in their message), uncleanness (in their motives), or deceit (in their
method). Elaborate on each of these negative things and why they are
4a. Why did God entrust the gospel to Paul and his companions?
4b. What reason can we see in verse 4 why a preacher of the
gospel must speak to please God rather than man?
5. What “right” did the apostles relinquish? (6)?
6. What lessons did you learn from this passage
concerning your service?
7. What point is Paul making in comparing
themselves with a mother and a father?
8a. What two things were the apostles willing to give to the
8b. Are you
willing to do the same for those whom you minister to? In what ways can you
give your own life to them?
9. What is Paul referring to by “laboring night
10. What can we
learn from verse 10 about what a minister of the gospel should aim to
11. What does it
mean for us to “walk worthy of God”?
12. Why do Paul
and his fellow workers thank God without ceasing concerning the Thessalonians?
13. What can we
learn from the Thessalonians in terms of our attitude in receiving the message
we hear? Why is such attitude important?
14. How have the
Thessalonian believers not only believed, but also
experienced, that the word they heard was indeed the word of God?
15. How did the
Jews incite the citizens of Thessalonica to persecute the Christians? (see Acts 17:5-10).
16. What sins
did the Judeans who opposed the apostles commit? What was coming upon them as a