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 (Thessalonians, Timothy, and Titus)
Lesson 2 An Exemplary Church (1Thess 1:1-10)
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Lesson 2

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Salutation (1:1)

Thanksgiving and Prayer (1:2-5)

Serving as Examples to Other Believers (1:6-10)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

Remembering, work of faith, labor of love, patience of hope, election by God, gospel, word, power, Holy Spirit, assurance, affliction, joy, followers, examples, sounded forth, serve the living and true God, wait for His Son.

II.    General Analysis

1.       1. He is diligent (3).

          2. He is an imitator of the Lord and of the ministers of the gospel (6)

          3. He stands firm on the word of God and rejoices in the Holy Spirit in the face of afflictions (6)

          4. His example of faith serves as a living testimony (7-10).

III. Segment Analysis

1. He recognizes them as partakers of the work of the gospel and respects them as his fellow workers. To him, his work is a collective effort rather than a personal accomplishment.

2. “Grace” refers to unmerited divine favor, through which God gives believers the free gift of eternal life. After our conversion, God’s grace continues to benefit us in many ways, including more tangible blessings such as healing, deliverance from trouble, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, or the less tangible, such as forgiveness of sins, comfort and strength from the Holy Spirit, divine preservation, faith, and love.

“Peace” refers to confidence before God that comes from a reconciled relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It also denotes the inner peace in Jesus Christ in the midst of trying circumstances.

Grace and peace are precious gifts that God has promised to believers, and they can only come from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, these words of greeting are a benediction and a prayer for continual divine favor.

3. He always remembers the believers he ministers to and offers thanksgiving and prayers on their behalf.

4a. Work of faith. A believer who has true faith in the Lord will do what the Lord commands.

4b. Labor of love. A believer who has love will willingly endeavor and make sacrifices for the good of others.

4c. Patience of hope. A believer who hopes for the promises of God and the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will wait patiently and persevere to the end.

5. From the following we can see that Paul attributes the qualities to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

          1. He gives thanks to God when he remembers their diligence (2).

          2. He states that these qualities and their fruits are “in our Lord Jesus Christ.” In other words, it is only in the Lord Jesus Christ that these are possible (3).

          3. He knows that they have such qualities because of God’s election (4).

6.       1. In word—This is the most basic means through which the gospel reaches the hearer (cf. Rom 10:14). The preacher must explain the word of God clearly so as to lead the listener to the faith.

          2. In power—Through divine acts, such as miraculous signs and wonders, God confirms the message of the gospel so that the hearers of the gospel submit to Christ (Mk 16:20; Acts 6:8; Rom 15:18-19; 2Cor 10:3-5; Heb 2:3-4).

          3. In the Holy Spirit—The Holy Spirit gives power, boldness, and wisdom to the preacher of the gospel (Lk 12:12; Acts 1:8; 4:31; 6:10; Rom 15:19).

          4. In much assurance—The preacher of the gospel must firmly believes in his message and has deep rooted faith in the Lord Jesus. Then he will not be ashamed of the gospel (2Tim 1:12) and will convince his hearer that the message is trustworthy. Such conviction comes from personal experience (Acts 4:20; 1Jn 1:1-2).

          5. Personal conduct (“as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake”)—The preacher’s conduct speaks volumes about the message he preaches. His good deeds and transformed life are a powerful testimony that can win the listener over (Acts 11:24; Tit 2:9-10; 1Pet 2:12; 3:1,15-17)

7a. They received the word in much affliction. This indicates that they had a strong conviction and a genuine faith in the Lord.

7b. They were able to have joy in their affliction, and this joy came from the Holy Spirit.

8. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to imitate the Lord as well as those who imitate Him so that we can become like Christ (Mt 11:29; 1Cor 11:1; Php 4:9; 1Jn 3:2-3). As we gradually grow to be more mature through imitating the Lord, we can become examples to other believers so as to motivate them to grow spiritually. Therefore, the ultimate goal of our personal growth is to let others see the Lord Jesus in us so that they may also draw near to Him.

9a. The word of the Lord and their faith toward God (8).

9b. We need to actively share the gospel so that all those around us may hear the word. While doing so, we also need to be examples to those who hear the gospel. If we stand firmly in the faith and bear fruits in our Christian walk, our example will be a testimony to the word of God and will help strengthen others’ faith.

10.       1. Turning to God from idols (9).

            2. Serving the living and true God (9).

            3. Waiting for the Son of God from heaven (10).

11. We were under God’s wrath because of our former rebellion and were bound for judgment and condemnation. But our Lord Jesus died for our sins and was raised to life by God’s power. Through faith in the Lord Jesus, who has paid for our sins, we are delivered from God’s wrath and will be brought to His eternal kingdom when the Lord comes again. This is our hope of salvation.



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