much conflict, exhortation, error, uncleanness, deceit, approved by God, not as
pleasing men, but God, flattering words, covetousness, witness, gentle, nursing
mother, affectionately longing, dear, labor and toil, devoutly, justly,
blamelessly, father, thank God without ceasing.
1. Paul and his
2a. “Not in vain”
(1); “did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit” (3); “not
as pleasing men” (4); “neither…did we use flattering words, nor a cloak for
covetousness” (5); “nor did we seek glory from men” (6).
2b. Gentle, as a
nursing mother cherishes her own children (7); affectionately longing, impart
to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives (8); labor and toil
(9); devoutly, justly, blamelessly (10); exhorted, and comforted, and charged,
as a father does his own children (11).
1. It was not in
vain (1). In other words, their preaching was not weak or ineffective.
2a. Their boldness came from their reliance on God (“bold in our
God”) (2). It is God who gives His witnesses courage.
2b. It demonstrates
that his preaching is not “in vain” (1), but that God’s power is at work. His
persistence in suffering also shows that the message he preaches is genuinely
God’s word, which is worth risking one’s life for. Furthermore, his boldness
serves as an encouragement to other believers to also preach the gospel without
fear (Php 1:12-14).
3. 1. Error—Preaching a false gospel will
only mislead others and lead them to destruction (Mt 15:14).
preacher with impure motives will seek his own good at the expense of his
false image of piety can only deceive people temporarily. When the person’s
pretense is uncovered, he becomes a stumbling block to the believers.
4a. They have been approved by God to be worthy to carry out the
gospel (4; 1Tim 1:12).
4b. God tests our
hearts. We need to be faithful to God in our preaching because God continually
evaluates our inner motives. It is to Him, rather than anyone else, that we
have to be personally accountable.
5. The apostles did
not make demands on the believers based on their apostolic authority.
7. Instead of
ruling over the believers with authority (6), the apostles were gentle and kind
toward the believers. Just as a parent loves his/her child without any ulterior
motive, the apostles served the believers out of heartfelt concern for them.
8a. The gospel of God and their own lives.
missionaries worked to support themselves while they were preaching in
10. As ministers
of the gospel, we need to aim for pure and upright conduct before God and
before others. In fact, this is no more than what God expects of every
believer. In doing so, we can please God, be an example to those who hear the
gospel, and silence those who slander the gospel (cf. 1Tim 4:15-16; 1Pet 2:15;
11. To walk
worthy of God means to live in conformity with the likeness of the One who has
called us (Eph 4:20-24; 1Pet 1:15-16).
12. They thank
God without ceasing because the Thessalonian
believers welcomed the gospel message not as the word of men but as the word of
13. When we
listen to the message of the Scriptures, we must accept it as the word of God
even though it is delivered to us through men. Only with this correct attitude
will we not give glory to men or reject the word of God when we see the
shortcomings of the preachers. We will build our faith solely on Christ.
14. They have
experienced the effective workings of God’s word in them (13).
16. They killed
both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and persecuted the apostles. They
did not please God and were contrary to all men (i.e. hostile to all men),
forbidding the apostles to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved. They
were heaping on themselves the full extent of God’s wrath (15-16).