1 Thessalonians – Week 1
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 Intro
This week we’ll be looking at the entire first chapter of 1 Thessalonians. Since it’s the start of a letter you’ll notice a lot of introductory language; Paul starts by mentioning his recent visit to Thessalonica and remembering how the Lord was at work among the Thessalonians. He starts in vv. 2-3 by talking about their faith, hope, and love, which Paul and his friends experienced when they were in Thessalonica. In vv. 4-10 he explains his confidence in the Thessalonians’ salvation, as evidenced by the way they received the Gospel and the way the Holy Spirit has confirmed the work of salvation among them. As a heads up, when Paul uses the phrase, “he has chosen you,” he’s referring to election, God’s sovereign act of predestining people for eternal life (check out Romans 8:28-30 and Ephesians 1:3-11 for more on the subject). However, the concept of election isn’t the core of this passage; it focuses instead on Paul’s confidence that the Thessalonians are elect, because of their outward signs of faith.
In the last half of chapter 1 Paul talks about how the Thessalonians’ reputation has gone out into the surrounding region, which we’ll focus on in our discussion. This is particularly relevant for Advance 2018, as we consider how to participate in Gospel advancement in our city. We see in this passage that the Thessalonians’ outward reputation flowed from inward spiritual realities; they were known by their faith because their faith was determining the way they lived and related to others. This is all accomplished by the work of the Spirit in their lives (v. 5) and ultimately glorifies God himself. As we consider how to Advance the Gospel, it’s helpful for us to reflect on what we’re known for and how we can strive to make our lives less about us and more about Jesus. (John 3:30)
Questions for Discussion
• Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
• What stood out to you from the passage?
• What does Paul say here about the Thessalonians?
• How do you think the Thessalonians’ behavior related to what they believed?
• Take a look at verse 9-10. What are some ways we can grow in being known for the same things?
• What are some ways we make our reputation less about us and more about Jesus?