1 Thessalonians 1 - The Power of the Gospel
1 Thessalonians 1
1Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
4Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
5For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
6And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.
7So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
8For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
9For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
10And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Today's Scripture Meaning
The faith, love, and patience of the Thessalonians, are evident tokens of their election which was manifested in the power with which the gospel came to them. (1-5) Its powerful and exemplary effects upon their hearts and lives. (6-10)
Verses 1-5: As all good comes from God, so no good can be hoped for by sinners, but from God in Christ. And the best good may be expected from God, as our Father, for the sake of Christ. We should pray, not only for ourselves, but for others also; remembering them without ceasing. Wherever there is a true faith, it will work; it will affect both the heart and life. Faith works by love; it shows itself in love to God, and love to our neighbour. And wherever there is a well-grounded hope of eternal life, this will appear by the exercise of patience; and it is a sign of sincerity, when in all we do, we seek to approve ourselves to God. By this we may know our election, if we not only speak of the things of God with out lips, but feel their power in our hearts, mortifying our lusts, weaning us from the world, and raising us up to heavenly things. Unless the Spirit of God comes with the word of God, it will be to us a dead letter. Thus they entertained it by the power of the Holy Ghost. They were fully convinced of the truth of it, so as not to be shaken in mind by objections and doubts; and they were willing to leave all for Christ, and to venture their souls and everlasting condition upon the truth of the gospel revelation.
Verses 6-10: When careless, ignorant, and immoral persons are turned from their carnal pursuits and connexions, to believe in and obey the Lord Jesus, to live soberly, righteously, and godly, the matter speaks for itself. The believers under the Old Testament waited for the coming of the Messiah, and believers now wait for his second coming. He is yet to come. And God had raised him from the dead, which is a full assurance unto all men that he will come to judgment. He came to purchase salvation, and will, when he comes again, bring salvation with him, full and final deliverance from that wrath which is yet to come. Let all, without delay, flee from the wrath to come, and seek refuge in Christ and his salvation.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the book of 1Thessalonians with Chapter 1 and in our text we see Paul writing to the Church in Thessalonica commending them on their faithfulness to the Lord in the midst of persecution. Paul gives note to the Power of the Gospel as lives are changed thru the God's Word and Spirit. In making application we see this truth today as the Power of the Gospel is the key to all of our lives. It is God's Word and His Spirit that will change your life. How about you? Do you see the Power of the Gospel? Let us learn from our text today and the reminder of Paul that there is Power in the Gospel, His Word, and His Spirit will save the life of a sinner and change our lives for His Honor and Glory.
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Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.