Daily Thoughts : May 3rd
1 Thess 1:4,5 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.
This is one of those verses that has more to it than seems at first sight. In fact it is far more than just the constituent parts. Often we take verses apart to see the full meaning but this one needs to be seen in its entirety to see what Paul is saying.
Yes, he starts off speaking about how God had chosen them but his emphasis is not so much on the wonder of having been chosen but on the certainty of them having been chosen, because he then speaks about how they came to the Lord, and that as seen from his point of view.
It wasn't just words, he says, but the words that came, came with power, power from the Holy Spirit, and power that brought deep conviction. What he is implying is that he has learnt that when that happens, when their preaching steps up a power notch, it is God on the case. Sometimes, he implies, you can just preach and little happens, it seems, but there are other times when your preaching ‘goes live' and there is an obvious power behind it that indicates the Holy Spirit's presence, and that is followed by this deep conviction in the listeners. At such times it is clear that God is making His intentions very clear – He wants these people saved! That's what Paul is saying here: God clearly chose and called you, for the bringing about of your salvation was very clear. Isn't that good! I hope it was like that for you.
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