this Framework' we use our light paraphrase explanation of what
you find in this letter of Paul, not the text, to enable you to
simply as possible catch the sense of his writing.
this particular book we have let each chapter flow on from the
previous ones and have provided a Recap / Summary at the end.
If you wish to click onto specific chapter use the following links:
Thess 1 / 1 Thess 2
/ 1 Thess 3 / 1Thess
4 / 1 Thess 5 / Recap
1 Thessalonians 1
This letter comes from Paul, Silas & Timothy to the church
grace and peace be yours
The first thing we do is give thanks for you as we continually
pray for you.
As we pray, we remember before God
your love-prompted labour
your hope-inspired endurance
this in Christ.
This confirms (inferred) that he has chosen you as believers
and we know this (inferred) by the way the Lord empowered us to
present you the gospel, more than just words, but bring Spirit-enabled
conviction, as we lived among you.
You imitated us, welcoming the message with Holy Spirit joy, in
the face of opposition
and this became a model to al the other believers in the area
a challenge to remember & pray for our children in
Christ. Note how faith, love and hope inspire our activities.
See also the work of conversion: the word imparted under anointing
brings Holy Spirit conviction and conversion which is immediately
seen by others.)
Because of this the word spread out from you across the whole
area, so your faith became known everywhere, so we don't need
to add anything more about it.
For others report how you received us, and turned from idols to
As you wait for Jesus to return from heaven this Jesus who was
raised from the dead and who now rescues us from any coming judgment
and the coming end-time judgment. (implied?)
That testimony is one of our faith now revealed that
brings life transformation, a life lived out awaiting Christ's
return, but who saved us from judgment.)
After greeting the Thessalonians, Paul recollects the nature of
the Thessalonians that so clearly shows they were the clear fruit
of the Gospel shared by them, and had become so well-known across
the whole area as examples of life transformations waiging for
Jesus to come.
1 Thessalonians 2
1 & 2: Moving into the Present
Paul writes, he looks back and remembers how it had been when
they had been with them.
- fruitful not without results
- overcoming past memories in Philippi
- they pressed on sharing the Gospel
- despite the opposition
don't let past problems or present obstacles put you
Removing Doubts: Nature of Ministry
Avoiding error, ensuring right motivation, avoiding deception
of any kind
Coming with God's approval with the gospel, pleasing
not people, but God who checks us.
No flattery used, no pretence that might cover wrong
motivation of greed God sees
Not seeking praise from people refusing to use the
authority which is ours.
Instead we were gentle, more like a mother cares for
Our approach was one of care because of the love we
have for you, sharing not only the Gospel but ourselves as well.
Hey, remember what we were like, working hard and seeking
not to be a burden to you.
You saw us and so did God how we sought to be holy,
righteous and blameless among you believers.
To each one we came as a father to a child
we encouraged, comforted and urged you on, to live lives
that would please God, as He calls you to enter more fully into
In seeking to serve God seek to first and foremost
please Him, make your calling your motivation, don't use artificial
means to work it out, come with humility, love and gentleness,
being an example to others as you encourage and bless others with
We really thank God all the time the way you responded
to God's word we brought to you for what it was God's
word working in you
So you guys became good imitators of all the other churches
in Christ in Judea, suffering opposition from your own people
just like they do.
That was the same opposition that killed Christ and
the prophets and drove us out, displeasing God
as they sought to stop us sharing with the Gentiles
so they too could be saved. In this they heap up their sins so
the wrath of God has come on them.
Look to create disciples who become imitators in the
faith, and don't be surprised at enemy opposition)
Apostolic Frustrated Yearnings
We have anguished being cut off from you, like we'd
lost our family for a while, although not in thought. We indeed
did make every effort to come and see you again
I really wanted to come again but Satan hindered me
and stopped it happening.
For our hopes and yearnings are wrapped up in you, for
you are like a crown we will wear in God's presence in which we
Yes, that's it! You not only bring glory to us but you
are also our joy.
We don't always get what we want in the kingdom because
there is a battle going on and sometimes does thwart our desires)
Paul continues to remember their past experience in
Thessalonica, how despite having had a hard time of it previously
in Philippi, they nevertheless pressed on bringing the Gospel
despite opposition and justifies the way they had come blameless,
gentle and in love, and as fathers to children had sought to encourage
and comfort them, bringing God's word that brought the fruit of
their salvation, so they were able to stand against the opposition
the enemy brought, the same opposition that Christ had suffered
by those who God will judge. Yet now they had anguished at not
having been able to get back to them, having been hindered by
Satan, cut off from these believers who were their crown and glory.
1 Thessalonians 3
What had Happened
Because of what happened we resolved to stay in Athens.
Yet we sent Timothy, one of my team, to strengthen and
encourage you in your faith
in order that the trials you face wouldn't unsettle you
this opposition we all expect.
If you remember when we were with you, we warned you
of this, and so it turned out
But I couldn't stand it any longer and sent to find
out how you were, fearful that the enemy might have tempted you
to give up (implied)
a heart of love yearns for God's children to be blessed
and built up.)
But Timothy sent us the good news that your faith and
love stands strong (implied) and also told us that you still have
good memories of us and long to see us, just as do you.
hearing testimonies is good, building fellowship)
So, despite our distress and persecution we were encouraged
to hear of your faith
Knowing that your faith is
alive keeps us alive. (Msg version)
We really can't thank
God enough for you because of the joy we have in Him because of
All the time we pray that we can come to you again and
help strengthen your faith even more.
Testimonies encourage us especially if we're having
a hard time and stirs further desires for fellowship, creates
thankfulness and ongoing prayer.)
I pray God may clear a way for us to come to you.
May He make your love increase and overflow all around
you, as ours does for you.
May he strengthen your hearts so you stand blameless
and holy before him when Jesus returns with his angelic armies.
Relationships in Christ provoke desires for others to
be built and blessed, always ready for Christ's return.)
Because of this they resolved to stay in Athens but
had sent Timothy to encourage and support them in Thessalonica,
to help them stand against the opposition they were receiving.
Timothy had sent a good report which had really encouraged them.
Yet he still prayed to be able to come to them but in the meantime,
he prayed for their love to increase and their hearts strengthened
as they await the Lord's return.
1 Thessalonians 4
Exhortation to Obedience
We instructed you how to please God in daily living,
so now we urge you to do it more and more.
So let's remind you (implied) of what we said.
Sanctification (being changed to become more holy) is
God's goal for you so avoid sexual immorality
learn to control you own body so you remain holy &
worth of him, principled
don't let lust carry you away like unbelievers do who
don't know God
ensuring you don't take advantage of other believers
in this way, for the Lord punishes such people.
God calls us from impurity to holy living
Therefore if you ignore this teaching you are ignoring
In the church we are to teach how to live out our daily
lives, sanctified, and avoiding secual sins and impurity, learning
to control ourselves and rejecting lust, becoming holy)
Live a Life of Love
This life of love, you already know and have been taught
about by God
In fact your love has been experienced throughout the
area of Macedonia, yet may we urge you to do it more and more.
Live a Life of Peace
As well as this, also seek to life a quiet life, attending
to your own life, working with your hands as we taught you.
Do this will win respect of outsiders and enable you
to be independent.
This working on our daily lives, including increasing
in love as well as seeking to live quiet
lives as we get on making a living and earning respect from the
world around us.)
Believers who have Died
We want you to understand the sleep of death so you
will not grieve like those without hope.
Our belief is that Jesus died and rose again and when
he returns, he will bring those who sleep (have died) with him.
We who are alive when he returns will not go ahead of
those who sleep (are dead)
for when he returns with a loud fanfare those believers
who have died will come with him.
After that, those of us still alive will be caught up
with them with him, to be with him for ever.
So hold onto this and encourage one another with it.
If we are alive when Christ returns, we will be caught
up to join him and all those believers who have died previously.
All of us will be raised.)
Being a Christian involves learning how God wants us
to live on a daily basis, overcoming the flesh, controlling our
bodies and rejecting lust that may lead us into wrong things.
These lives are to be characterised by holiness, love, order and
peace, creating respect in outsiders. While we await Christ's
return, we may rest assured that both we who are alive when he
returns and those already dead, will be caught up with him.
1 Thessalonians 5
The Day of the Lord
We don't really need to teach you about times and dates
because you know the return of the Lord will be at an
The rest of the world may be living complacently so
destruction will come as a surprise to them, suddenly like labour
pains at the end of a confinement.
We are different
But, living in the light, this day will not surprise
We are all of the day, of light, no darkness
So let's not be like them (dozing asleep) but we awake
for they sleep or are drunk so (implied) let's not be
always with one eye on the Lord's return, unlike the
complacent and sleeping world around us, we are to remain awake
and alert to his coming again.)
As we are day-people', let's be sober, with faith and
love protecting us like a breastplate, and hope as a helmet.
For God's intent for us is not wrath but salvation through
who died for all of us, whether awake or asleep (dead)so
we may all live
so encourage and keep on building each other up.
Living with Others
Particularly acknowledge those who care for you and
Hold them in the highest esteem and love as they serve
you. Live at peace with one another.
Warn those who are idle or disruptive, encourage the
disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
Ensure no one pays back wrong for wrong, but all seek
what is good for one another and indeed, for everyone else.
Living before God
God's will is that you rejoice always, pray continually
and give thanks in all circumstances
Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not treat prophecies with contempt
21 but test them all; hold on to what is good,
22 reject every kind of evil.
In all this, may the God of peace, work in you to purify
you through and through, you whole spirit soul and body being
kept ready for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He who called you will do this because he is faithful
While we wait, let faith, love and hope hold and protect
us, holding on to our salvation for this is God's desire for us,
not judgment, as we build one another up and respect and honour
our leaders. Make sure we maintain loving and caring lives for
others, while being spiritually alive and open to God's moving,
holding to good and rejecting what is evil, ready for whenever
Christ returns, trusting that He will continue to hold and keep
Please pray for us
Greet God's people with a holy kiss
Have this letter read to all the believers.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be yours.
Remain alert and watching for Christ's return, protected
by his grace, living holy, loving and caring lives, honouring
leaders, and remaining open to the Spirit's leading, holding good,
to Framework Contents)
Thanksgiving Continual prayer for them
Remembrance recollections of their work prompted
by faith, love, hope
Effect their faith known everywhere, changed
lives waiting for Jesus' return.
1 & 2: Moving into the Present -despite
past opposition they had shared the Gospel bringing much fruit
Removing Doubts : Nature of Ministry - seeking
to avoid error, wrong motivations, deception of any kind, flattery,
praise from people, they had been gentle, not being heavy-handed
with their authority, but loving and working to provide for themselves,
seeking to be holy, righteous and blameless as fathers to children,
encouraging & comforting
Their Responses God had worked in them, changing
them to be imitators, suffering the opposition Christ had suffered
as the enemy sought to prevent the apostles sharing the gospel
Apostolic Frustrated Yearnings cut off, seeking
to come but hindered by Satan, the believers were like their crown
What had Happened although Paul stayed in
Athens, they sent Timothy to encourage them to cope with their
trials, and then sent to him for news.
Timothy's Report reported on their faith and
love, their good memories and longings to see them
It's Effect - they were encouraged, thanking
God for the joy they had because of them. They prayed they would
be able to come eventually to strengthen and bless them.
Paul's Desire to be able to come, for their
love to increase and their hearts strengthened to stand holy and
purte rady for Jesus' return.
Exhortation to Obedience - backup instructions
to be obedient
Specific Matters -
Sanctification is God's goal for you so avoid sexual immorality;
learn to control you own body so you remain holy, not letting
lust carry them away
Our Calling - God calls from impurity to holy
living; if you ignore this teaching you re ignoring God.
Live a Life of Love live what God has taught
you, your love known through the area, do it more and more
Live a Life of Peace seek the quiet life,
attending your own business, working with hands, earn respect
Believers who have Died have hope about death;
when Jesus returns he will bring the dead with him, and we who
are alive will then join them all
The Day of the Lord the Lord's coming will
be at an unknown time which will come as a surprise to the unbelieving
We are different - living in the light, we're
different, so be awake and ready
Our Lives - let faith and love and hope protect
you as you wait; salvation not judgment is our outcome, awake
Living with Others - acknowledge leaders who
care and teach, live at peace, warn those who are idle or disruptive,
encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone,
ensure no one pays back wrong for wrong, but all seek what is
good for one another and indeed, for everyone else.
Living before God - rejoice always, pray continually
ad give thanks in all circumstances, d o not quench the Spirit,
do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold
on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. Let God purify
you, resdy for Jesus' return
Final Exhortations pray, greet, read this
out, know grace .
1: Recollections & Explanations
Chapter 1 Paul recollects what the
Thessalonians are like, their reputation in the area.
Chapter 2 he continues to remember
how they had brought the Gospel despite opposition and how the
Thessalonians had received it and stood, also despite opposition,
and he rued not being able to come back to them.
Chapter 3 he explains how they had
been hindered by the enemy in returning and so stayed at Athens
but sent Timothy to support and encourage believers against their
opposition, and how he had sent back a good report that had so
2: Teaching Encouragements in the Light of the Lord's return
Chapter 4 he reminds them to hold to
the teaching they had received from them, remaining pure and holy,
with orderly and peaceable lives earning respect from outsiders
while they await Christ's return.
Chapter 5 he continues speaking about
Christ's return that will come as a surprise to the sleeping world
but should not be so to believers. In the meantime let our lives
by loving and caring and open to God's moving.
letter is an outworking of their previous visit to Thessalonica
where the Gospel brought in the face of much opposition, brought
much fruit. They had wanted to return to see them again but the
enemy had hindered them, so instead they sent Timothy who sent
back a good and encouraging report.
of the letter is looking back, while the rest
of it bring teaching and encouragement while all the time in the
background is the thought of looking forward
to the Lord's return.
teaching/reminding element encourages with reminders of the protection
we have, and challenges us to live holy and loving lives, open
to the leading of the Spirit.