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FRAMEWORKS: Paul's FIRST letter to the Thessalonians

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Frameworks: 1 Thessalonians: INTRODUCTION


Why Read 1 Thessalonians: This letter is all about affirming relationship at a distance. In chapters 1-3 the memories that the apostles had of their time with them brings joy and thanksgiving. Paul reminds them how they had come to them and the way they had responded to the Gospel and that resulted in a longing within him to come to them again. Yet the enemy had stopped that happening and so they had sent Timothy to them who brought back a good report. Chapter 4 brings basic teaching on living godly and holy lives while encouraging them about those who have died. Chapter 5, building on this, encourages them to be ready for when Jesus returns including a variety of instructions for living peacefully and harmoniously.

Because Paul is first of all looking backwards, it gives us a good picture of his ministry in bringing the Gospel, but then looks forward with the expectation of Christ's return which helps motivate holy living today. Through such means we can be encouraged for we too are still awaiting his return and need encouraging to be faithful for when he comes. It also adds to our knowledge of the travels of the apostolic team and the hindrances to their plans that they suffered and how they sought to overcome as they continued to support and build up churches from a distance. Read it at one sitting and catch these things.



FRAMEWORKS: 1 Thessalonians 1


[Note: Because it is sometimes difficult to follow the flow of a letter like this, we have added a synopsis of each chapter & passage to help clarify where Paul is going with his writing.]


v.1 Greetings

v.2-10 Thanksgiving for the Testimony of the Thessalonians


[Chapter Synopsis: Greetings and prayer reflecting the joy their memories of the Thessalonians' response had brought to them.]   



v.1 Greetings


v.1 (from the 3 apostles) Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.



v.2-10 Thanksgiving for the Testimony of the Thessalonians


[Passage Synopsis: How you responded to us brings thanks every time we pray for you, the way the Spirit had worked and the clarity of your response which has gained renown.]


v.2 (we thank God for you in our prayers constantly) We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.

v.3 (for we see the outworking of this faith) We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

v.4,5 (the way the Spirit powerfully brought conviction clearly shows God chose you) For we know, brothers and sisters 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 deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

v.6 (despite opposition you welcomed the gospel) You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

v.7 (showing others the way to go) And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.

v.8-10 (everyone has heard of you how you were converted) The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia  your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead  Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.



Continue to Chapter 2