Lesson Scripture: 1ST THESSALONIANS 1: 2-10
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 Remembering 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; 4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
The Thessalonian church was established during Paul’s second missionary journey. The new Christians in Thessalonica were struggling with their newfound faith. Persecutions against them were political as well as religious. This would cause them to struggle to hold on to their belief, while waiting for the return of Christ. In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians he encourages them. He praised them for what he had heard concerning their faith. Their commitment was honorable. Paul simply reminds them of what they already knew.
I. AN ELECT PEOPLE (Thessalonians 1: 2-4)
The Thessalonians were praised and honored for their influence on others. They had a love of God, they were an example of the Gospel. They were happy to be the example for it was a labor of love. The hope of the return of Christ gave them the determination not to give up.
II. AN EXAMPLE ENTHUSIASTIC PEOPLE (vv. 5-8)
Paul and his companions were proud of the Gospel that was given to the Thessalonians. They were new the faith, “babes in Christ”. They needed mature Christians as examples. They would follow or imitate these spiritual leaders. The Thessalonian’s faith had encouraged others.
III. AN EXPECTANT PEOPLE (vv. 9-10)
The Thessalonians had preciously worshiped idols. Idols would give them no hope. Trusting God, they had a living hope. It’s because of the risen Christ, they had this living hope, even in time of persecution. While waiting on the return of Christ, they were not idle but were consistent with activity and endurance.
The Thessalonians were young in the faith. They were under persecution, they had worshiped idol gods, nonetheless, they maintained faith in Christ. They would maintain course in difficult times. What a great example of faith to follow. “BE EXAMPLES OF FAITH”
Rev. Johnny H. Eskridge | St. Paul Baptist Church @ Shively Heights | Louisville, Kentucky