Saturday, April 24, 2010

Continuing Study of Chapter 2


Last week we weren't able to get very far into Chapter 2 (surprise, surprise). We did have lots of good discussion about the first 6 verses though! This week we will cover the remainder of Chapter 2 and read Chapter 3 as time allows. Chapter 3 doesn't have a lot material to cover in a lesson so on Mother's Day, in our new classroom, I will begin a lesson on Chapter 4.

See y'all tomorrow...


Saturday, April 17, 2010

1 Thessalonians Chapter 2

I. Introduction

A. Manner of his preaching among them
B. Manner of his conversation among them
C. Success of his ministry and its effects on him and them
D. Apologizes for not being able to return and see them again

II. Manner of his preaching among them (v. 1-6)

A. Subject matter of his preaching was not vain, or empty, deceiptful, or treacherous
B. Rather, was sound, solid truth, from which his listeners could profit
C. Preached pure and uncorrupted gospel. Objective was not to set-up a new faction, or to draw men over to a new party.
D. Only objective was promoting 'pure religion', the gospel. Had no ulterior motives.
E. See II Corinthians 4:2 and Galations 1:10
F. He desired only to please God, not men.

G. Why did Paul mention this?

1. answering accusations from Jewish community

2. they may have been claiming he was misrepresenting the law and the prophets

3. they may have been claiming he had impure motives

4. they may have been claiming he was guilty of tricking his new followers.

III. Manner of his conversation among them (v. 7-12)

A. Showed great gentleness towards them (easier to win people over with honey instead of vinegar). See II Timothy 2:24
B. He cared about them, their spiritual and eternal welfare (salvation)
C. Didn't care about their physical goods or what he could gain from them
D. He didn't take wages from them, rather he practiced his business of tent making in order to make a living while among them.
E. Met with them individually as well as together in a congregation . See Acts 20:20. Taught them how to lead a life worthy of God

IV. Success of his ministry and its effects on him and them

A. People accepted Paul's preaching and ministry as words from God, not from men
B. Preachers' preached by divine inspiration, led by the spirit
C. Thessalonians suffered as the early churches in Judea suffered
1. Were widely persecuted by the Jews
2. Jews believed they only were 'God's people'
3. Paul's indictment of the Jews
a. 'they killed Jesus'
b. 'they killed their own prophets'
c. 'they hated the apostles'
d. 'they pleased not God'
e. 'they were contrary to all men'
f. 'implacable enmity to the gentiles'
D. Jews then, like groups of today who call themselves Christians, pervert the word of God to justify their own goals
1. hate filled crimes of the Christian militia
2. hateful venomous attacks of 'church' in Kansas at funerals of soldiers

V. Apologies for not being able to come see them again

A. Involuntarily forced to leave them. See Acts 17:10.

B. Says Satan has been successful in preventing his return. Believe Satan is continuously at work in the world trying to prevent to spread of the gospel and God's work.


(1) - Matthew Henry commentary

(2) - Bible Class on 1 Thessalonians Ch. 2

(3) - Sermons from 1996 on 1 Thessalonians

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Thessalonians - Chapter 1

I. Recap from Last Week - Introducing I Thessalonians

A. I Thessalonians one of oldest books in New Testament; written between 50-54 AD
B. Thessalonica was the Roman provincial capital of Macedonia
C. Most of the early church members in Thessalonica were gentiles, who previously worshipped Greek idols
D. Paul, Timothy, and Silas traveled to Thessalonica after escaping prison in Phillipi during Paul's second missionary journey.
E. Paul's time in Thessalonica is described in Acts 17:1-9

II. Opening Verses

A. In opening verses Paul reveals a great deal of his heart
1. To quote Dr. Ray Pritchard (Baptist minister), "If you want to know what he (Paul) believed read Romans. If ou want to know what he was like as a person, read I Thessalonians.
2. Everything Paul writes is meant to lift their spirits

B. Word "Church" comes from the Greek word "ekklesia"
1. "ekklesia comes from two other words, "out from" and "called"
2. Thus "church" means a group of people called out from other people for a particular reason

C. How or why were these peopled called out?
1. Paul writes that they were "in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ"
2. Thus they had received the Holy Spirit from God through Jesus the Christ

III. Conversion - Paul now recalls how Thessalonians came to be converted

A. In vs. 4 Paul describes what happened first - God CHOSE them
1. Theologically this is known as the Doctrine of Selection
2. Salvation begins with God's choice of us, not our choice of Him
3. Hard concept to comprehend, are we not all called?
4. What about Revelation 3:20, "Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and him with me."

B. In vs. 5 Paul describes how they were filled with the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Word

IV. Evidence of the Conversion (vs. 6-8)

A. Thessalonians were so glad to be saved, even in the face of severe persecution
1. Think how it must have been...
a. small group of Greek converts
b. surrounded by unbelievers and all of their former Idol gods
2. not to mention the Jews, recall Acts 17:5, "But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city."

B. Living the Word
1. Not enough to believe, must also live the Word
2. Thessalonians did this as well
a. "and so you became a model to all believeers in Macedonia and Achaia"
b. "model" in Greek is "tupos". Literally refers to the impression made by metal when pressed into clay.

C. Speaking the Word
1. Thessalonians weren't just living the word, their actions were also speaking the word and spreading it throughout the land.

V. Three Tenses of the Christian Life

A. The Past
1. Old Testament - two words for repentance
a. "nacham" - turn around or change the mind
b. "sub" - used 600 times in OT, means "turn", "return", "seek", or "restore"
2. New Testament - "metanoia", "meta" means to change the mind

B. The Present
1. Change means serving a new God
2. Giving up old gods and serving Living God

C. The Future
1. Wait for Jesus to return

VI. Summary
A. God Calls
B. We respond
C. We turn
D. We serve
E. We wait



Friday, April 2, 2010

I Thessalonians - An Introduction

Well here we go folks. We're starting a new study. As you can see from the title we will be studying Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians for the next several weeks.

Before we get started on I Thessalonians I wanted to publicly thank Charlie for leading us in our study of Daniel. Daniel is a hard book to study but Charlie made it look easy. I learned a great deal and I'm sure y'all did as well. THANKS Charlie!


For this introduction I'm going to answer the good ol' 5 "W" questions, WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and WHY.


A. Who wrote the book? Paul is generally accepted as the principal author of the book. However, the opening versus suggest Silas and Timothy may also have had input or actually written part of the text.

B. Who is the intended audience? The book is written to the members of the church Paul founded in Thessalonica. According to Acts, Ch. 17 they were a mixture of Jews and Gentiles.


A. What is the book about? Here's an outline I obtained from the Easy English Bible Commentary web-site:

Chapter 1
Greetings from Paul, Silas and Timothy 1:1

Thanks and prayer to God 1:2-4

How the Thessalonians accepted the good news about Jesus 1:5-10

Chapter 2
How Paul and his friends came to Thessalonica 2:1-4

Their attitude to the people at Thessalonica 2:5-8

How they lived among them 2:9-12

Thanks to God for the *response of the people at Thessalonica 2:13-16

Desire to visit them again 2:17-20

Chapter 3
Why Paul and Silas sent Timothy 3:1-5

Joy at the news that Timothy brought 3:6-10

Prayer for the Christians at Thessalonica 3:11-13

Chapter 4
How you ought to live 4:1-8

How you should love each other 4:9-12

About those who have died 4:13-18

Chapter 5
When the *Lord will come 5:1-11

Respect those who lead you and work for your benefit 5:12-13

Various Christian duties 5:14-22

Prayer for the Christians at Thessalonica 5:23-24

Greeting and blessing 5:25-28


A. In what year was the book written?

1. Most bible scholars believe the book was written sometime between 50 - 54 AD, thus making it one of the earliest, if not the earliest book of the New Testament.

2. Some scholars believe Galations may have been written before First Thessalonians.

B. When in Paul's travels was it written? Based on information provided in Acts it can easily be placed as having been written during Paul's second missionary journey.


A. Where is Thessalonica? A picture is worth a thousand words so check out the image at the top of the page. As you can see Thessalonica was a port city on the Aegean Sea. It was located south and west of Phillippi and north and a little west of Athens.

1. Thessalonica was founded in 316 BC. By the time Paul arrived to preach the good news it was almost 400 years old.

2. Thessalonica was the Roman provincial capital of Macedonia in 51 AD

3. Thessalonica was about 1 square mile in size and had a population of around 40,000 people.

B. Where was Paul when he wrote First Thessalonians?

1. Some historians place Paul in Athens.

2. However, others place him in Corinth believing he had already left Athens and was practicing his trade in Corinth.


A. He wanted to encourage the new Christians in Thessalonica who were making good progress in their faith (Ch. 1:2-10)

B. He wanted to correct some misinformation about himself and his fellow missionaries that were being spread by some of his critics

C. He wanted to give additional instruction that would contribute to the Thessalonians spiritual growth