I Thessalonians


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I Thessalonians

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  2. 2. Back Ground<br />From Hellenistic times down to the present day, Thessalonica, modern day Thessaloniki (Salonika), has been one of the main cities of Macedonia. <br />It came into prominence about 315 B.C. when it was strengthened and enlarged by Cassander, who named the city in honor of his wife, the half-sister of Alexander the Great.<br />
  3. 3. Thessaloniki<br />Augustus Caesar later rewarded Thessalonica for its loyalty by making it a “free city.”<br />In New Testament times, Thessalonica was a seaport of political and commercial importance, situated on a land route that put it into a direct stream of traffic<br />
  4. 4. Although the majority of the Thessalonians were native Greeks, Romans and Orientals added to the population.<br />And because of the attractive commerce, the city also hosted a large Jewish colony.<br />
  5. 5. Paul established the church at Thessalonica on his second missionary journey (Acts 17).<br />The city was the second in Macedonia to hear the gospel.<br />Paul stayed there at least three weeks, for it is recorded that he spent three Sabbaths speaking to the Jews in the synagogue (Acts 17:2).<br />When he was ousted from the synagogue, he went to the house of Jason. <br />The Philippians sent Paul two offerings while he was in Thessalonica.<br />
  6. 6. B. THEME<br />This epistle’s theme is the Second Coming of Jesus. <br />Paul used the Lord’s return as a source of encouragement and comfort and a reason for watchfulness and sanctification.<br />Each of the five chapters, close with a reference to the Second Coming.<br />I and II Thessalonians were written to the believers of Thessalonica, a city in northeastern Greece.<br />
  7. 7. DATE<br />Paul probably wrote this epistle to the Thessalonians from Corinth in early fall, A.D. 54.<br />It is probably the earliest of the Pauline Epistles.<br />
  8. 8. Purpose<br />Paul wrote to answer questions posed to him by the Thessalonians.<br />The report from Timothy was the immediate cause for the writing of the epistle (3:6-7).<br />Paul had established the church under severe persecution.<br />He no doubt had heard that the persecution continued, and he was justly concerned over the new believers.<br />
  9. 9. Purpose<br />First Thessalonians concerns the last things.<br />Its theme is the Second Coming of the Lord, and it contains one of the fullest elaborations on this hope of the church. <br />Each chapter ends with a reference to the Second Coming, thereby indicating the importance of clinging to the hope. <br />
  10. 10. Purpose<br />Since the book was written little more than twenty years after the resurrection of Christ, it provides a direct link between the Gospels and the later teachings of the church. <br />Both hark back to the divine self-revelation in Christ Jesus.<br />
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  12. 12. Outline<br />
  13. 13. Introduction<br />I Thessalonians 1:1<br />Paul opened his letter by saluting the church at Thessalonica, which was in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ.<br />He also included Silas and Timothy with him in the salutation.<br />Paul desired that the Thessalonians would be blessed with the grace and peace of God.<br />
  14. 14. I. Paul’s Ministry I Thessalonians 1:2-2:19<br />A. An Exemplary Church<br />Paul was thankful for the way the Thessalonians had accepted the gospel and lived by it (1:2-10). <br />The power and conviction with which he preached (1:5) caused the Thessalonians to respond as follows:<br />1. Follow “us” (Paul and his co-workers) and the Lord (1:6)<br />2. Receive the Lord in persecution with the joy of the Holy Ghost (1:6)<br />3. Be examples to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia (1:7)<br />4. Spread the gospel abroad (1:8)<br />
  15. 15. I. Paul’s Ministry I Thessalonians 1:2-2:19<br />A. An Exemplary Church<br />Despite persecution from the Jews, they had turned from sin to God. <br />Many of these converts were Gentiles, for they had served idols (1:9).<br />In spite of, or perhaps because of, the extreme circumstances surrounding its birth, the church at Thessalonica was strong and was an example for all Macedonia.<br />Yet Paul reminded them that their hope was in the coming of the Lord.<br />
  16. 16. I. Paul’s Ministry I Thessalonians 1:2-2:19<br />B. An Exemplary Ministry<br />Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica had the desired results (2:1-3). <br />He had preached with openness and frankness in spite of opposition.<br />He held himself responsible to God, with no thought for what people would say or do (2:4-6).<br />He preached the gospel with this responsibility in mind, and his ministry was not in vain.<br />
  17. 17. I. Paul’s Ministry I Thessalonians 1:2-2:19<br />B. An Exemplary Ministry<br />Paul dealt with the Thessalonians gently and affectionately, as with a child (2:7-9).<br />His ministry was above reproach, just, and unblameable (2:10-12).<br />The Thessalonians witnessed this fact and gave of themselves in love and tenderness.<br />They received the gospel message openly, in spite of persecution (2:13-18).<br />
  18. 18. I. Paul’s Ministry I Thessalonians 1:2-2:19<br />B. An Exemplary Ministry<br />They accepted it as truth-the Word of God-not just the word of man. <br />Paul stated that though their persecution was great, their love for God was greater.<br />The Thessalonians’ ultimate joy will be their catching away (2:19-20). <br />It will be also Paul’s.<br />
  19. 19. I. Paul’s Ministry I Thessalonians 1:2-2:19<br />B. An Exemplary Ministry<br /> A devoted ministry as exemplified by Paul is marked by the following characteristics:<br />1 . Self-denial and personal sacrifice for the good of others and the furtherance of the gospel (2:9)<br />2. A blameless life (2:10)<br />3. Fatherly love and patience in instructing and comforting (2:11)<br />4. The hope of establishing converts so that they “walk worthy of God.”(2:13) <br />
  20. 20. II. The Lord’s ComingI Thessalonians 3:1-5:25<br />A. Paul’s Concern<br />Paul, concerned for the spiritual welfare of the church, sent Timothy to establish and strengthen them in the face of tribulation (3:1-8), for he knew it was possible to fall away from the faith or to become apostate. <br />He rejoiced in their steadfastness.<br />
  21. 21. II. The Lord’s ComingI Thessalonians 3:1-5:25<br />A. Paul’s Concern<br />He gave thanks to God that they had been faithful (3:9-13). <br />He promised to continue to pray for them that they would abound in love one for another and appear “unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints”(3:13).<br />
  22. 22. II. The Lord’s ComingI Thessalonians 3:1-5:25<br />B. Call to Holiness<br />Paul admonished them to maintain a consistent Christian walk as he had taught them (4:1-12). <br />They were called to holiness, a life set apart unto God.<br />This life includes abstinence from sexual immorality, such as adultery (4:3-5).<br />It is the Lord who has called the believer unto holiness (4:7). <br />His authority is behind the prohibition, and He has given His Holy Spirit to enable the believer to live a holy life (4:8).<br />
  23. 23. II. The Lord’s ComingI Thessalonians 3:1-5:25<br />B. Call to Holiness<br />Holy living is also characterized by brotherly love. <br />Paul stated, “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia. But we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more” (4:9-10).<br />
  24. 24. II. The Lord’s ComingI Thessalonians 3:1-5:25<br />B. Call to Holiness<br />He likewise urged the Thessalonians to quietness, industry, responsibility, and honesty (4:11-12).<br />Paul reassured the Thessalonians about the Christians who had died (4:13-18).<br />They also will rise at the coming of the Lord. <br />Indeed, they will rise first, and then those who are alive in Christ will arise. <br />We shall all then be together with the Lord.<br />That is our comfort and hope.<br />
  25. 25. II. The Lord’s ComingI Thessalonians 3:1-5:25<br />C. The Day of the Lord<br />To unbelievers, the Day of the Lord will come as thief. <br />There will be no escape (5:1-3). <br />To us who believe, that day should not overtake us unaware (5:4-11).<br />We, the children of light, know to watch and to be prepared.<br />
  26. 26. II. The Lord’s ComingI Thessalonians 3:1-5:25<br />C. The Day of the Lord<br />Paul gave several practical exhortation for preparedness:<br />1. We must have respect and love toward those who are over us (5:12-13).<br />2. We must give support and encouragement to those around us (5:14-15).<br />3. We must never cease to be joyful, prayerful, and thankful (5:16-18).<br />4. We must not quench the Spirit or despise prophesying, but prove all things (5:19-21).<br />5. We must abstain from the very appearance of evil (5:22).<br />
  27. 27. II. The Lord’s ComingI Thessalonians 3:1-5:25<br />C. The Day of the Lord<br />The Hope of the Church: The Coming of the Lord (4:13-5:11)<br />The heart of the epistle is found in chapters 4 and 5.<br />After complimenting and admonishing the assembly Paul turned to their cause for hope, the Second Coming of Jesus. <br />His return is a comforting hope to the bereaved (4:13, 14).<br />
  28. 28. II. The Lord’s ComingI Thessalonians 3:1-5:25<br />Hope of the Church<br />For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (4:15-18).<br />
  29. 29. II. The Lord’s ComingI Thessalonians 3:1-5:25<br />C. The Day of the Lord<br /> Paul then prayed that God would keep the Thessalonian believers and admonished them to pray also for him and his fellow laborers.<br />
  30. 30. ConclusionI Thessalonians 5:26-28<br />Paul closed by stating that all the brethren should be greeted with a holy kiss.<br />(it was the custom in that culture and time for men to greet men and women to greet women with a kiss on the cheek.)<br />Then he charged that the letter should be read to all the brethren. His final benediction was, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (5:28).<br />
  31. 31. Thank you and God Bless to all!<br />