Christian commitment to God is visible

Published 7:25 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

Scripture: I Thessalonians 1:1-10

Aim: To instruct the pupil in the truth that personal response and commitment is visible to God and others.

Golden Text: “For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.”

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Many persons fool others in the Church of Jesus Christ; however, not all persons are fooled and certainly God is never fooled by men. He knows exactly what a person knows and thinks. There is nothing He does not know; hence, nothing can be hidden from God. Psalm 139 gives us an ample illustration of this truth. He knows whether a person has been born again, whether a person is truly consecrated to Him, and whether a person is real or a fake.

Paul had established this church on his second missionary journey. After leaving the area he sent Timothy back to check on the progress of the new believers.

Upon Timothy’s return with some questions, Paul wrote this letter and sent it back by Timothy again.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church to reinforce what he had taught them about the second coming of Christ. In doing so, he commends and praises them for their true repentance and faith that issued forth in a positive, public proclamation of the Gospel of Christ to others.

I. Paul gave his introduction (I Thessalonians 1:1-3). He greeted them with a Greek greeting, “Grace” and a Jewish greeting “Peace.” Both were given them from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (vs. 1).

Paul thanked God for them and prayed for them (vs. 2). He had a pleasing memory of the people and their response to the preaching of the Gospel.

Paul remembered their work of faith, labor of love, and their patience of hope in the coming again of Jesus Christ (vs. 3).

II. Paul sharing his faith and the Thessalonicans’ response is recounted (I Thessalonians 1:4-5). He recounts his visit with them when he preached the Gospel of Christ to them. The Gospel is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

Paul remembers their response. They heard the Word of the Gospel spoken. The power of God was upon the Word and upon the people’s hearing of the word (indicating that they heard and believed the Word). This was all under the power and leadership of God the Holy Spirit (vs. 5).

The impact of the Word of God was felt because of the life and conduct of Paul and his companions (vs. 5:b). It is important that those speaking God’s Word be people of God who are obedient to the Word spoken.

III. Paul notes the change made in their lives after receiving Christ (I Thessalonians 1:6-8). The believers became followers of Christ along with Paul and his companions (vs. 6). They also had persecution because they turned to Christ (vs. 6). Yet, they were filled with the Joy of the Lord in their newly found faith in Christ (vs. 6).

The personal response caused them to take the message of the Gospel all around the area (vs. 7). The result was that many were converted because they saw the change, which had come in the lives of those who had believed on Christ (vs. 8). They witnessed the change and were impressed.

The Thessalonicans had (1) turned to God from idol worship, (2) began to serve God instead of idols, and were now waiting for the coming of Christ from Heaven (vs. 7-8). They recognized that they had been “delivered” from the wrath of God against sin, because they had received Christ. These folks are a pattern for New Testament Christianity.