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OVERVIEW STUDY OF 1 THESSALONIANS DISCOVERING PRINCIPLES OF DISCIPLEMAKING To do any book study, especially the epistles, we need to get background

information on the following : a. Who wrote the letter? b. To whom was it written? c. What is its general theme? Other Details About the Church in Thessalonica Paul, Silas and Timothy first went to the Macedonian port city of Thessalonica on the second missionary journey, (Acts 17:1-14). This was the second place gospel was preached in Europe, Philippi being the first. Because the preaching of the gospel depleted the ranks of the synagogue, the Jews charged Pauls host Jason with harbouring traitors to Caesar. The ruler of the city took Jason as security and let the missionaries leave the city. When they arrived in Athens, (Acts 17:15; 1 Thess 3:1) Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica (1 Thess 3:1-2, 5) to encourage the believers and then to report back on the condition of the church there. Timothy rejoined Paul in Corinth (3:6). Purpose of the letter 1. Express thankfulness to God and the Thessalonians for their consistency in the faith. 2. Defend himself against a campaign to slander his ministry, which asserted that it was done only for profit (2:5, 9-10). 3. Encouraged the new converts to stand not only against persecution but also against the pressure to revert to their former pagan standards (3:2-3; 4:1-2). 4. Answered questions about what happens to Christians who die before the return of the Lord (4:13-18). 5. Discussed some problems of their church life which needed to be dealt with (5:12-13, 19-20).

2 Application From Acts 17:1-14, esp. vs 4, 5. Despite the fact that God was blessing the ministry opposition mounted higher also in Berea, v 13. But they were not daunted. Timothy even had the courage to return to check on the condition of the flock which they had left in Thessalonica under pressure.

1 Thessalonians Ch. 1
V1 Paul, Silas and Timothy. Paul always had travel companions at times it was Barnabas as in Acts 13, at times it was Timothy, or others Luke 10:1. Paul was always praying for the people he was helping he had a heart for them, Rom 1:9, 10; Col 1:3; Phil 1:3, 4. God has chosen them it is God who chooses. He has chosen them through His word the power of the gospel, Rom 1:16. God chooses and the power of the gospel liberates. They persevered in living the way of God despite suffering, 1 Pet 1:6, 7. Became models to all in Greece (Macadonia) and southern Greece (Achaia). They spread the word from where they were to everywhere (near and far), Acts 1:8. Their testimony of their lives was so clear that people were re-echoing it for them, Matt 5:16. They were living in active expectation of the Saviour, 1 Thess 4:14, 17; John 9:4

V2 V4

V6 V7 V8 V9

V10 -

1 Thessalonians Ch. 2 (Characteristics of Pauls life which is expected of a labourer).


a. PAUL V2 V3 Perseverance. God pleasers (not men pleasers) / sincerity of heart. Did not seek personal advantage. Gentleness (tenderness).

V5&6 V7 -

V8 V9 V10 V11

Affectionate (closeness transmitting life). Sacrificial living and hard work. Exemplary living (pace-setting). Encouragement (fatherly challenge). Thinking of them and visiting.

V17,18 -

b. The Thessalonians Themselves V13 V14 Teachability accepting the word as truthful from God. Learning from others on perseverance during persecution

1 Thessalonians Ch. 3
Pauls concern for them. V1,2,5 V3 V4 V5b V6 V7,8 V9 V10 Sending a visitor (or letter) when we cannot visit to encourage them. Accepting suffering (2 Tim 3:12, 13; Acts 5:41; Phil 1:29; Acts 4:20)). Alerting them (forewarning them), being realistic, Acts 20:30, 31. Concern about his labour and their faith, Gal 2:2; Phil 2:16. Appreciated their friendship, Rom 1:10, 11; Rom 18:23. Encouraged by other faith, Rom 15:32; Phil 7; 2 Cor 1:4. Motivation and source of joy to Paul. Praying for their completeness (complete maturity).

1 Thessalonians Ch. 4
V1 V3 Paul first commends them for what they are already before challenging or exhorting them to do more (also 4:9, 10; 5:11). Understanding a. Meaning of Gods will His desire or purpose. b. Meaning of Sanctification (holiness) viewed in 3 aspects in the N.T. i. A position of being set apart for God, which every believer has from the moment of his salvation (1 Cor 6:11).

4 ii. (1 Thess 4:3). iii. Our condition in heaven in which we shall be unblamable in holiness (1 Thess 3:13). Why do you think that Paul had to write to them on the need for purity? unnatural sexual indulgence. Greek cities like Thessalonica were wide open to all kinds of sexual looseness, even in connection with religious rites. The Greek word means all kinds of illicit or A progressive holiness of life that ought to be true of ever believer

What do you mean by vessel, and why? How can we possess our vessel in sanctification and honour? Mastery over ones body keeping it pure, 1 Cor 9:24-27 OR Refers to an honourable marriage (vessel = wife) as 1 Pet 3:7 Vs 9, 10 Brotherly love Vs 11, 12 Orderly living Teaching Concerning the Dead Paul wrote to give them a reassurance that the dead in Christ will be raised again and will share in the kingdom. *That we sorrow not as those who have no hope.