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1 Thessalonians

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From One Team to Another

1 Thessalonians 1:1

Teams are important in God's work. But they need to be led strategically under God's authority. That was Paul's job. Yes, he was an apostle, an evangelist, a pastor and a trainer, but he was also a passionate, dedicated and God-appointed team leader. With Silas, Paul had brought the gospel to Thessalonica; and Timothy had also taught what it meant (perhaps he was left there when Paul and Silas had to flee to Berea).

The Seeds and Fruit of Christian Character

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Despite the brief time Paul and his team spent in Thessalonica, the gospel had taken root in the hearts of new believers. Some Jews, many Gentiles and influential people put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and a church had been formed (Acts 17:4).

Inspired Words and Inspired Lives

1 Thessalonians 1:4-6

Paul and his team had no doubt about the authenticity of the church in Thessalonica. They were brothers and sisters because they had been born again into the family of God through faith in Christ.

Signs of True Conversion

1 Thessalonians 1:7-10

The church in Thessalonica had come to Christ through the gospel message about Jesus, who rescues people from God's wrath. Paul and his team brought the gospel to the city. As people believed, their transformed lives and joy propelled the news about Jesus throughout the whole region. It was organic evangelism: good news spreading like wildfire as the seed of truth was being scattered widely by those who had received it.

Gospel Courage

1 Thessalonians 2:1-2

Paul's gospel mission was dangerous. Before arriving in Thessalonica, he and Silas had commanded an evil spirit to leave a disturbed slave girl, in Philippi. Her owners made money out of her occult predictions, and were very angry that their source of income had gone. They dragged Paul and Silas to the market place accusing them of practising an illegal religion.

Gospel Motives

1 Thessalonians 2:3-6

When circumstances are difficult, some believers are tempted to think that they, or their leaders, are not in God's will. When a rioting mob forced Paul and Silas to leave Thessalonica secretly by night, and not return (

Gospel Caring

1 Thessalonians 2:7-9

Gospel ministers are, at times, characterised as strident and harsh propagandists who promote their cause but do not care for people. That is not true gospel ministry. The apostle used his own example to demonstrate the normal way in which God's servants should treat the people they are sent to serve (1 Peter 5:1-3).

Gospel Encouragement

1 Thessalonians 2:10-12

Paul had just likened his care of the church to a mother who sacrificially cares for her children (1 Thessalonians 2:7-9). Now he uses a father-analogy; starting by saying that Father God knows everything about him.

Gospel Word

1 Thessalonians 2:13

Although Paul and Silas were only in Thessalonica for a short time, the gospel message was received by many people (Acts 17:1-12).

Gospel Suffering

1 Thessalonians 2:14-16

Paul had previously commended the Thessalonians for allowing God's Word to work in their lives (1 Thessalonians 2:13). That was particularly demonstrated when they were under persecution.