The First Letter to the Thessalonians
The First Letter to the Thessalonians by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament may not be all that familiar at first. The occasion of writing was that Timothy, a young church leader of the 1st Century AD, had good news for Paul: the church that had been founded in what we now know as Europe was growing in numbers of believers in Jesus. The members of the community of faith were loving one another. They were standing firm in their beliefs. They were holding up under persecution that was often experienced for being associated with Christianity in those days. The Gospel of Jesus was being made known widely due to this church. Paul was overjoyed to hear this, and (with Timothy and Silvanus) wrote a letter to the church at Thessolonica to encourage and instruct them.
This is one of the most positive letters from Paul to a church. Paul overviews his history and relationship with the church members (which you can also read about in Acts 17:1–9), commends them for their excellent example, and goes on to list ways that they can “excel still more” until Jesus returns. Note how Paul’s message is summarized: “Finally then, brothers and sisters, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1
Our sermon series will help us to learn what kept the hope of those early Christians alive during testing and uncertain times and apply those lessons to our lives today.
- When Faith Becomes Known – 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
- How to share the Gospel – 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13
- Living out our hope – 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
- In light of eternity – 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:11
- Gospel-shaped community – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24