One Thesallonians One

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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1 Thesallonians 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thessalonians. It is possible that this is the first epistle written by Paul. Paul had taken Silas (same as Silvanus) and Timothy with him on his first missionary venture into Greece (see Acts 15:40-16:3; 16:10). After preaching the gospel in Philippi, the leading city of Macedonia (Acts 16:12), they came to another important seaport, Thessalonica (Acts 17:1), remaining at least several weeks and winning both Jews and Greeks to Christ. These people evidently formed a church, and Paul wrote this first epistle to them a short time later, after he had gone on to Corinth (Acts 18:1, 11). Since both Silas and Timothy had been with him at Thessalonica, he included them in his salutation to the church.

the Lord Jesus Christ. It is significant that in the first verse of what may have been his first epistle, Paul acknowledges Jesus Christ as Lord (note Acts 2:36). He frequently used this full name and title in his preaching (e.g., Acts 16:31) as well as his writing, and finally in the very last verse written before his death (2 Timothy 4:22). He also frequently wrote of “Jesus Christ” (e.g., Galatians 1:1, his earliest letter except possibly for the Thessalonian epistles) but, for some reason, never to the Thessalonians. To the Thessalonians, he wrote about “Christ Jesus” (e.g., 1 Thessalonians 2:15), as well as simply “Christ” and “the Lord” (e.g., 1 Thessalonians 2:6; 1:6). Once, in Colossians 3:24, he mentioned “the Lord Christ.” But it is significant that never in any of his epistles did he speak simply of “Jesus,” except when he was specifically referring to Him in His human life on earth. Paul speaks of Him as “the Lord Jesus Christ” at least nineteen times in the two Thessalonian epistles.

1 Thesallonians 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

1 Thesallonians 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

without ceasing. The Greek word rendered “without ceasing” means “continuously” (i.e., repeated frequently), rather than “continually” (i.e., never stopping).

hope. The linking of faith, hope and love occurs often in the New Testament. See note on Colossians 1:4, 5.

1 Thesallonians 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

1 Thesallonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

1 Thesallonians 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

1 Thesallonians 1:7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

1 Thesallonians 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

1 Thesallonians 1:9 For they themselves show 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;

from idols. Note the exposition in the lives of the Thessalonians of Paul's testimony in 1 Thessalonians 1:3. They had demonstrated the reality of their faith by their work of faith in turning “to God from idols;” they had shown true “labour of love” in serving “the living and true God,” and they were manifesting “patience of hope” as they waited “for His Son from heaven.”

true God. The Thessalonian believers, especially the Gentiles, had evidently heard and received the same creation evangelism message Paul had preached at Athens. They had trusted the true, eternally living God of creation, instead of the false gods and dead idols they once had served. They further believed in the atoning death of Jesus for their eternal deliverance from judgment to come, acknowledging that He alone, as God incarnate and perfect man, could conquer death and rise from the dead (Compare Acts 17:22-31).

1 Thesallonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

wait for his Son from heaven. This epistle written by Paul, only eighty-eight verses long, has at least fourteen verses referring to Christ's second coming, or sixteen percent, a larger ratio than any other later epistle, except for 2 Thessalonians (eleven out of forty-seven, or twenty-three percent). The promise of the return of Christ was the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) of Christians from the very first.