Encouraging Faith

Key Verse: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 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.”
—I Thessalonians 1:2,3

Selected Scriptures:
I Thessalonians 1:2-10; 3:6-10

PAUL’S FIRST EPISTLE TO the newly established ecclesia at Thessalonica is believed to have been written from Corinth about A.D. 52, and is credited with being the first of his New Testament writings. The Key Verse of this lesson reflects an especially warm greeting to these brethren in which the apostle sought to strengthen their new faith in the Gospel and their high calling in Christ Jesus.

The scriptural record provides some of the details concerning Paul’s first visit, along with his associates, when they had arrived in Thessalonica approximately a few months earlier. They had made their way to the synagogue, where they knew there would be fellow Jews. “Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scripture, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.” (Acts 17:2-4) We learn that there were also Greeks among the congregation, who were interested in the religious beliefs of the Jews, and were also blessed by what they had heard.

The powerful message of Truth that the apostle preached in the synagogue on that occasion had evidently found its way to the hearts of many of those who had heard him. This is reflected in the Key Verse where he tells them how fondly he remembers their work of faith, labor of love, and patient hope in the Lord. For a relatively new congregation they were showing rapid growth in the ways of Truth and righteousness.

He continues, “Knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. You also became imitators of us and the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.”—I Thess. 1:4-8, New American Standard Version

Paul’s letter reminds the Thessalonian brethren that it was God who had especially blessed them with the Truth, and that they had shown their willingness to endure suffering and persecution for it. Furthermore, he acknowledged the well-known fact that they had carried forth the word of Truth, not only in their own city, but also in other parts of Macedonia and even into Achaia. When Paul had to leave them because of persecution, he left Timothy to establish the church. He now brought a good report to Paul, which is recorded in I Thessalonians 3:6.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |