Main point summary
The Thessalonians were an example to the churches in other cities by receiving the gospel with joy even during persecution.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-10
d We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly 1 e mentioning you in our prayers,
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy are thankful to God for the church of Thessalonica, the 3 missionaries constantly pray for the people,
remembering before f our God and Father g your work of faith and labor of h love and i steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
The three missionaries remember the Thessalonians faith, love, and hope—all of which are through their union with the Lord Jesus—while praying to the Father.
For we know, j brothers 1 loved by God,
The three are speaking to the brothers and sister who are loved by God,
k that he has chosen you,
Telling them that God has specifically chosen them all,
because l our gospel came to you not only in word,
B/c their good news was not only a message heard,
but also in power and m in the Holy Spirit and with full n conviction.
But a message that came in power and the Holy Spirit, and with assurance that it really was from God.
You know o what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
The church knows the character of the three missionaries while they were with the church.
And p you became imitators of us q and of the Lord,
And the church knew the example of that character and imitated it, which was like imitating Jesus,
for r you received the word in much affliction, s with the t joy of the Holy Spirit,
For like Jesus, they endured much suffering b/c of the good news and still found that the Holy Spirit brought them joy,
so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.
So that their joy in persecution could be an example of encouragement to the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
For not only has the word of the Lord u sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia,
For the good news has not only been heard in those cities,
but your faith in God has gone forth v everywhere,
But the faith of the Thessalonians has been heard of everywhere,
so that we need not say anything.
So that the missionaries do not have to say anything about the Thessalonians—their reputation precedes them.
For they themselves report concerning us the kind of w reception we had among you,
For people everywhere talked about how the church received the missionaries,
and how x you turned to God y from idols to serve the living and z true God,
And how their conversion consisted of the Thessalonians turning away from serving dead and false idols to serving the living and true God,
and a to wait for his Son b from heaven, c whom he raised from the dead, Jesus d who delivers us from e the wrath to come.
And not just turning to serve God, but to wait for his Son from heaven—whom God raised from the dead—Jesus who delivers us from wrath at the final judgement b/c he defeated death.
The Holy Spirit shone “light in the darkness” to give the Thessalonians assurance and “knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.” (See 2 Co. 4:6). This is a sign of the Thessalonians election.
Becoming more Christ-like led to the gospel message going forth everywhere “to all the nations.” They fulfilled Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
This summary in 9b-10 bookends with the prayer of verse 2. Serving God is the “work of faith and labor of love” (v. 2) Paul may have in mind. ”Steadfastness of hope in Jesus” (v. 2) sounds like waiting for the Son in verse 10.
My plan to implement the things I learned in the “Paraphrase Course” includes going through the book of James. I love how the paraphrase course encouraged us to read scripture without verses, read the entire letter aloud in one sitting, and try to do our own outline within Biblearc. These tools helped my meditation of the passage and to slow down in understanding the context of the entire book. I also appreciated reading the passage in multiple translations, asking questions to think deeply about the text, and then writing my own paraphrase translation. These are all fruitful tools I hope to regularly implement into my own Bible study time daily.