1 Thessalonians 1:2-7
We give thanks to God always for all of you,
Action - Thanksgiving
constantly mentioning you in our prayers,
remembering before our God and Father
your work of faith and
for the good work
labor of love and
steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
For we know,
Ground for 1:2-3
brothers loved by God,
that he has chosen you,
because our gospel came to you not only in word,
Ground 1/2 for 1:4
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.
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord,
Ground 2/2 for 1:4
for you received the word in much affliction,
with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.
Paul thanks God because of the
steadfast labour and work that
comes from faith, hope and love
of the Thessalonian elect.
This good fruit has come about
because God has loved them
in a unique elected covenantal sense,
and chosen them.
Paul knows they have been so chosen
because of the way Paul and
his co-labourers have brought the gospel,
and because of the way the Thessalonian
believers have received and lived out the gospel.
Study Questions 1. Why does Paul thank God for something the Thessalonians are doing? And what does that suggest about our good works? Paul sees that God is behind or the cause of what the Thessalonians are doing. This suggests that God is behind and the cause of all our good works. "God is the decisive cause behind these things." 2. Are the “work of faith,” “labor of love,” and “steadfastness of hope” the same or separate realities or activities? They are different dimensions of Christian living which are inter-related such as one cannot exist without the other. 3. If faith, hope, and love are distinct, what distinguishes them and how do they relate to one another? "Faith, hope and love are all involved in the life and labour of a Christian." Love comes from faith ( Gal 5:6). Faith produces work through love. Love produces labour because faith awakens, or leads to love Faith can look back to the cross and to the future, hope is faith looking forward (Heb 11:1). Faith is substance of things hoped for. Faith and hope gives rise to love which gives rise to work or labour for others. In other words: Faith is awakened Faith gives rise to love Part of the faith is also hope, faith for the future Faith and hope gives rise to love love gives rise to steadfast, persevering work and labour All of these, faith, hope and love is from God, the decisive cause, who Paul gives thanks to. 4. What does Paul mean when he says, “he has chosen you,” in 1 Thessalonians 1:4 ? How does his use of the same word in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 affect your answer? God is choosing the elect for salvation through sanctification in the Spirit through belief in the through through work of faith through work of love through steadfastness of hope 5. What does Paul mean here by the phrase “loved by God” ( 1 Thessalonians 1:4 )? Is this love God’s love for all people, or only for believers? Why? This is not love for the entire world (e.g. John 3:16) because not all in this world are saved It is the love similar to Eph 5:25 where the love Christ has for the church unique, in the way husbands love their wives in a unique way, a covenant affection Romans 1:7 only those who are loved uniquely in Rome who are called to be saints 6. Explain the “For” at the beginning of 1 Thessalonians 1:4 . How does what comes after the “For” explain or ground what comes before? God is the one to be thanked when steadfast labour and work of faith and hope among believers, because God has chosen them. By choosing them, believers are able to do steadfast labour and work of faith and hope. 7. Explain the “because” at the beginning of 1 Thessalonians 1:5 . How does what comes after the “because” explain or ground what comes before it? Paul knows God has chosen the Thessalonian elect because the gospel came in word in power in the Holy Spirit in full conviction 8. When Paul says the word came “in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction,” whose power and conviction is he talking about? Why do you think that? The power and conviction of Paul and his fellow labourers 1:5 literally "just as" Paul and his fellow labourers proved to be 9. Does receiving the gospel with joy confirm that we are elect? Why or why not? How do 1 Thessalonians 1:2–7 and Mark 4:16–17 change or fill out your answer? Joy alone does not confirm evidence of election The parable of the seed in Mark, the joy must be in the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:6) accompanied with endurance in the midst of trials and suffering, continued trust in the Word The joy is the valuing of Jesus, finding joy in Jesus more than avoiding suffering Takeaway God is the ultimate cause of any good work To consider the signs of election: joy in the Holy Spirit in treasuring and delighting in the life in Christ, enduring in trials and suffering, continued trust in the Word