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Minister of the Gospel at Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Abilene, TX
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Joyful Affliction
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Paul thanks God for joyful witness of the Thessalonian church.
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Published June 22nd, 2016
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1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Salutations to Thessalonians
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, [writing]
To the church of the Thessalonians
in God the Father
Sphere of 1:1b
and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.
Thanksgiving to God for Thessalonians
We give thanks to God always for all of you,
constantly mentioning you in our prayers,
Manner of 1:2a
remembering before our God and Father
Place of 1:2a
your work of faith
Content of 1:3a
and labor of love
and steadfastness of hope
in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sphere of 1:3b-d
For we know, ...
Cause of 1:2a
that he has chosen you,
Content of 1:4a
brothers loved by God,
Apposition of 1:4b
because our gospel came to you
Cause of 1:4a
not only in word,
Negative of 1:5c
but also in power
Manner of 1:5a
and in the Holy Spirit
Agency of 1:5a
and with full conviction.
Result of 1:5a
Imitators of Joyful Affliction
You know
what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
Content of 1:5f
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord,
for you received the word in much affliction,
Explanation of 1:6a
with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
Manner of 1:6b
so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.
Result of 1:6b-c
For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia,
Negative of 1:8b
but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere,
Expansion of 1:7a
so that we need not say anything.
Resuult of 1:8b
For they themselves report concerning us
Ground of 1:8b
the kind of reception we had among you,
Content of 1:9a
and how you turned to God from idols
to serve the living and true God,
Expansion of 1:9c
and to wait for his Son from heaven,
whom he raised from the dead,
Description of 1:9d
[and to wait for] Jesus
Expansion of 1:9c
who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Description of 1:10c
The Thessalonian's faith, love, and hope all operate in the sphere of their union with Jesus Christ. All their obedience is grounded, empowered, and sustained "in Christ," and by the power of the Holy Spirit (see v. 1:5). This is why Paul gives thanks to God for their obedience. It is God's work in Jesus Christ that is producing their faith, hope, and love.
The evidence of their election by God is the fact that they received the Gospel (the Word) in the power of the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.
Paul set the example of Holy Spirit-joy in the midst of affliction for the sake of the Gospel.
Not only Paul, but the Lord Jesus also set the example of Holy Spirit empowered joyful suffering.
Paul's thanksgiving to God constant! What God is doing among them causes him to always give thanks to God for His work among them.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.