1 Thessalonians 2:1-16
1 Thessalonians 2:1-16
What does genuine gospel ministry look like? Boldness, love, and endurance.
Published April 1st, 2021
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Main point summary
Notes on 1 Thess. 2:1-16
Next Steps
Main point summary
As God has given us confidence that He has called us to proclaim His gospel, so we proclaim it out of a desire to please Him and out of genuine love for you, even in the midst of opposition. You likewise have received the gospel as from the Lord, and likewise have His power to endure opposition.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-16
For you yourselves know, brothers, 1 that our f coming to you g was not in vain.
You'll recall, our brothers in the faith, that it wasn't a waste of time or effort when we came to you to preach the gospel.
But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated h at Philippi, as you know,
You'll remember that, even though we came to you right after we suffered persecution in Philippi,
i we had boldness in our God j to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much k conflict.
we had God-given boldness to preach the gospel in Thessalonica as well and suffered opposition among you.
For l our appeal does not spring from m error
We continue to preach the gospel and call people to believe, not because we are misled by some false teaching,
or n impurity
nor because we want to gain something from this ministry to satisfy fleshly desires,
or o any attempt to deceive,
nor do we want to mislead people by proclaiming something that isn't true.
but just as we have been approved by God
Rather, in the same way that God has given us confidence that He has called us to this ministry,
p to be entrusted with the gospel,
to guard and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ,
so we speak,
we confidently proclaim it.
not q to please man,
Our goal is not to get approval or praise from people.
but to please God
Rather, our goal is the please the One who called us to this ministry and gave us this very gospel we proclaim.
r who tests our hearts.
He is the One who examines our motives.
s For we never came with words of flattery, 1 as you know,
In light of this, you'll remember that, when we preached the gospel, we didn't do so in a way that sought to seduce you with words that made you feel good about yourself,
nor with a pretext for greed—
and we didn't do so in order to profit financially from our ministry.
t God is witness.
God Himself can testify that we are innocent of these things.
u Nor did we seek glory from people,
Additionally, we didn't seek man's praise or honor,
whether from you or from others,
whether it be praise from you or praise from others we preached to.
v though we could have made w demands as x apostles of Christ.
Even though, as God's chosen messengers, we could have flexed our God-given authority to try to impress you.
But we were y gentle 1 among you,
But we didn't do that. Rather, we took a humble, patient, and loving approach in our dealing with you,
z like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.
just like a mother cares for her own infants.
So, being affectionately desirous of you,
That is, because we loved you so much and sincerely wanted the best for you,
we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God
we didn't just preach to you, though that was necessary.
a but also our own selves,
Rather, we also shared our very lives with you.
because you had become very dear to us.
We did so because we came to genuinely love you and value you. You were not merely a ministry target to us, but people whom we dearly love and care for.
For you remember, brothers, b our labor and toil:
Therefore, our fellow believers in Jesus, you recall our tireless work,
we c worked night and day,
how we labored around the clock,
that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
because we didn't want any of you to have to feel the need to materially support us at the same time that we carried out our preaching ministry among you.
You are witnesses, and d God also,
You saw with your own eyes, and God also can attest,
e how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers.
to our behavior among you, which was pure, upright, and above reproach.
For you know how, f like a father with his children,
For example, you remember that we carried ourselves like a dad with his own children, spurring on all of you,
we exhorted each one of you
consoling you,
and encouraged you
and solemnly instructing you
and g charged h you to walk in a manner worthy of God,
to live a life that reflects the character of the Lord,
i who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
the One who speaks to you through His Word, transforming you and beckoning you as your journey toward your eternal home with Him.
And j we also thank God constantly 1 for this,
We praise the Lord not only for His grace in our own lives, but also praise Him unceasingly for His work in yours.
that when you received k the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it
Specifically, we praise Him that you opened your hearts to the Scripture as we proclaimed it to you
l not as the word of men 2 but as what it really is, the word of God,
because you accepted our preaching not merely as man's word, but as God's, which it truly is.
m which is at work in you believers.
This is the Word of God which transforms those who trust in it.
For you, brothers, n became imitators of o the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea.
Just as your brothers and sisters in Christ in the region of Judea suffered for their faith in the gospel, so you have followed their good example of faith.
For p you suffered the same things from your own countrymen q as they did from the Jews, 1
Because you endured persecution from unbelievers in Thessalonica just as the believers in Judea did from the Jews,
r who killed both the Lord Jesus and s the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and t oppose all mankind
the very ones who persecuted Jesus and the prophets to death, who violently forced us to leave, who incite the wrath of God and who indeed hate and make war with all peoples.
u by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—
They do so in that they forcibly oppose us from proclaiming the gospel to the nations so that might believe and become God's people.
so as always v to fill up the measure of their sins.
In doing so, they are actually storing up the righteous wrath of God upon themselves.
But w wrath has come upon them at last! 1
Yet, God's wrath will not delay, and He is already executing it!
Boldness to proclaim the gospel comes from confidence that 1) the gospel is the Word of God (v13c), 2) one has been "certified" by God to do so, and 3) one will give an account to God for the genuineness of his gospel work (v4c, 5c, 6c)
Biblical ministry is sharing the Word and sharing our lives. Not simply one or the other. As we share our lives with people, we develop genuine love for them, which, while not altering the content of the gospel, certainly affects our motives, tone, and actions among those to whom we're ministering
"You know..." (v1) "...you remember..." (v9a) "You are witnesses..." (v10a) "...you know..." (v11) Ministry carried out in genuine love is authenticated by those to whom we minister. The reverse is also true. Ministry not carried out in genuine love is shown to be inauthentic among those to whom we minister.
Spiritual growth is all God's grace
God's grace was evident in that the apostles proclaimed the true gospel and the Thessalonians received the true gospel, leading to God-empowered growth in the Thessalonians which was solid enough to endure persecution
the same enemy is at work in all generations and among all peoples in inciting people to oppose the spread of gospel and the growth of the church
Those who oppose the gospel not only oppose God, but oppose ALL people, for it's only by hearing the gospel that the nations can be saved
Notes on 1 Thess. 2:1-16
Observations from 1 Thess. 2:1-16 From Acts 16 (treated shamefully in Philippi): Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi because Paul drove a demon out of a slave girl and her owners, along with a mob, brought Paul and Silas before the Roman authorities They were beaten and imprisoned without a trial, which Paul objected to once they were freed, since they were Roman citizens Lydia, her household, and the jailer and his household all became believers here From Acts 17 (ministry in Thess.): Paul, Silas, and Timothy journeyed here together Paul preached here on three (presumably consecutive) Sabbaths Their strategy in Thessalonica seemed to be to reach the jews in this Roman-controlled regions by going into the synogogues Paul's evangelism was focused on helping these Jews see from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah He pointed to the Scriptures that the Messiah had to suffer, die, and rise from the dead and connected the Scriptures to the life and work of Jesus Some Jews, many Greeks, and some women of influence were persuaded by Paul's preaching Out of jealousy at the success of Paul's ministry and that people were heeding the gospel, the Jews formed a mob and sought to apprehend Paul, Silas, and Timothy Not finding these men, they violently took Jason (perhaps the leader of the synagogue) and some believing men from Thessalonica and made them appear before the authorities The Jews accused the men to the authorities of rebellion against the Roman government, since they followed Jesus the King They released Jason and the believing men once they paid a fine or bribe Paul and Silas (and Timothy?) hid in Thessalonica and escaped by night Themes Perseverance in the midst of trials Pure motives Sincerity Love for those to whom they ministered The gospel The Word of God Persecution Tone Candid Confident Affectionate Thankful Purpose To assure the church that God is working among them in the midst of persecution To remind them that the gospel for which they are suffering is from God Himself To remind the Thessalonians of the apostles' genuine love for them To remind them of the model of godliness Paul and his team set for them, that the church might imitate it in the midst of persecution Key Words Suffer(ing)/conflict/toil declare/speak/words/proclaim/appeal gospel/word of God exhort/encourage gentle/affectionate Questions How did they not speak to please man and yet also manage to be gentle? How did they manage to avoid the temptation to seek glory from the Thessalonians? What does it mean that they "worked day and night so as not to be a burden to you"? Were they bi-vocational during this time? How were they like both a mother and a father to the Thessalonians? How did the Thessalonians become imitators of the churches in Judea? What does it look like to receive the Word of God as such and not as the word of man?
Next Steps
Next Steps: I've benefitted greatly from this course, both devotionally and in my role preaching on a rotating basis at my international church here in Central Asia. I've already made use of the discourse and notes functions in preparing sermons and small-group lessons, and the tools for discerning the main and supporting points have helped me both in my devotional reading (by forcing me to slow down and really think over the text), in helping me discern the main and supporting ideas for my sermons, and in helping me begin a conversation with the other men on the preaching team about discerning the main idea and thought flow of the texts we're preaching on. The preaching team at our church is about to begin a series on 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Therefore, I'll be using the skills and tools I've gained from this course over the next couple of months to not only study these books for myself, but also to prepare sermons when it's my turn to preach. Thank you!
OUTLINE OF 1 THESSALONIANS I. GREETING 1:1 II. PAUL'S HISTORY WITH THE THESSALONIANS 1:2-3:13 A. THE THESSALONIANS RECEIVED THE GOSPEL 1:2-10 1. Their Response to the Gospel 1:2-5a 2. Their Response to Paul 1:5b-7 3. Their Reputation in the Gospel 1:8-10 B. PAUL PREACHED THE GOSPEL 2:1-12 1. Gospel Fidelity 2:1-6 2. Motivated by Love 2:7-12 C. SUFFERING FOR THE GOSPEL 2:13-3:5 1. Initial Suffering 2:13-16 2. Enduring Opposition 2:17-3:5 D. GOOD NEWS FROM THE THESSALONIANS 3:6-13 III. INSTRUCTION IN HOLY LIVING AND DOCTRINE OF THE END TIMES 4:1-5:11 A. INSTRUCTIONS IN HOLY LIVING 4:1-12 1. Flee Sexual Immorality 4:1-8 2. Live Honorably 4:9-12 B. DOCTRINE OF THE END TIMES 4:13-5:11 1. Hope for Those Who Have Died in Christ 4:13-18 2. Ready for the Return of Christ 5:1-11 i. Warning to Those Who are not Ready 5:1-3 ii. Comfort and Exhortation to Those Who are Ready 5:4-11 IV. CLOSING INSTRUCTIONS AND SALUTATION 5:12-28 A. CLOSING INSTRUCTIONS 5:12-24 1. Sanctified Relationships 5:12-15 2. A Sanctified Mind 5:16-24 B. CLOSING SALUTATION 5:25-28
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