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I Thessalonians Introduction and Chp. 1

I Thessalonians

By Joyce Webb 2017

Introduction:

Paul went on a second missionary trip. This time he went to Thessalonica, which is in the north part of Greece.

He did not stay there long because the people were against what Paul was preaching.

The people of Greece at that time in history worshipped idols. Some of the main idols were named Artemis, Zeus, and Apollo.

They did not want to hear about Jesus. They did not want to give up their idols to worship God, Jesus.

Paul went to the south of Greece in Athens, and Corinth.

He sent Timothy, his young helper, to go to Thessalonica to see if those who accepted Jesus as Savior, were still following in faith.

Paul wrote this letter to the believers to encouraged them and teach them.

Some of the believers in Thessalonica thought that the people who had believed in Jesus but have now died would miss going up in the resurrection of the dead.

Also, they were not sure about what would happen to these dead believers when Jesus came in the clouds to “catch up” the believers into the sky to go to heaven.

Paul explains about the resurrection.

The word resurrection means to rise up from the dead.

Chapter 1

Paul begins the letter saying this letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy.

He says May grace and peace be yours.

Paul says We think about you and pray for you. We know you have been faithful and do good works and you are thinking much about Jesus returning to earth again.

Vs. 4 We know you were chosen by God to be the “children

“ of God.

Vs. 5. When we came to teach and preach it was not words only, but you saw and felt the power of the Holy Spirit as we were teaching.

You watched us as we lived among you. You saw that we did what we said we believed.

You became followers of our teaching and followers of the Lord.

You were faithful and strong even when people were against you for believing in Jesus.

You were examples of Christians for people living in Achaia and Macedonia.

You preached and told others in those places and in other places. You did so well we did not have to go about and say more.

We have heard from people in that area who tell us about you. They tell how you stopped worshipping idols and now follow Jesus and worship him.

Chapter 2

Vs. 1 Our coming to you did good for you. We had suffered from people being against us in other places, but it was worse there in Thessalonica.

 

We preached in Philippi and we were strong to speak to you of God---but many there were against us.

vs. 4 -6 We did not come to you trying to be popular speakers.

We did not come to you trying to get people to follow us so we could be famous and make a name for ourselves.

We did not come to speak so you would give us an offering of money.

We could have the right to asked for an offering of money because we are true apostles disciples of Jesus.

We did not ask anything from you. God saw us and is our witness.

So many people were against us and gave us so much problems and suffering.

You could see we were there for one purpose/reason to tell you the God’s truth about Jesus.

Vs. 7 We spoke in kind and gentle words. As a person speaks to a child.

We were teaching you and we worked among you. We spoke to you the truth and we were willing to give of ourselves to you.

Vs. 9 We worked day and night earning our own money so that you did not have to give us anything.

You saw how we lived. We were honest, hard working, truthful.

We did everything as a Christian should do. And we preached to you teaching you many things about God and Jesus.

We encouraged you we loved you we were like fathers with their children

Vs. 12 So that you would walk worthy of God He called you to be in his kingdom and to his glory.

Vs. 13 For this we thank God always because you received the word of God that you heard from us

You accepted it not as words of men, but you believed it to be the truth and God’s word. To those who believed, you saw how God’s word changed you.

Vs. 14 You became believers and followers you became part of the “church” of God------like those in Judea. Those Jews are believers in Jesus Christ and have suffered because they believe in Jesus.

You , too, have suffered. People have been against you for believing in Jesus. Just like the Jewish believers in Judea.

Vs. 15 The Jewish people of Judea who did not accept Jesus were the ones who wanted him killed and crucified.

Those Jewish people in the old days of the Old Testament killed God’s prophet/ preachers of long ago.

Those Jewish people are against us and do things to us to make us suffer for preaching about Jesus.

They do not want us to go to the Gentiles and tell the Gentiles that they can become God’s children and be “saved”.

 

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(Explanation:

God chose the family of Abraham from the Old Testament to have special blessings if they would obey God and follow him.

Abraham believed God. God blessed him and make his family become a large nation of people. They were called the Hebrews, the Jews, and lived in a place they called Israel. 

The reason God chose these people was not because God thought they were special but because God wanted to use this group of people to be part of his plan of salvation and forgiveness for all the people of the world.

In the garden of Eden, God promised Adam that he would send a “seed” from the woman to save Adam from his sin.

Adam had a death punishment over his head because of disobeying God. Adam sinned.

God was going to make a way for the death punishment to be paid-------but not Adam to pay it.

God planned that the “seed” of the woman would pay the death punishment. Who was that “seed” of the woman? Jesus. He was born of a woman. No man was the father. The Holy Spirit made the baby grow in Mary. God was the father. Jesus was God’s son.

Jesus died on the cross to pay our death punishment for us. All who sin can ask Jesus for forgiveness and their sins will be washed away. They will not have the death punishment over them any more.

Through the years in the Old Testament and into the New Testament before Jesus was born, the Jewish people began to feel they were chosen by God because they were special.

God chose them because he wanted a group of people who would obey him and follow him. And to their group, he had his son, Jesus, be born to a Jewish woman.

But the Jewish people still held this idea that they were special. They felt they were better than other people. They felt they were better than people who worshipped idols.

The Jewish people in the Old Testament disobeyed God many times and worshipped idols. God let the city be destroyed many times because they would not stop worshipping idols.

Finally, God destroyed Jerusalem, and its big beautiful temple, and the Jewish people were taken away to Babylon for 70 years.

Then God brought them back to Jerusalem to start over again.

This time, they did not worship idols.   From then on, they did not worship idols ever again.

By the time of the New Testament, the Jewish people became so proud of themselves that they did not worship idols that they called people who worshipped idols “dogs”. They called them

”unclean”---”dirty” because they ate meats that the Jews were not allowed to eat.

Any group of people who were not Jews were called “Gentiles”. 

The Jews said that forgiveness of sin and salvation and heaven were only for the Jews who believed in the true God.

That is true.    Forgiveness and salvation and heaven are only with the true God in heaven.

But the Jews felt they were the only ones to receive it.      All those other people were too dirty and “dogs” to receive salvation.

When Jesus came, he preached to the Jews.     But when Jesus was teaching he said that salvation was for everyone.

When Jesus was ready to go up in the clouds to heaven, he told the disciples to go to every town every where and tell everyone about salvation and forgiveness because of what Jesus did on the cross.

At first, the disciples only preached to the Jews. But God gave Peter a vision to go to a Gentile man to preach.

Later, Paul was called by God to go preach to the Gentiles.

But many of the Jews did not think that the Gentiles    could or should   be saved and forgiven.

And many many of the Jews did not believe Jesus was God’s son.

Because of these ideas, Paul had many people against him as he preached-----both from the Gentiles who believed in idols, and the Jews who did not believe in Jesus.)

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Vs. 16 Paul says These Jewish people who feel this way keep on building up more “sin” to themselves. But finally God’s anger has come upon them

Vs. 17 We have left you for a short time. But we think about you often and pray for you. Our hearts are there with you.

We want to come see you again. I have tried to come see you two times but Satan put too many problems and “blocks” in the way.

Vs. 19 What brings us joy? Knowing that you all are believers and will be in are in the presence of Jesus at his coming again.

Vs. 20 You are our glory and joy.

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