Introduction: In Paul’s time, Thessalonica was the prominent seaport and the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia. Paul spent a very short time in the city of Thessalonica, but he was able to establish a church during that time.
Verse 1 – Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 2 – We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers,
Verse 3 – remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,
Verse 4 – knowing beloved brethren, your election by God.
Silas is the Greek name for Silvanus. Silas accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey, replacing Barnabas. Silas also helped Paul launched this church and was with him in Corinth when Paul wrote this letter to the Thessalonians.
While the Thessalonians were commended for their work, Paul reminded them that God was the One who had brought about their election and that they were loved by Him. Election carries the idea of God’s choice or selection.
Verse 5 – For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.
When the true gospel of Christ is preached there will be power to change lives. This is a power that changes the heart and not only that but there will be miracles evident of this power. This power comes from the Holy Spirit when people believe the gospel. Without the Holy Spirit, our words are meaningless.
Verse 6 – And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,
When the Thessalonians became believers, they began to imitate Paul, Silas, and Timothy, just as they followed Jesus life style. These people had tremendous opposition from others at that time.
Verse 7 – so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.
Macedonia and Achaia made up a large part of modern-day Greece. In New Testament times these provinces included major cities such as Philippi, Athens, and Corinth. These were mainly Gentiles and it seems as though Paul’s strategy worked in evangelizing these major cities.
Verse 8 – For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.
Verse 9 – For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,
Verse 10 – and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
We should all live our lives as waiting on Christ’s return. If we do, we will live our lives expecting His return any day now. Our conduct and behavior has to bear witness to what we believe!