Journal – Feb 21, 2021
Dominion Baptist Church
February 21, 2021 AD
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. 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 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, 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 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. 6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.
Introduction: Before we can look at the Thessalonian Church we need to go back in time and refresh our minds regarding how the Holy Spirit brought this church into being. On Paul’s second missionary trip the Holy Spirit gave him a vision of a man in Macedonia calling for help. This call brings the gospel into Europe and the West. We find Paul at Philippi, a city with no significant Jewish population, so there was no synagogue; however, there were some God-fearing women that met at a place of prayer on a riverbank on the Sabbath (Acts 16:12-13). Paul engaged the women in religious and evangelistic conversation. The first to be converted was Lydia, she was baptized with her whole household and the first Church in Europe was founded. A young demon-possessed slave girl was the source of a lucrative income for her owners as she gave out information about future events. She would follow Paul and Silas declaring they were slaves of the most high God, wearing out Paul who cast out the demon in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts16:18). Her owners saw that their source of wealth was gone so they drug Paul and Silas before the judges with false charges and customs, the scene was close to mob hysteria. We know that Paul and Silas were beaten and locked up in stocks without a trial, handed over to a jailer to keep them secure, at midnight, they are bleeding and swollen, but they sang praises to God, an earthquake opened the prison doors releasing the chains. The jailer started to commit suicide thinking the prisoners had escaped but was stopped by Paul, he then wanted salvation, his whole family was saved. He bathed the wounds of Paul and Silas. When the judges found out they had beaten Romans without a trial they were afraid and begged them to leave. Paul, Silas, and Timothy traveled down the Via Egnatia thirty-three miles to Amphipolis, then another thirty miles to Apollonia continued on because there were no synagogues in these cities. Another thirty-seven miles brought them to Thessalonica, which was a great commercial city and seaport with a population of about 200,000. It appears there was one great central synagogue, a large Jewish population and a multitude of proselytes, including some of high social and civil standing. For three consecutive Sabbath days Paul went to the synagogue and reasoned with them from the Scriptures explaining and demonstrating that the Christ (Messiah) had to suffer and rise again from the dead, saying this Jesus that I preach to you is the Christ (Acts (Acts 17:1-4). Some Jews believed and were true converts. A large number of proselytes and many women of high social standing were converted, so the Church at Thessalonica was predominantly a Gentile church. The Jews wanting a Messiah like David could not accept a suffering Messiah, denying their own Scriptures, it was just unbearable to the strict Jews, so they hired loafers and rabble to instigate a city-wide riot. They stated the effect of Paul’s preaching was to turn the world upside down! The Holy Spirit did a great work as the entire city was embraced as converts, mostly proselytes and Greeks. Paul’s ministry was cut short due to the Jews persecution, Paul had to leave, but sent Timothy back to Thessalonica who reported to Paul about the growth of those that had professed faith. While Paul was at Corinth, he wrote 1 Thessalonians and sent it back to them by Timothy.
Vs. 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. The three servants of God Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy are addressed to the Thessalonians as men that preached the gospel among them. Silvanus is called Silas by Luke in the book of Acts, Silas was probably his original or Aramaic name, and Silvanus its Hellenistic or Roman form. To the church of the Thessalonians—the church of the population, in other places Paul writes to the church in the city. in God the Father and distinguishes the Thessalonians from the heathen, the Lord Jesus Christ distinguishes them from Jewish assemblies. Paul starts out with his loving care for the Thessalonians with Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Vs. 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, Paul begins in a spirit of deep religious thankfulness We give thanks to God always for you all so good had been the news brought to him by Timothy and he prays for the church, making mention of you in our prayers,
Vs. 3-5 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, 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 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.The apostle remembers events that are taking place in the lives of the Thessalonians remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Work of faith is a work springing out of faith or belonging to faith. Their living faith was clothed upon with work; it was not a belief dead, barren and alone. No principle of action is so powerful as genuine faith, and these believing Thessalonians were noted as active workers. Labor of love a labor in which the whole heart is thrown into it, a. travail of soul often bringing about self-denial and exhaustion in their love for fellow Christians. They had patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ which is always connected in this epistle with Christ’s second coming; the hope which He is the living center and object, which is realized when He comes again according to promise. Their hope was no fading away emotion which gleams for a while and fades away. It proved to be calm and steady amidst trials and persecutions. The phrase in the sight of our God and Father is used by Paul in this epistle only, but it shows where the remembrance of these graces was experienced—in the presence of God and our Father. The thanksgiving of Paul is founded on what the apostle knew of them, not on what they knew of themselves knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. They were dear to the apostle and his colleagues, and beloved of God, which is in contrast to the hatred and malignity of their persecutors. Paul knows of their election because our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance. Our gospel, the gospel which we preach and are known to preach did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance. Here we find the gospel came in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance. In the next verse we find out how the hearers felt and acted under the preaching. With the witness of the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance; these elements of character and labor proved to you that you might know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.
Vs. 6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, the Thessalonians had great confidence in Paul, Silas, and Timothy as mentioned in the previous verse and you became followers of us and of the Lord. Notice the spirit and circumstances in which they received the word, in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit. The phrase does not mean merely spiritual joy, but joy worked in by the Holy Spirit, and is therefore connected with the present conscious possession of spiritual blessings and hopes. This joy is not an unnatural emotion, it is a grace of the Divine Spirit; the joy of living in Christ and loving Him, all that gladness of position and prospects which faith in the gospel brings, and which in Christ and His apostle coexisted with the endurance of great sufferings. The Lord for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and His early servants passed through a similar experience of outer sufferings and inner gladness.
Vs. 7 So that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. In the first place they followed their preachers as a living pattern or example, and then they became in turn an example, a pattern for the imitation of other churches, to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.
Gen. 2:2–3. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
God instituted the Sabbath as a day of rest in which he rejoiced in his creation. It was a rest of accomplishment and enjoyment. Our Lord declared that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath (Mk. 2:27). Man has been so constituted by God that he needs to both work and to rest on a regular basis. The Divinely ordained principle is one day out of seven. What is the significance of the Sabbath–rest for the Christian, who lives under the New or Gospel Covenant? Does it have any relevance? Yes. As stated in the Moral Law, six days of work are commanded and then one day of rest (Ex. 20:8–11). As a Commandment, it reveals God’s sovereignty over our time and its use. It reveals the necessity of an organized lifestyle. The Sabbath was not meant to be a burden, but a joy and delight. A true understanding of the Sabbath is the realization that it anticipates the restoration of all creation—redeemed humanity, new heavens and a new earth—in the redemptive purpose of God (Heb. 4:9).
Catechism Question 54
Q. Which is the second commandment?
A. The second commandment is Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.