1 Thessalonians 1
People's New Testament
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:1 Introductory Greetings


Salutation. Thanksgiving for the Faith of the Thessalonians. Commendation for Spreading the Gospel. The Great Change in Their Lives.

Paul, Silvanus, and Timotheus. Silvanus is the same as the Silas of Acts. We learn from Acts (chapters 15 to 18) that both Silas and Timothy attended Paul on the second missionary journey during which the Epistle was written. Paul does not speak of his apostleship in this salutation, as in later epistles, because at this early period the Judaizing Christians had not begun to spread doubts whether he was an apostle.

In God the Father. Hence, separated from the Gentiles.

{in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, separated from the Jews.

Grace be unto you, and peace. See PNT Ro 1:7.

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
1:2 We. The plural, perhaps, is used because Silas and Timothy were joined in the greeting, but the Epistle is Paul's, not the joint work of three persons.

Give thanksto God. Almost all Paul's letters begin with thanksgiving.

Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
1:3 Remembering without ceasing. He states reasons for thankfulness.

Your work of faith. Works which result from faith.

Labour of love. Toil for others caused by love for them and for Christ.

Patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Patient endurance of toil, hardship and persecution through a hope in Christ. Probably a hope that soon these would cease with the coming of Christ. The Thessalonians, as we learn, expected his speedy coming.

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
1:4 Knowing... your election of God. That you are of the elect, the chosen nation (Ps 33:12 1Pe 2:9). All Christians were the elect, and the expression is another way of saying, Knowing that you have become Christians.
For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only. God gave the spoken word power, the power of the Holy Spirit which dictated it.

But also in power. Observe that the power is referred to the preachers.

Ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. Ye know what was the life, the earnestness and the power of the Holy Spirit of us while we were preaching among you.

And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
1:6 Ye became followers of us, and of the Lord. Followed them as they followed the Lord.

Having received the word in much affliction. In the midst of opposition and persecution. See Ac 17:5-9.

With the joy of the Holy Ghost. With rejoicing as soon as they accepted the gospel.

So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
1:7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe. Their earnestness was such that they were worthy of imitation by all who had become Christian.

In Macedonia. The great Roman province, of which Thessalonica was the capital, lying north of the Aegean Sea.

And Achaia. The Roman province of which Corinth was the capital. It embraced most of Greece.

For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord, etc. The effect of the gospel in Thessalonica was so striking that the report of it went through all Macedonia and Greece, and awakened inquiry, so that a knowledge of the gospel was thus spread abroad.

So that we need not to speak any thing. Wherever he went he found that the news of the church in the great city of Thessalonica had preceded him, so that he did not need to tell it.

For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
1:9 For they themselves. The people every place (1Th 1:8).

How ye turned to God from idols. Most of them had been heathen. See the accounts in Ac 17:4.

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven. The apostles saw the Lord ascend, but he left a promise that he would return, with the time wholly unrevealed. Hence, in preaching the gospel, they made his return to the world very prominent, and perhaps believed themselves in his speedy coming. Until after Jerusalem was destroyed the churches waited, as though the Lord would soon be revealed. We should still wait, watch and pray (Mt 26:24 Mr 13:33 14:38 Lu 21:36). We know not the hour when he may either come (Mt 24:42 Re 3:3), or we be called to him.
The People's New Testament by B.W. Johnson [1891]

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