1 Thessalonians 1:8
For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia…
I. THE NEED OF SOUNDING FORTH THE GOSPEL. This is a fine expression, "sounded forth;" not merely whispered in the ear, but proclaimed far and wide, with a fullness, a richness, and a power that command attention. Such is the proclamation that the royal message of the gospel deserves.
1. The gospel comes from God. It is not like the composition of an obscure man. If God. opens his mouth, surely his words must be worthy of publishing in trumpet-notes.
2. The gospel is for all men. It is not a secret doctrine for the cultured few. All the world needs it, all the world has a right to have it. Therefore it should spread over wide territories and penetrate to remote districts. The alarm-bell must be resonant, the bugle-call must be clear and piercing, the shepherd's voice must be high and full that the wandering sheep may hear it and return to the fold.
3. The gospel is conflicted by other voices. Men are preoccupied. The din of the world renders them deaf to the message from heaven. The world will not lie in solemn stillness to hear the angels sing. The sound of the gospel must go forth so that deaf ears shall be unstopped, and walls of prejudice fall flat like those of old Jericho at the trumpet-notes of Israel's priests.
II. THE METHOD OF SOUNDING FORTH THE GOSPEL.
1. It must be sounded by living men. A written gospel is not enough. Soul must stir soul.
2. It must be sounded in the conduct of Christians. It would seem that St. Paul was thinking rather of the influence of the heroic endurance of the Thessalonians and of their spiritual prosperity than of the missionary labors of evangelists sent out by them, for he writes of how they became an ensample to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia, and how in every place their faith to God-ward was gone forth. The loudest, clearest, most eloquent, most unanswerable proclamation of the gospel is the unconscious testimony of Christian living.
3. It may be sounded forth with redoubled energy from the midst of affliction. The troubles endured by the Thessalonians tested and revealed their faith, and so led to the fuller proclamation of the gospel. "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." Men never preach Christ so perfectly as when they die for him. The torch that kindled Latimer's fagots at Oxford kindled a glorious fire of reformation throughout England.
4. It can be sounded forth with greatest effect from central positions. Thessalonica was the capital of Macedonia. What happened there was not done in a corner. Christian testimony witnessed at this great center would spread far and wide. It is our duty to establish Christian influences in prominent places. While not boasting of our own doings, and not letting our left hand know what our right hand doeth, we should still not hide our candle under a bushel, but so let our light shine before men that we may glorify our Father which is in heaven, and remember that, if a city which is set on a hill cannot be hid, it is most important that the light of the gospel should shine from such a place. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.