About Us Services MinistriesSermon Message Bible StudyChurch Calendar Contact Us


Statement of Faith

The Four Most Important Things We Could Ever Tell You

Listen to this week's message!

Map to the Church

Prayer Requests

Enhance your daily reading of God's word. Click here for free, printable Bible Reading and Prayer Journal sheets!

Wednesday AM Bible Study Archives


"The Evidence of the Elect"
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Wednesday AM Bible Study
January 14, 2004

The background for this letter is found Acts 17:1-15. God established this church through Paul's and Silas' ministry during Paul's second missionary journey. It was a church of believers who suffered for their faith (Acts 17:5-10; also 1 Thess. 2:13-16; 2:3-4; 2 Thess. 1:4-10). Even though Paul had been with them for only three Sabbaths (Acts 17:2), he had clearly seen them remarkably established in solid biblical doctrine (see 2 Thessalonians 2:5).

Paul deeply loved these believers. In fact, he often gushed about them. He considered them his "crown of rejoicing" (1 Thess. 2:19-20). One of the things that stood out to him was the marvelous way they received the gospel of Jesus Christ and were so profoundly transformed by it. He was able to testify of his certainty that they were among the elect of God (1:4; see also 2 Thess. 2:13-14). Paul's greeting to them in his first letter (vv. 1-2), show how thankful he was for them, and how he prayed with joy for them often, and how he remembered them continually with joy - not at all hesitating to call them "the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". They were a great encouragement to him of just how powerful the gospel is to transform lives. He was, without a doubt, proud to be able to point to them as proofs of the gospel's life-changing impact.

The manner in which the Thessalonian believers had received Paul's gospel message is a lesson to us as well. It gives us an example of how the gospel message should be heard and received - particularly in such a way as to give evidence of God's elect.

A. Paul continually remembered the current manner of their living; which he encouraged that they continue in (1 Thess. 4:9-10; 2 Thess. 2:15). He remembered:
1. Their work of faith.

2. Their labor of love (4:9-10).

3. Their patience of hope (1:9-10).

a. Hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.

b. Hope in the sight of our God and Father.

B. The remembering of these things confirmed to him their election by God (v. 4).


A. Paul recalled also how the gospel "came" to them (that is, its impact on them when they received it). It showed itself to have come to them, not just in words, but . . .
1. In power.

2. In the Holy Spirit.

3. In much assurance.

a. Not just in the message, but also in the character of the messengers.

b. Paul and company were careful, in that three-week's time, to live the kind of lives that adorned the gospel and made it possible for the Thessalonians to hear and believe it.

B. Paul also recalled how the Thessalonians, as a result of the gospel so coming to them . . .

1. Became followers of the messengers.

2. But not just followers of the messengers, but more importantly of the One to whom the message was intended to point them.

3. They endured affliction in the receiving of the message.

4. They were not embittered by the things they suffered, but received it with much joy in the Holy Spirit.

5. They became examples to other churches of the power of the gospel.


A. This gospel transformation resulted in the Thessalonians expressing a missionary spirit; "sounding forth" the word of the Lord to other regions.

B. This was so much so, that Paul and company didn't even need to go into lengthy defenses of the power of the gospel, but simply needed to point to the Thessalonians as proof:

1. Others confirming what manner of entry Paul's gospel had in them.

2. Others testifying of the Thessalonian repentance from idolatry.

3. Others testifying to the hope in Christ that now characterized them.

Printable Version
Bethany Bible Church, 18245 NW Germantown Road, Portland, OR 97231 / 503.645.1436

Site Map | Privacy Policy | Copyright Information