The First Epistle to the Thessalonians An Encouraging Expectancy
Foundational Epistles Prison Epistles Prophetic Epistles Pastoral Epistles Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians Philemon 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Timothy Titus Christ & the cross Christ & the church Christ & second coming Christ & the congregation
Thessalonica ASIA MINOR GREECE
Purposes for the Epistle • The Problem of Persecution: For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews (2:14). • Encouragement in Holy Living: For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God (3:3-5).
Purposes for the Epistle • Establishing a Christian work ethic: Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you; 12 so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need (4:11-12). • Comfort for the Death of Loved Ones: But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope (4:13).
1 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
A shared salvation history Chapter 1 • God’s choice of you (1:2-5). • Your imitation of Christ (1:6-8) • Your turning to God (1:9-10)
Chapters 2-3 Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica A shared salvation history Chapter 1 • The manner of his ministry (2:1-12) • The result of his ministry (2:13-16) • The joy of his ministry (2:17-20). • The reconnection of his ministry (3:1-8) • The prayer of his ministry (3:9-13)
Chapter 4 Exhortation to walk in a worthy manner A shared salvation history Chapter 1 Chapters 2-3 Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica • The principle stated (4:1) • Sexual purity (4:3-8) • Responsible work (4:9-12). • A Promise of Comfort in the face of Death (4:13-18).
Chapter 5 Living in light of Christ’s return A shared salvation history Chapter 1 Chapters 2-3 Chapter 4 Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica Exhortation to walk in a worthy manner • Living in light of the Day of the Lord (5:1-11). • Attitudes toward Christians workers (5:12-13). • Closing instructions (5:14-28). What God has done in our lives How we are to live as a result of what God has done