1 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians

Paul proceeded on to Thessalonica after his visit to Philippi, where he was flogged (see Acts 16). The record of his visit there is found in Acts 17:1-10. For three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Old Testament, showing that Jesus was the Christ. The result was that some of them believed, including some Jews, a great number of Greeks, and some chief women.

Introduction to 1 Thessalonians


It was during Paul’s missionary journey (second) that the light of the gospel first broke into the darkness of Thessalonica. See Acts 17:1-10.

The assembly that was left behind in the city was instructed in many of the great doctrines of the faith.

Their ardent and vigorous faith in Christ brought upon them severe persecution.

When Paul arrived in Athens (Acts 17:15) he learned of this.

Consequently he tried to visit them, but Satan hindered. 1 Thess. 2:17-18.

So he sent Timothy to them. Ch. 3:1-2.

Timothy ultimately brought back a good report to Paul (Ch. 3:6-8). This prompted Paul to write this letter.

Paul’s stay in the city was brief.

Acts 17 says it lasted three successive Sabbath days, just under a month.

Despite the brevity of his visit, he discussed with these new believers many of the great Christian doctrines such as:

1. The Trinity 1:1, 5-6.

2. The Holy Spirit 1:5-6, 4:8, 5:19.

3. The Lord’s second advent 1:10, 2:19; 3:13, 4:14-17, 5:23.

4. The Day of the Lord 5:1-3.

5. Assurance 1:5.

6. Conversion 1:9.

7. Election 1:4.

8. Resurrection 4:14-18.

9. Sanctification 4:3, 5:23.

10. Christian behavior 2:12, 4:1.

One of the most important themes of the epistle is the return of the Lord Jesus. It is mentioned at least once in each chapter.

A believer who is expecting the return of the Lord momentarily has no room for:

1. Idols in his heart 1:9-10

New Testament (Acts-Revelation)

Lesson 221: The Ascension Of Christ
Acts 1:1-11
Golden Text: Acts 1:11

I. The Great Commission. Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15, 10.

1. The Person Who gave it. He had the right by virtue of His Person and His work.

2. The power for it—“Himself;” v. 18. Note the “power” as seen in (1) His birth; Luke 1:35. (2) Ministry; Luke 4:32. (3) Miracles; Luke 4:36. (4) Forgiveness; Matthew 9:6. (5) Death; John 10:18. (6) Resurrection. Romans 1:4; Colossians 2:13-15. (7) Ascension; Ephesians 1:20. (8) Coming; Matthew 24:30.

3. The plan of it. (1) The command “go ye.” (2) The scope, “world.” (3) The theme, “the Gospel.” (4) The persons, “every creature.”

4. The persons to whom given—His disciples. (1) Chosen. Mark 3:14; John 15:16. (2) Saved; Matthew 16:16. (3) Taught. (4) Commissioned. (5) Equipped.

5. The privilege of it. Ambassadors, co-workers, witnesses, trustees, servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.

6. The price of it. “Go” means leave. Cp. Luke 14:26.

7. The promise with it. “I am with you.” Cp Hebrews 13:5.

II. The Promise. Acts 1:4, 5.

1. Promised in O. T. Isaiah 32:15; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezek 11:19; Joel 228.

2. Promised in N. T. John 15:26—16:14.

III. The Questioning Disciples. Vs. 6-8.

1. The question; v. 6. (1) An earthly kingdom expected; Isaiah 2:2-4. (2) The King being rejected, the kingdom is in obeyance. Luke 19:14; Acts 3:14. (3) He will yet be King over the Earth; Psalm 2.

1 Thessalonians

We find in the epistles to the Thessalonians, and especially in the first (for in the second it was already needful to guard that freshness from the perfidious attacks of the enemy), the condition and the hope of the Christian as such in this world in all its freshness. These two epistles are the first that Paul wrote, unless we except that to the Galatians, the date of which is uncertain. Already long occupied with the work, it is only when this work was considerably advanced, that in watch...

Introductory Notes by Arno C. Gaebelein

© 1997 by Loizeaux Brothers, Inc. Neptune, New Jersey First Edition, 1947 Revised Edition, 1997 Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the King James version of the Bible. Introductory Notes taken from Gaebelein’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible © 1970, 1985 by Loizeaux Brothers, Inc. Introductory Notes by Arno C. Gaebelein Paul’s Visit to Thessalonica Thessalonica, situated on the northern part of the Aegean sea, was a large...

Chapter One Serving And Waiting

Of all the letters that Paul wrote under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Thessalonian Epistles are the earliest that the Lord in His grace has preserved for the edification of the church. Evidently they were written from Corinth after persecution drove Paul from Berea. At his request, Timothy and Silas had remained behind and gone on to Thessalonica. Then they had come to Corinth to report to Paul on the condition of the young church. According to Luke’s account in the book of Acts...

Chapter Two A Christlike Ministry

Review of Ministry (1 Thessalonians 2:1-12) In these twelve verses the apostle reviewed the ministry that he and his companions had in the city of Thessalonica. He reminded the believers how he had come to them from Philippi, where he had been “shamefully entreated” (1 Thessalonians 2:2). In Acts 16 we find the record of that shameful treatment and we learn that Paul and Silas were unjustly arrested, beaten with thongs, and cast into a dungeon where their feet were put in the stocks. ...

Chapter Three Established In The Faith

Timothy’s Mission (1 Thessalonians 3:1-5) In Acts 16 we read of Paul’s visit to Philippi. Because of persecution there, he went on to Thessalonica, where he did a great work in a short time (17:1-4). However, persecution broke out there too and the brethren sent Paul to Berea (17:5-10). In Berea he found a company of open-minded Jews who were ready to listen to the gospel and walk in the light of the Scriptures. Referring to the Bereans, Acts 17:11-12 says: “These were more noble th...

Chapter Four Responsibilities And Rapture

Exhortations (1 Thessalonians 4:1~12) In this section the apostle set forth the walk that pleases God. During his ministry among the Thessalonians, Paul had been careful to emphasize the practical side of Christianity. Sometimes we are apt to neglect this. We are so taken up with doctrine that we do not sufficiently stress our responsibilities as believers. Both sides of Christianity are important. There is a special warning in this passage against sins of impurity. In Paul’s day, im...

Chapter Five Judgment And Comfort

The Day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11) After unfolding the truth concerning the rapture, the apostle turned his attention to the day of the Lord. Following the rapture of the saints, the world will experience the darkest period it has ever known. In many places in the Old Testament this period is referred to as the day of the Lord or the time of trouble. It is called the great tribulation in both the Old and New Testaments. Paul referred to that day in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2: Of t...
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