(Mat 5:14 KJV) Ye are the
light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
God is the one who brings a person out of darkness and
into the light of salvation, yet He bestows on us the title of being lights
to a dark world.
1 Th 2:13 (KJB)
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye
received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it
not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which
effectually worketh also in you that believe.
Effectually worketh - Operate, accomplish, to be effective, or active
Ye received - Accepted or approved
Not only does Paul thank God for the actions which the Thessalonians
have taken in furthering the Gospel, he thanks God that when they heard the
word of God, they immediately accepted it as being the true word of God.
They were able to tell the difference between the humanistic Greek
philosophy and also the Judaizers who preached their gospel. The only one
who preached the Gospel of salvation was the Apostle Paul. The distinction
is that both Judaism and Greek philosophy are man-centered. The true Gospel
is God and Christ centered and speaks of eternal life through Christ. When
these Thessalonians received the word and became saved, they could not
contain themselves and had to start spreading the word. There is no
motivation in Judaism nor Greek philosophy which can even come near the
motivation which the true Gospel brings into a personís life. That is why
Paul speaks of the Gospel as working effectually in the believer. Those who
become saved are definitely affected by the Gospel for the rest of their
lives and into eternity after their home going. There is much being passed
off today as Godís word which is really manís word. What we must be careful
of is believing what someone says the Bible says, rather than what it does
say. True Bible interpretation is done objectively and not subjected to a
1 Th 2:14 (KJB)
For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in
Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your
own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
Here Paul is acknowledging the fact that those who were in charge of the
Synagogues in Thessalonica were bringing trumped up charges against the new
Christians. They were jealous that the true Gospel was having such an impact
and compared to their dead religion, people were coming alive in the Lord.
Judaism is a dead religion because they reject Christ and the Bible states
plainly, that if you do not have the Son, you do not have the Father.
(1 John 2:23 KJV) Whosoever denieth the Son,
the same hath not the Father: (but)
he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
The Christian not only has the Son and Father, but the
Holy Spirit dwells in us making us alive from the spiritually dead. Just as
in Judaea, these Christians also suffered at the hands of the unsaved Jews.
It was out of jealousy that these Jews had attacked these new Christians. A
similar situation also exists in false churches. If one attends a false
church and they become saved, whenever they bring the gospel to others in
that church, they are immediately ostracized and eventually are escorted out
the door. In other words, donít disturb our casket religion with talk about
1 Th 2:15 (KJB)
Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have
persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all
Persecuted - Expel by persecution, drive out, or persecute severely
Contrary - Hostile toward or over against
Here the Apostle Paul speaks candidly about the Jews. He states that
they both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets whom God sent to them. This
is not only speaking about the leaders but is speaking about those who are
unsaved and followed the unsaved leaders. All one has to do is read the Old
Testament and you will see how they killed their own prophets. Their
rejection of the word of God brought by these prophets resulted in them
going into captivity. The Northern Kingdom went into captivity with Assyria
and never heard from again. Judah, the Southern Kingdom, went into Babylon
for 70 years and then some came back to the land but after the Lord Jesus
went back to Heaven, Judah was dispersed when General Titus razed Jerusalem
in 70 A.D. That judgment was yet to happen when 1 Thessalonians was written.
They continued to persecute the Apostle Paul and all the Apostles. The
unsaved Jews showed tremendous hostility toward the true word of God and
they still do to this day. Their main religious book is the Babylonian
Talmud. They are not Godís chosen people. God had a special relationship
with them for a limited time because the Lord Jesus Christ came from their
lineage through the tribe of Judah. Once Jesus died and rose, and went back
to Heaven, that spelled the end of the Mosaic system and now God was not
dealing with only one nation anymore, He is now dealing with the entire
world. The Jews are as much of a mission field as any other people group.
- 1 Thessalonians 2:11-15
- 1 Th 2:11 (KJB)
- As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged
every one of you, as a father doth his children,
- Exhorted - Encourage
- Comforted - To cheer up or comfort
- Charged - Bear witness or be a witness
- In verse 7 we read how Paul had cherished these Thessalonians as a nurse
and here he adds the watchful eye of the father. It is not out of the
question that new Christians could fall back into a sin so Paul states that
he has encouraged them in the faith, and in the case where maybe some have
suffered loss, he has comforted them. Then he charged them, not only in
private but also when they have gathered together. A father may be more
stern than a mother and that is why he wanted them to be witnesses, not only
to the Gospel but also to the loving care which Paul had given them.
- 1 Th 2:12 (KJB)
- That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto
his kingdom and glory.
- Walk - Conduct oneself or live
- Worthy - Worthily or suitable
- Here is the focus of Paulís love and exhortation to the Thessalonians.
He wants them to walk worthy of the name of God. For a Christian to engage
in sin is not in keeping with the character of God which He imparts to us
when we become saved. There must be a noticeable difference in our lifestyle
after we have become saved. If we say we are saved and then continue in our
old lifestyle, then that is glaring proof that we were never saved. If we
take upon us the name of God, we better walk worthy of that name or else His
holy name will be blasphemed by the unbelievers saying that Christianity is
false. God calls us unto His kingdom, we donít walk in by saying a prayer.
God has to qualify us to come into the Kingdom of God. Here Paul states that
we even share the glory of God and part of that glory, which we do not see
now, is eternal life even though we have it at the moment of salvation,
total separation from sin, we will have a glorified spiritual body and many
other things we do not know about. Right now we share in the glory of Godís
salvation plan by witnessing to others and if God opens their spiritual
eyes, then that is one more in the kingdom of God. We also share in the
glory of Godís creation which in every aspect shows great spiritual
principles such as the sun which lights the day and if we are saved, we are