1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 Faith Love Hope
Today we are starting 1 Thessalonians, so let me give you a little background about this letter written to the church at Thessalonica.
If you read Acts chapter 17, you will see that during Paul’s second missionary journey he stopped at this large area of Greece. He spent at least 3 weeks preaching at the synagogue telling others about Jesus. Many people trusted Christ as their savior and began to live as God would want them to live. The Jewish population did not like this and basically chased Paul out of town. Timothy meets up with Paul and gives him an update about the church. This letter is a letter back to the church. It contains Paul’s response to what he heard about the church from Timothy.
The church is made up of both Jews and Greeks and is apparently very successful.
- Can people see your faith?
- Is loving others exhausting to you?
- What are you hoping for?
Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
So the first thing we notice is that Paul, Silas and Timothy are involved in this ministry and letter. Each one had an interest in the church at Thessalonica. He makes sure everyone knows that this church was assembled by God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why? There could be several reasons, but one is that he wants people to know this isn’t Paul’s church, but instead God’s church. Two, he wants them to view Jesus as equal to God the Father. In other words, Jesus is God.
Paul then wants God’s grace or favor to be with these people. He then says he wants God’s peace to be with these people.
As we will find out, many of the people in this church will suffer some form of persecution. He wants them to have peace and to know peace. Most people long for peace. As a Christian, I have peace. What type of peace? I have peace with God and I have the peace of God.
When I trusted Christ as my savior, I was at peace with God. At the same time, he gives us peace in Him.
John 5:1 read “Therefor being justified by faith we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Isn’t that great news?
Philippians 4:7 states “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”
He also mentions the grace of God. None of us would have peace if God didn’t show us grace. It is because of God’s grace that we are saved. Without God’s love and grace for us, we wouldn’t know peace.
Do you want peace in your life? It starts by knowing Jesus Christ as your savior.
Next Paul said that he was grateful for this church and that he thanked God for them in his prayers. The idea is that he continually thanked God for them. Also notice that it wasn’t just Paul but all three men who mentioned these people in their prayers.
After reading this, I thought, do I continually thank God for those that are doing what God wants them to do.
What are Paul, Silas and Timothy so thankful for concerning this church?
Their work of faith.
Their labor of love.
Their patience of hope in the Lord Jesus Christ
We normally think of this as faith, love, and hope. These are three signs of true Christian, a person who has been born again by the Holy Spirit, and is empowered by the Holy Spirit, and is evident by a changed life.
Faith produces works. The evidence of genuine faith is someone who actually does something for the Lord. He obeys God and does what He said to do, and doesn’t do the things he said not to do.
As we will see these people turned from their ways, and idols and served God.
Labor of love means that they labored until they were exhausted. They did this because they loved God, and loved others. You and I get tired and labor for something most days. The question is who are you exhausting yourself for? When you love someone, it is a commitment to that person. Loving others is not easy. It is exhausting sometimes. To love others like Jesus loved others, we must first understand that we weren’t easy to love, yet Jesus loved us. The scriptures say that we loved God, because God loved us first. In order to get others to love the church, we must first love them. Love starts by receiving love. We as Christians have received the great love, now we must love others. Find someone to love, who isn’t so easy to love. You will soon appreciate what God did for you.
The last thing is they hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many people say I hope I win the lottery or I hope I get a new job, but this is not the type of hope Paul is speaking of. This is a steadfast hope and an active hope. This is a longsuffering, grind it out hope that is based on a surety. They truly believe Jesus is returning soon and they have an eternal perspective. It is so sure, it is much like the person who believes they are going to win the lottery, spending the money before they win. Or the person hoping for a new job, quiting his old one before knowing he is getting the one he hoped for. Are you convinced that Jesus is coming back and you will live eternally? If so, it should change the way you live each day.
My last question for you today is…
Is someone continually giving thanks to God for your faith that is seen, for your labor of love, and for the active hope you have in Jesus Christ?
Tell me what you think below.