1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 Being a Good Example
Last time we looked at 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 and we saw that Paul is thanking God for the church in Thessalonica. Paul had received a good report from Timothy about the church that Paul had started. Paul said that this church belonged to God and that he, Silas, and Timothy thanked God for them continually. Paul explained why he was so thankful. It was because of their work of faith, their labor of love, and the patience they had in the hope of Jesus returning. These people were active Christians and they were changing the world around them, by exhausting themselves for the love of others and their love for Jesus.
Do you have assurance that you belong to God?
Do you try to work for the Lord in your own power?
Are you the example to others that you should be?
Today we are reading Chapter 1 verse 4 and 5.
Read 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5
4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
The first thing Paul says is that he knows something about these people. What is it? That there salvation is real and there is real evidence that they belong to God.
This statement is referring back to verse 3 where there faith was a working faith, their love for others was exhausting, and their patience was grounded in the reality of the Lord returning.
How do you know that you belong to God? Well there is evidence in your life. Are you drawn to Him? Do you want to know more about Him? Do you serve Him? Do you obey Him? Do want to me more like Him?
Verse 5 explains how all of this started. It started by Paul telling people the Gospel. But it wasn’t just people hearing the Gospel. It was the fact that the Holy Spirit was involved. It is the Holy Spirit that gives Paul the ability to preach with power. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts. It is the Holy Spirit that draws people to repentance. It is the Holy Spirit that regenerates a man or woman, and makes them a new creation in Christ Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit involved in the hearing of the Gospel a man or woman can’t be saved. The Holy Spirit is also the one that gives each believer the ability and power to love others, to work for the Lord, to see things from a spiritual perspective. We alone don’t have the power to love others like Jesus loved others. We alone can’t discern God’s word without the Holy Spirit. The power of the Gospel and God’s word is powerful when the Holy Spirit is involved.
Another thing Paul points out is that he brought the word with assurance. In other words he was confident of what he preached was the truth. Sometimes I wonder if Christians really believe what they say they believe. Paul spoke with assurance and confidence and that makes a big difference when speaking to others about the Gospel.
Assurance can also mean that the people were assured that the Gospel was true and it was evident in their lives based on how they lived. In order to serve God, we must have assurance that we belong to Him.
The last thing Paul mentions is the fact that they know what kind of people Paul, Silas and Timothy are. They just didn’t talk but instead their walk matched their talk.
If someone is asking you to tell the Gospel to others, shouldn’t that person lead by example?
If someone is asking you to give to the church, shouldn’t they lead by example.
If someone is asking you to do something, it carries much more weight if they are doing what they are asking you to do.
Paul, Silas and Timothy were good examples to these people and the results showed.
How are we doing? Are we telling others the Gospel with assurance, and with power? Do try to work for the Lord and love others using our own strength or the power of the Holy Spirit? Are we living out what we preach or teach?
Society will change around you, when we do these things.
What do you think… Is being the right example to others important?