1 Thessalonians 2:1-6
Last time Paul said that the church in Thessalonica was doing so well that others were talking about them. They were living their faith out in front of others. The region also knew that these people had hope. A hope of the Lord’s return and that hope changed the way they lived.
What have you been entrusted with?
Should we comprise the Gospel in order to make it easy for people to accept?
Are there religious leaders that take advantage of others?
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1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:
2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
Paul begins by defending his character, because he had certain people in Thessalonica that tried to discredit him. You might remember that when Paul started the church in Thessalonica people ran him out of town. These same people are trying to spread rumors about Paul, and Paul wants to make sure the church doesn’t fall for their lies.
Paul said that when he was with them it was not in vain or for shallow selfish reasons. Many people then and now, will use religion to swindle people out of money or get them to follow a leader. Paul is making it clear that he isn’t one of these people.
Paul then reminds the church that he has suffered for the Gospel. Before he went to Thessalonica he was beaten and jailed in Philippi. The wounds were probably still fresh when he entered Thessalonica. If he was trying to take advantage of people, he would not go through this type of suffering.
Paul continues to say that he still was bold in his presentation of the Gospel. The point is that the Gospel offends people. The Gospel makes people question their own beliefs. The fact that Paul continued to preach what ultimately caused his persecution by others is a testimony to the fact that he is not in this for himself.
In verse 3 he said that his message was not of deceit, or uncleanness or guile. Once again there were many religions being peddled then. Many would use evangelist to spread their message. Most of the time the message involved deceit, low values, and sexual context. Paul assures them that this is not the case for him.
Paul explains who gave him authority and who he works for. God entrusted Paul with the Gospel message. Paul wasn’t trying to please men with the message but instead please God. He also made it clear that God is the ultimate judge and he is the one that puts Paul’s message to the test.
Paul didn’t use flattering words to please men. Paul didn’t do this for gain. Paul didn’t seek his own glory from others. Paul didn’t rely on anyone’s help financially. In other words he didn’t ask for money when he preached, but instead paid his own way and expenses from place to place.
This brings me to my first application. What are you doing to tell others the Gospel that God has entrusted you with? Are you more concerned with a message that pleases man, or a message that pleases God? Don’t ever water down the Gospel to make it easier to swallow or easier on man’s ear. Paul was more concerned with telling people the Gospel, than he was with his own safety. Do you love people to this extent?
We have been entrusted with the greatest message of all. We were saved because someone took this matter very seriously. They believed it was important to tell you the Gospel. Because someone else was faithful with what God had entrusted to them, you are now saved. You have been rescued. Now what is your job? What are you doing with what God has entrusted you with?
When we serve the Lord, we shouldn’t be in it for ourselves but for Him. We serve because we love Him, for who he is, and for what he has done for us. We don’t serve for praise, glory, or material gain. We serve because we belong to him.
My last questions for you today is…
What have you been entrusted with?
Tell me what you think below.