The Apostle Paul is often referred to as the greatest missionary in the history of the church. It is also clear from the Scriptures that Paul was a loving pastor. There were many churches with whom Paul had a close pastoral relationship, and the church in Thessalonica was one of these churches. In chapter one of 1 Thessalonians, we see that Paul possessed a gospel thankfulness, and in chapter 2 we see something of Paul’s gospel faithfulness.
As Paul proclaimed his message to the Thessalonian Christians, he recognized that he was not ultimately bringing his own words to them, but God’s Word (see verse 13). Faithfulness to God and His Word drove his ministry to them. And, as noted in chapter one, this was effective because God’s Word is indeed powerful, and because the Spirit of God worked through the preaching of the Word to awaken the Thessalonians unto the grace and mercy of God. We see this even more clearly displayed as Paul recounts not only his ministry to them, but also the fruit of that ministry among them. The Thessalonian Christians had received Paul’s message and lived according to it.
But as is regularly the case with faithful ministry, there were those who sought to oppose the Gospel. The Gospel message will see many responses—there are those who respond in faith. There are also those who respond with apathy. And there are those who respond with hostility. It is in the context of great opposition to the gospel that Paul writes this letter, to encourage the Thessalonian Christians to remember his faithful ministry. But again, it is not ultimately because it is his ministry that Paul writes this, but because he comes as an Apostle set apart by God, given a true message from the living God.
As we consider this context of 1 Thessalonians, consider your own response to the Gospel message. Consider what role that message plays in your life. The Bible is the very Word of God. Have you believed it, and have you seen the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in it? And do you rest on Him as your eternal hope?
Join us as this Lord’s Day at 5 at the Arkansas Dream Center located at 1116 Daisy L Gatson Bates Drive in Little Rock for worship. Get directions here or contact us for more info. You can also join us on Facebook Live @RiverCityARP or on YouTube. For the order of service, click here.