BELIEVING THE GOSPEL

Gregory Magruder       Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL     07/07/19
 
“Believing the Gospel"
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
 
INTRODUCTION: On their second missionary journey, Paul, Silas and Timothy preached the good news at Thessalonica (Acts 17). The seaport city was the chief city of Macedonia and the seat of the Roman province. One of the main Roman highways passed by the city and the economy and population of the city flourished. Paul preached the gospel to the Jews on three sabbaths and had many converts. But a mob formed and attacked Paul and his newly formed church.  Paul and his team had to flee the city. Paul later wrote this first epistle to a church from Corinth in A.D. 50 to the Thessalonian church encouraging them to remain faithful. The overall theme of 1 Thessalonians is that Christians always have hope no matter what the circumstances may be.
 
In Chapter 1, Paul describes what believing the gospel will do. We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction (2-5).
 
THE GOSPEL GENERATES A FAITH THAT WORKS.
 
*Paul remembered their “work of faith” (3). What evidence of faith did Paul witness? What proof of faith is revealed in a believer?
 
  • The gospel was preached in the power of the Holy Spirit with conviction. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction (4-5).
  • The believers responded to the gospel with joy amid persecution. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit (6).
  • The new converts began to share their faith and tell the good
 news to others. You became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything (7-8).
  • They repented and turned from idols to follow God. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols (9).
 
THE GOSPEL DEMONSTRATES LOVE IN ACTION.
 
*Paul remembered their “labor of love” (3). The two greatest commandments are to love God and love our neighbor. The Thessalonian believers revealed their love in service to God and others. The word for serve means “to serve as a slave.” In our terms it means to serve with complete and unreserved devotion. Their service had purpose because they served the living and true God. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God (9).
 
THE GOSPEL PRODUCES HOPE THAT ENDURES.
 
*Paul also remembered their “steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (3). Despite their circumstances and opposition, the new believers had hope.
 
*Believers can endure when we have hope. You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come (9-10).
 
We can have unwavering hope for the future because
  • Jesus will return one day from heaven
  • He is a living and risen Lord
  • He will save us from the judgment to come.
 
The three traits of a Christian: So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
 

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