1 Thessalonians 1

Paul in our reading refers to the suffering that took place in Thessalonica. The apostle Paul visited Thessalonica in A.D. 49 or 50 during his second missionary journey (Acts 17:1-9). Paul’s evangelistic efforts met with success. Within a short time a vigorous Christian congregation had blossomed, consisting of some members of the Jewish synagogue as well as former pagans. This success provoked the hostility of the Jews, who then started a riot. When they were unable to find Paul, they brought some of the believers before the local authorities and charged them with disloyalty to Caesar. The believers became fearful for Paul’s safety and sent him and Silas to Berea, where Timothy joined them later. The Jews were so aggressive and hostile against Christianity in Thessalonica they went to Berea and stirred up trouble for Paul there. With this background, the church in Thessalonica undoubtedly suffered under suspicion and community unrest. Paul refers to this hostility and suffering in both of his letters to the Thessalonians. But the Holy Spirit gave them the joy and ability to follow Christ. As Paul later wrote in his letter to the Philippians, there is fellowship in suffering for Christ, a fellowship with Christ himself. (Phil. 3:10)

1 comment

  • Jerry

    The concepts we need to strive to achieve as believers jumped off the page as I read v. 3 “work produced by faith; labor prompted by love; and endurance inspired by hope.”

    Faith, love, and hope — certainly sounds like 1 Corin 13:13 & we know that the greatest of these is love …

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