1 Thessalonians Bible Study – Week 2


Paul’s Thanksgiving Prayer (1:1-10)


Introduction

Welcome to Week 2 of your 1 Thessalonians Bible Study.

This week we’ll be covering 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10. In these sections, Paul greets the members of the Thessalonian church and gives a prayer of thanksgiving for the work they are doing.

Paul Greets the Thessalonians (1:1-2)

As previously mentioned in Week 1 of our 1 Thessalonians Bible Study, Paul greets the church and adds Silvanus and Timothy to his greeting.

Both were instrumental in the planting of the church and may have actually contributed to the content of the letter.

Also, Timothy had just recently returned from visiting the Thessalonian church (1 Thess 3:6).

Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2


Questions to reflect on the passage


  • Where else do Timothy and Silvanus (Silas) appear in the NT?
  • To what parts of 1 Thessalonians could Timothy have contributed given his recent visit to the church (see 1 Thess 3:6)?

Questions to reflect on your life


Jesus is Lord

Paul refers to Jesus Christ as “Lord” in his greeting (a title that appears over 700 times for Jesus in the New Testament).

For the early Christian church this title meant one who exercised lordship over all of creation, one who perfectly reflected God’s divine image, one who saves, one who was pre-existent and one who was divine.

  • Is this your perception of Jesus on a day-to-day basis? Why or why not?
  • When you pray “dear Lord” or say, “the Lord this or the Lord that…” are you thinking of these titles? Why or why not?
  • Which of these attributes do you need to be reminded of most today? Why?

Paul greets the church in / with God and in / with Christ.

  • What does it mean to be “in” Christ?
  • How does that position change your perspective, behavior, thoughts?

Grace and Peace

Paul uses the double greeting of “grace” (God’s lavish favor) and “peace.”

In the Old Testament the word for “peace” is “shalom” and conveys a profound sense of completeness, wholeness, health, peace, rest, harmony and the absence of agitation or discord.

  • What areas of your life are in need of God’s grace and peace (“shalom”)? Elaborate.
  • Do you find it easy or difficult to accept God’s grace? Why or why not?
  • Where are you lacking wholeness or harmony in your life and what needs to happen for you to return to that state of “shalom”?

Paul’s Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians (1:3-10)

Read 1 Thessalonians 1:3-10


Questions to reflect on the passage


  • Write down a list of things for which Paul praises the church in Thessalonica.
  • What does it mean that the gospel was delivered to the Thessalonians with power and the conviction of the Holy Spirit? (Look up 1 Thess 2:13 for additional details on how the Thessalonians accepted the gospel.)

Note: The word “power” in this verse is dunamis in Greek which means power, strength, miracles or miraculous power.

  • What does it mean to be imitators of Paul and of the Lord? (v. 6) (Look up 1 Thess 2:14 for additional clarification.)
  • What about the Thessalonians faith impresses you given the relatively short time they have known the gospel?
  • What were the Thessalonians like prior to knowing the gospel (v. 9)?
  • What does “the wrath to come” mean (v. 10)?

Questions to reflect on your life


  • Can the things that are said about the Thessalonian church, be said about your church? Why or why not? What can be commended, what is missing?
  • Do you experience the “power” (dunamis) of the gospel in your Christian walk? Why or why not? What would it take for you to experience that?
  • How well does your church evangelize and reach out to its surrounding areas? How could it perform this task in a better way?
  • What is your temperature in terms of “evangelism” and sharing the gospel with others. Share a success story if you have one, or particular strategies that you use.
  • Do you find it difficult to share your faith? Why or why not?
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