1 Thessalonians Bible Study – Week 3

Doing Ministry Paul’s Way (2:1-16)


Welcome to Week 3 of your 1 Thessalonians Bible Study.

We will be covering 1 Thess 2:1-16, which discusses Paul’s initial ministry time in Thessalonica.

Preaching Despite Opposition

Read 1 Thess 2:1-2

Notice here how Paul references his difficult time in Philippi where he and Silvanus were jailed (Acts 16) and also the opposition he encountered in Thessalonica at the planting of the church (Acts 17:1-10).

Later in 2:14-16 he provides a blistering critique of his opponents who made his life (and that of the young church) so difficult.

Questions to reflect on the passage

  • Why do you think Paul was so «bold» in preaching the gospel despite opposition and even persecution?

Questions to reflect on your life

  • How much opposition and persecution would you be willing to suffer for the gospel’s sake?
  • How likely is it that you would ever be asked to suffer this way? Discuss your current cultural context and whether Christianity enjoys a positive / negative regard.

Paul Defends His Ministry in Thessalonica (1 Thess 2:3-12)

Read 1 Thess 2:3-12

Notice a few things:

  1. The different ways that Paul defends his ministry and conduct.
  2. The parental metaphors he uses and what they communicate.
  3. How Paul shares not only the gospel but his very own life with the Thessalonians (v. 2:8).
  4. All of Paul’s ministry after sharing the gospel is so that the Thessalonians will walk in a manner «worthy of God.»

Questions to reflect on the passage

  • List all of the ways that Paul defends his ministry and conduct in this section.
  • Why do you suppose Paul goes to such lengths to defend his ministry and conduct?
  • Paul uses two parental metaphors in this section. What are they? List all of the behaviors / actions that Paul directed toward the Thessalonians, which are communicated by these metaphors.

Questions to reflect on your life

  • Of the many ways that Paul conducted himself in Thessalonica, which is most characteristic of you when serving the Lord?
    • Do you speak with boldness?
    • Avoid error and deceit?
    • Seek to please God and not men?
    • Are you caring like a mother or encouraging like a father?
    • Do you avoid flattery and greed?
  • Which characteristic must you work on as you serve the Lord?
  • Do you give your life to others when you serve them? Why or why not?
  • Are you walking in a manner «worthy of God»? Why or why not?