Welcome to your 1 Thessalonians Bible Study. This web page contains lesson plans for an eight-week Bible Study.
The following steps will be helpful in getting the most from your 1 Thessalonians Bible study:
Paul and his companions planted the church in Thessalonica after experiencing trials in Philippi (Acts 16:23-34).
Paul even mentions this mistreatment in his letter to the Thessalonians (1 Thess 2:2).
According to Acts 17:1-10, the church in Thessalonica was established under great duress and persecution. Paul did not spend much time with the church before he was forced to leave abruptly (Acts 17:10).
Thus, the church was vulnerable after Paul’s departure: Paul did not have time to ground its faith and, just as critical, Paul’s persecutors remained in Thessalonica to harass the church.
Paul was extremely concerned for the young church after his departure even thinking that his work had been lost there (1 Thess 3:5). Indeed, he tried to re-visit the church several times but was hindered (1 Thess 2:18).
When he could no longer stand the uncertainty of the church’s fate, he sent Timothy to Thessalonica to receive word (1 Thess 3:1-5).
Timothy returned with a glowing report: the young church was standing firm in its faith despite the ongoing persecution (1 Thess 3:6-10).
However, given the topics that Paul covered in his letter, it’s possible there were some reports of sexual immorality among the Thessalonians and issues related to responsible work (1 Thess 4:1-14).
In addition, there was a real concern among the church members about the eternal state of their loved ones who had died (1 Thess 4:15-20).
Paul set about writing 1 Thessalonians shortly thereafter.
Paul’s letter expresses deep pastoral concern for the church. He writes to express his thanksgiving for the Thessalonians and to encourage them in their faith.
He expresses the theme of suffering on several occasions because he knew they had endured persecution / oppression for their faith from their Jewish opponents.
Paul treats the issues of sanctification (sexual purity), brotherly love and responsible work. In addition, he provides a lengthy discussion of the Lord’s second coming as a way to comfort those who have lost loved ones and encourage the members of the congregation.