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Paul expresses thanks to God in 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 for His transforming grace in the lives of the Thessalonians. Their faith has produced a zeal for good works, their love has prompted them to intense labor and service, and their confident hope in the return or Christ has resulted in steadfast endurance. Let us verbally express our thanks to God for these same virtues and ask Him to increase them in our lives.
Paul’s greeting to the Thessalonians is “Grace and peace to you…”. Grace is God’s undeserved favor and kindness to those who have dishonored His name, disobeyed His laws, and rejected His authority. Peace is reconciliation with God through being justified by faith in Christ and His substitutionary sacrifice for us. Grace and peace make us into a church community, called out of the world to publicly belong to Christ.
The Bible contains the authoritative truth of God which has the power to change us. The book of 1 Thessalonians teaches us how to live in anticipation of the return of Christ, with joy and with love for each other and for a lost world. As we begin our study of 1 Thessalonians , let us study this epistle humbly, expectantly, and prayerfully.
The living hope that Peter proclaims in 1 Peter 1:3 is the hope of a certain future that is based on the finished work of Christ and is established by His resurrection. Hope flows out of personal transformation and fixes our gaze on future certainties. We are to be alert, ready for action, conforming our lives to the pattern of Christ.
He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:20-21 Pastor Roger explains and demonstrates an easy way to share the gospel with your friends.
1Peter 3:15 reminds us to always be ready to share the hope that is within us. One way to share our hope is to share our “before and after” story, focusing on the person we were before encountering Christ and how we are now different because of the transforming power of Christ. Even though our lives are not perfect and we each have many weaknesses we can share how we now lean on Christ’s strength and respond differently to temptation and difficult situations.
1Peter 2:9-12 and 3:15 encourage God’s people to display and declare the love and salvation of God. Doing good works flows out of who we are in Christ, forgiven by Him even when we were opposed to Him. We are to live in such a way that it demands a Gospel explanation. We should expect opportunities to happen and be prepared to tell about the hope that is in us, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Others need to know the how and the why we are able to live a godly life.
The book of 1 Peter was written to believers whose identity, values, and mindset set them apart from those around them. Peter instructed those believers to not fear what the world fears, but to have a reverent fear of the Lord that is rooted in love, results in holiness, and empowers for witness.
The early church persistently proclaimed the Gospel in the power of the the Holy Spirit, depending on God to open minds and transform hearts. A witnessing church is a Spirit-filled authentic community, faithfully praying and living a witnessing lifestyle despite persecution.
Fellowship is the mingling of our lives together, often at great cost, because of all that we have in common. Our salvation which allows us to have a personal relationship with Christ immediately brings us into a corporate relationship with others. Fellowship means living for one another, helping each other grow spiritually, and taking care of the needy among us in genuine love.
1 John 5:13 assures us that we may know for certain that we have experienced true salvation and will one day go to heaven. This passage, along with the remainder of 1 John, declares the marks of a Christian. First, a genuine Christian believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the savior of the world. Next, a believer will show progress (not perfection) toward an obedient lifestyle of holiness. Finally, Christians love one another sacrificially and humbly (1 John 4:7-11).
What does it mean to be saved? Salvation is an “all of life” term that begins with a specific point in which we have been saved, delivered from the penalty of sin through faith in Christ (Romans 2:15 & Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation continues as we grow in holiness through dependance upon God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. We are being saved from the power of sin (1Corinthians 1:18). In the future day of glorification, at the return of Christ, we will be saved from the presence of sin (Hebrews 9:28).
Worship is a natural response to grace as the Holy Spirit gives us the desire to speak and sing to God about His attributes and actions. We are to worship God in spirit (heartfelt) and truth (in accordance with Scripture). Worship is an eternal joyous reality (Psalms 145:1-2), a corporate activity (Psalm 95:1-2), and a daily lifestyle (Psalm 104:33). Like the early church in Acts 2:41,47 let us be devoted to worship.
Private and corporate prayer both flow out of our love for God and for others. We have access to the Father because of Christ the righteous, our mediation (Hebrews 10:19-22). The early church was devoted to prayer, making it a priority. We should specifically plan for times of praise, confession, and intercession, and we should also live in an attitude of prayer, ready to lift up prayers as we feel led throughout the day.
The breaking of bread in Acts 2 refers to the Lord’s Supper: a practice commanded by Jesus that we are to continue with earnest devotion. Communion is an act of worship that allows us to look back upon the sacrifice of Christ, look around in fellowship, and look ahead in anticipation of Christ’s return.
The early church was devoted to the apostles’ teaching. These new believers made it a priority to be a learning community, and it is also vital for each of us to ponder and pray through scripture with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The prayer of Jesus for future believers was, “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.” (John 17:17 ESV).
Peter’s message in Acts 2 caused many of the listeners to experience deep conviction, so they asked, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Repentance is utterly necessary, full forgiveness of sins is promised, and the message of salvation is urgent. Let us respond in faith and true repentance. We will no longer be separated from God, and the Holy Spirit will empower us to live for Christ.
When Peter preaches in Acts 2:32-36 that Jesus is both “Lord and Christ,” what does this mean and how should this impact our lives? The term Lord in scripture refers to the only true God. Jesus is also the only Savior of all, the Christ, the Anointed One who has been given authority to rule in every aspect of our lives.
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the keystone of our faith. We can be certain of the resurrection based on the fulfilment of prophecy, the testimony of many eye witnesses, and the transformation of believers’ lives. The resurrection proves the veracity and unity of the Scriptures. It authenticates the deity of Christ, makes our salvation possible, and promises future hope.
Peter’s message in Acts 2 focuses on “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Jesus, a man of humble beginnings, made like us yet without sin. Jesus, whose mighty works and miracles established His divine identity and authority. Jesus, crucified according to the plan of God, taking the penalty for our sin. Jesus, raised up from the dead and ready to bring salvation to all who repent and call upon Him.