Living Until His Return
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.