We go on to 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10
v5: Our gospel: The gospel brought about a change to the Thessalonians. When they received the gospel, it resulted in them being called ‘Chosen’ by G-d. Everyone is either chosen or rejected by their response to the gospel. This does not mean that we play a role in our salvation (our salvation was achieved eternally by Yeshua, by the work that He did on the cross). Responding to the gospel by saying ‘yes’ is not a work. Saying ‘yes’ is simply receiving the gospel by faith. Once we have received the gospel, by faith, we are going to be chosen by G-d. G-d, being omniscient – knowing everything – did choose us before the foundations of the world (Eph 1:4), because He knew who, out of their own free will, were going to accept or reject Yeshua. The key is this: there is NO being chosen apart from being in Messiah.
- Power: We have the power, by means of the Holy Spirit, to demonstrate and to bear witness to G-d’s order (His will) for our lives.
- Holy Spirit: The Holy Spiritworks in our lives to bring about G-d’s righteousness – not just being declared righteousness (so that we can enter into the Kingdom of G-d) but righteous behaviour. He brings about order in our lives.
- Much assurance: A full and complete assurance. This is important. When we receive the gospel, we should have total assurance that what G-d has said to us about being saved, being a kingdom person, a saint, is true. We do not need to doubt or question. We have full assurance, because G-d does not lie.
- What kind of men we were: Paul wanted them to remember the witness that Paul’s life had been as he had come among them. His lifestyle had been a testimony to them.
v6: You became followers/imitators: This was an outcome of the influence that Paul, Timothy and other believers had had in their lives.
- Followers of us and of the L-rd: They did not only do the things that Paul was doing but they were walking as Yeshua would have wanted them to walk. They were living in a way that manifested Messiah’s presence in their lives – doing the things that He would do.
- Received the word: This is how they became imitators of Messiah.
- Affliction: Literally this is the word for tribulation. Tribulation can work in our lives to bring about change. It gives us a different perspective, which sets us on a different course. Although G-d is not the author of tribulation, He can use it for a glorious purpose.
- Joy of the Holy Spirit: It is through joy that we have strength (Neh 8:10) and are led to victory. When we are walking with G-d and the enemy attacks the Holy Spirit defends, helps, assists, empowers, gives knowledge to us etc so that we can have this victory.
v7: This group of believers, from Thessaloniki (a Greek port city on the Aegean Sea), had a testimony of impacting these two regions -Macedonia and Achaia. Macedonia was in the north and central portion of Greece and Achaia was a region in Western Greece.
G-d enabled them to have an impact far beyond their borders. G-d will do that same thing for everyone who walks sincerely in His truth, despite experiencing many tribulations.
v8: The Word of the L-rd has sounded: Through their faithfulness the Word of the L-rd was proclaimed.
- In every place: Their faith in G-d, their obedience to Him, impacted people in a variety of places. Being obedient to G-d can bring about great changes – not only impacting our own lives, but also having an impact in the lives of others.
- We do not need to say anything: Paul could see the impact that this group of Thessalonian believers had had on other regions. They had served G-d to the extent that when Paul had arrived in those regions he did not have to speak or do the ministry as it had already been done. The Thessalonians had had an impact. Their faithfulness had had a powerful outcome.
v9: What manner of entry: The Thessalonians had paved a way (so to speak), made entrance easier, into this far away community. Paul and his friends had an open-door access into this region in order to bring about a change in this location.
- Idols: Those things that are in conflict with G-d.
- Turned to G-d from idols: The service of Paul and his friends impacted others and brought about a change well beyond the confines of this town, this community. People turned away from idols and began to serve G-d.
v10: Wait for His Son: This will be a Kingdom event. This does not mean that the Kingdom is going to be established when Yeshua returns for believers (at the rapture), but it does mean that we can wait with assurance for Him (He is coming to do what He has said He will do) as we are going to enter into the Kingdom of heaven when He returns for us.
- Raised from the dead: The resurrection happened2000 years ago.
- Wait for His Son …Yeshua: We are waiting and watching for Yeshua’s return because it is going to bring about a great benefit for us.
- The wrath: This is referring to G-d’s wrath.
Note: What this is telling us is this: if we are a follower of Yeshua and our faith is genuine, it is going to have an impact on others. Not only will it impact others, but it will also have an impact on our own lives – it will save us from experiencing the pouring out of the wrath of G-d. G-d’s wrath is not designated for believers (1 Thess 5:9). It is designated for non-believers and for a remnant of the house of Israel. In those difficult times they are going to come to faith.