The Book of 1 Thessalonians – Part 2




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In this study we will examine some key doctrinal issues in the 1st chapter of 1 Thessalonians. Some of these down the years have been controversial. However comparing scripture with scripture soon clears these difficulties up. This section also contains a few more Bible thoughts on the subjects of Grace and Peace as outlined in the previous study.

Doctrine 1: THE CHURCH: (1 Thess 1:1)

It is important to see what the Bible says regarding a definition of the church. The word church comes from the greek word ekklesia which means a number of different things but primarily a called out assembly. In a practical sense concerning the church it means:

a) A circle of believers in some definite locality–ie a local church. There are many references to this in scripture.

(Acts 11:26) (1 Cor 1:2) (2 Cor 1:1) (Acts 18:22) (Rev 3:1)

(Rev 2:1) (Rev 2:8) (Rev 2:12) (Rev 2:18) (Rev 3:7) (Rev 3:14)

b) A region where several churches are operating. (Acts 9:31) (Gal 1:2)

c) A House church — A necessary arrangement in Bible times where often in the early church no other buildings were available.

(1 Cor 16:19) (Col 4:15) (Philemon 2)

d) In a more general sense the word church serves to denote the whole body of Christ throughout the world.

(1 Cor 10:32) (1 Cor 11:22) (Eph 1:22) (Eph 4:4-6) (Eph 5:25-27)

(Gal 1:13) (Col 1:18) (Col 1:24) (1 Cor 12:13) (1 Cor 3:16) (1 Cor 6:19)

** Note also the words of Jesus in John 10:16 **

Doctrine 2: IN CHRIST (1 Thess 1:1)

Notice this verse talks about the believer being IN God the Father and IN the Lord Jesus Christ. This is both a very important theological statement as well as being one which Paul uses in other places in the NT.

(Rom 8:1) (Rom 12:5) (Rom 16:7) (1 Cor 1:2) (1 Cor 1:30) (1 Cor 15:8)

(2 Cor 5:17) (Gal 1:22) (Gal 6:15) (Eph 1:1) (Eph 2:10) (Phil 1:1)

(Phil 3:14) (Col 1:2) (1 Thess 2:14) (1 Peter 5:14)

Doctrine 3: GRACE (1 Thess 1:1)

Grace is a major doctrine in scripture. The following is a brief summary on this key teaching:

a) Grace is a key element in Salvation.

(Eph 2:8-9) (Eph 1:7) (Acts 15:11) (Rom 5:21)

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b) Grace is described in various ways in scripture:

Great (Acts 4:33)

Rich (Eph 1:7)

Exceeding (2 Cor 9:14)

All Sufficient (2 Cor 12:9)

Glorious (Eph 1:6)

c) Grace has a direct relationship to the Christians life.

Christians are to be established with Grace. (Heb 13:9)

Christians are to be strong in Grace. (2 Tim 2:1)

Christians are to grow in Grace. (2 Peter 3:18)

Christians are to speak with Grace. (Eph 4:29) (Col 4:6)

d) Grace is given by God who Himself is the God of all Grace.

(1 Peter 5:10) (Psalm 84:11) (James 1:17)

Doctrine 4: PEACE: (1 Thess 1:1)

a) Genuine Peace originates in God and is given by God.

(John 14:27) (Phil 4:7) (Col 3:15) (Rom 15:33) (2 Thess 3:16)

(Rom 16:20) (Psalm 145:7) (Rom 5:1)

b) Genuine Peace from God

can be had in Abundance. (Jeremiah 33:6)

c) Genuine Peace from God

can be experienced even when going through death. (Gen 15:15)

d) Genuine Peace from God

comes from keeping our MINDS on Him. (Isaiah 26:3)

e) Genuine Peace from God comes as a result of being Justified.

(Rom 5:1) (Rom 15:13)

f) Genuine Peace from God

is something which can be sought out and pursued after. (Psalm 34:14)

g) Genuine Peace from God

is something which can be experienced during the night hours.

(Psalm 4:8)

h) Genuine Peace from God

can grow and multiply as we gain more knowledge of God.

(2 Peter 1:2)

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i) Genuine Peace from God is described as a blessing from God.

(Psalm 29:1)

j) Genuine Peace from God is described as being IN a person. (Eph 2:14)

k) Genuine Peace from God

is something promised for all those who love the Law of God.

(Psalm 119:165)

Doctrine 5: GIVING THANKS: (1 Thess 1:2)

1) Believers are to Thank God

for His Holiness. (Psalm 97:12) (Psalm 30:4)

2) Believers are to Thank God

every time we enter His presence through Christ.

(Psalm 100:4) (Psalm 105:1)

3) Believers are to Thank God

for His Goodness and Mercy. (Psalm 106:1) (Psa 118:1)

4) Believers are to Thank God

in all circumstances and all situations.

(1 Thess 5:18) (Phil 4:6) (Eph 5:20)

5) Believers are to Thank God

that He has delivered us from being servants of sin.

(Romans 6:17)

6) Believers are to Thank God

for the victory they have in Christ.

(1 Corinthians 15:57) (2 Corinthians 2:14)

7) Believers are to Thank God

for the Inheritance that they are going to receive.

(Colossians 1:12)

8) Believers are to Thank God

as an antidote to sin. (Ephesians 5:4)

9) Believers are to abound in Thanksgiving

as a result of being rooted and established in their Faith.

(Colossians 2:7)

Doctrine 6: PRAYER (1 Thess 1:2)

1) Believers are to Pray without ceasing. (1 Thess 5:16-18) (Ephesians 6:18)

2) Believers are to Pray without being a hypocrite. (Matt 6:6-7)

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3) Believers are to Pray as an antidote to worry. (Phil 4:6)

4) Believers are to Pray when afflicted. (James 5:13)

5) Believers are to Pray with an expectation that God will hear them.

(Psalm 6:9) (Psalm 3:4) (Matt 7:7) (1 John 5:14)

6) Believers are to Pray for any children they may have. (Gen 17:18)

7) Believers are to Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. (Psalm 122:6)

8) Believers are to Pray in times of discouragement. (Psalm 42:5-11)

9) Believers are to Pray as they meet together. (Matt 18:19) (Acts 1:14)

10) Believers are to deal with sin for their Prayers to be effective.

(Isaiah 59:1-2)

11) Believers are to Pray according to the will of God.

(James 4:3) (John 15:7) (2 Corinthians 12:8)

12) Believers are to Pray with a right heart and then their prayers will be answered.

(Psalm 4:3) (Job 34:28) (Psalm 18:6) (Psalm 34:17) (Proverbs 15:29)

(1 Peter 3:12) (Psalm 99:6) (2 Chronicles 7:12) (Psalm 6:9)

13) Believers are to sometimes have to wait for their prayer to be answered.

(Psalm 80:4) (Habakkuk 1:2) (Psalm 40:1) (Luke 18:7)

14) Believers often adopt different postures when Praying:

  1. Kneeling (Psalm 95:6) (Luke 22:41) (2 Chronicles 6:13) (Acts 20:36)
  2. Bowing. (Gen 24:26) (Ex 4:31) (Ex 12:27) (Ex 34:8)
  3. Falling on the face.
    (Matt 26:39) (Joshua 5:14) (1 Chron 21:16) (Num 16:22)
  4. Lifting up hands. (Psalm 28:2)

15) Believers are to remind God of His promises when they come before Him in Prayer.

(Ex 32:13) (Gen 32:9-12) (1 Kings 8:26)

16) Believers are to Pray with obedience to God if not their prayer will go unanswered.

(1 Sam 28:6) (Deut 1:45) (1 Sam 14:27)

17) Believers are to Pray and remember to pray in the Name of Jesus.

(John 15:16) (John 14:13) (John 16:23-24)

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Doctrine 7: ELECTION: (1 Thess 1:4)

This Key Doctrine of the Bible has been subject to a huge amount of misinterpretation over the Years and so it is well worthwhile just including it here. Remembering that the word election really means CHOSEN.

The teaching that God chooses is a clear teaching in the Bible.

a) God chose Israel (Deut 14:2)

b) God will choose Israel to be set again in their own land. (Isaiah 14:1)

c) Jesus chose the Apostles. (Luke 6:13)

d) All Christians are Chosen or Elected. (1 Peter 2:9) (1 Peter 1:2)

However although the doctrine of election is in the Bible we must not fall into the ERROR that God has chosen some to go to Heaven and some to go to Hell with that decision being irreversible. This is because the Bible also clearly teaches that there is a WHOSOEVER. Note some of the following scripture verses.

(John 3:16) (John 12:46) (John 4:13-14) (Acts 10:43) (Rom 9:33)

(Rom 10:13) (Rev 22:17)

Note: The scripture is quite clear that it is God’s will that all should come to faith in Christ.

(1 Peter 3:9) (Ezekiel 33:11) (1 Tim 2:5) (Heb 2:9)

We know in practice of course that NOT all will be saved — In fact the truth is that only a MINORITY will be saved and the MAJORITY will be lost (Matt 7:21-23). However this does not nullify the fact that the potential for all to be saved is found in the cross of Christ if men would be willing to come.

It is NOT that men cannot come to Christ but rather men WILL NOT come to Christ.

(John 4:48) (John 5:40)

Doctrine 8: THE GOSPEL: (1 Thess 1:5)

The doctrine of the gospel is of huge importance both in the 2 books of the Thessalonians and throughout the whole scripture. The word gospel primarily means GOOD NEWS. Key points concerning the gospel in 1 & 2 Thessalonians are as follows:


“For OUR gospel came unto you” (1 Thess 1:5)

“But as we were allowed of God to be put in TRUST with the gospel.
(1 Thess 2:4)

** The Christian has a great responsibility to guard; protect from error;

and to deliver the gospel — No one else will do it **

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In word — In Power — In the Holy Ghost — In Assurance. (1 Thess 1:5)

** Notice the four IN’s in this verse **

a) In word

— A reference to the word of God. (1 Thess 2:13)

*** If there is no word of God preached

— Then there can be no gospel ***

b) In Power

— A reference to the outward visible changes the gospel causes

because it has power to change lives.

(Rom 1:16) (1 Corinthians 1:18) (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)

c) In the Holy Ghost

— A reference to what the believer and preacher depend upon

to be Successful.

d) In much Assurance

— The preacher should preach with CONVICTION

and when true faith comes to the hearer

they also should have MUCH assurance.

(1 John 5:13)


“As ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake”

a) Paul reminded the Ephesians of his good testimony.

(Acts 20:17-18) (Acts 20:33-35)

b) Paul reminded the Corinthians that he was not a hypocrite.

(1 Corinthians 2:4) (1 Corinthians 4:9-13)

c) Paul reminded the Corinthians that

he was living different from the world.

(2 Corinthians 4:1-2)

d) Paul was determined to give a good testimony for the gospel’s sake

— If the scripture offended well that was acceptable

— But if he (Paul) offended that brought the Name of Christ down.

(2 Corinthians 6:3)

e) Paul was determined to BEHAVE correctly for the sake of the Gospel.

(2 Thess 3:7-9) (1 Thess 2:10)