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1Thessalonians, Chapter One, Lesson One

SHARING GREETINGS            Page 4
Introduction (cont'd.)

** What were some of the reasons for Paul writing this great epistle.

1. To defend himself against the false charges of the Jews. cf. 1Thessalonians 2:1-6

2. To encourage his reader as they suffered for the name of Christ at the hands of non-Christians.
cf. 1Thessalonians 2:14

3. Some of them were confused about the Tribulation even though Paul had instructed them personally when they were face to face. cf. 1Thessalonians 5:1

4. Some believers there in Thessalonica thought that the Lord's return was imminent and decided to quit working, become lazy and live off their friends.
cf. 1Thessalonians 4:11-12, 2Thessalonians 3:6-10

5. To resolve possible tensions between members of the congregation and its leadership. cf.1Thessalonians 5:12-13, Hebrews 13:7 & 17, 1Peter 5:5

Alright then, having seen some of why Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, let's study our verse for today.

V. 1 ** At the opening of this letter Paul, Silas and Timothy are listed as those who are Sharing Greetings for the Thessalonians. Why then do we say that Paul wrote this letter and not all three?

Paul (the apostle) is writing this letter of love, encouragement and instruction under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, while Silas and Timothy join in the opening greeting because of their fondness for the church they all founded together. cf. 3:1,2 & 6

We need to remember that when the Jewish persecution got hot in that region, Paul went south to Athens while Silas and Timothy remained in Berea. cf. Acts 17:14

** To whom, specifically, was Paul writing?

"...the church of the Thessalonians..." The word used here by Paul for church is ekklesia and means, "an assembly" of believers. cf. 1Peter 2:9

** So Paul is writing to this assembly of believers in Thessalonica, is there any other indentifying mark for the recipients of this letter?

They are "in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". Not just an assembly of "believers" who believe in the false gods of the region, but those who believe specifically in the one true God!

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