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1Thessalonians, Chapter One, Lesson Three

SERVING GOD            Page 3
V. 6 (cont'd.)

** This next thought is foundational to everything we are as Christians. What prompted the Thessalonians to imitate Paul and Christ?

"...having received the word..." dechomai means to "receive a guest".
cf. Luke 10:8 and Hebrews 11:31

** So, how does that word apply to the Word of God?

By the grace of God, they welcomed God's word as an honored guest! If you do the same, it is only because God Himself has prepared your heart the "receive" His glorious truth.
cf. Acts 13:48 and 1Corinthians 1:18

** Do you think that the Thessalonians were having a party while they received God's word?

No - it was "...in much tribulation..." The heat was on!
cf. Acts 17:5, 13 with 1Thessalonians 2:14

** So, did all of that persecution dim the hopes of the Thessalonians?

Not at all! They endured it with "the joy of the Holy Spirit". Peter prepares us for this kind of response to persecution in 1Peter 4:12-13, let's look at it together. cf. Hebrews 12:1-2

V. 7 ** So Jesus Christ imitated God the Father, Paul, Silas and Timothy imitated Jesus, the Thessalonians imitated Paul and company - is that it? Does it end there?

No - it continues throughout all of Macedonia and Achaia. (See your maps) The nation we now call Greece was completely changed by these godly Christians who were faithful in imitating the pattern set before them by Jesus Christ!

V. 8 ** Wow, that is a broad scope of influence, does it end there?

No - it went on to "...every place your faith toward God has gone forth..."

** At the beginning of verse eight, what unusual phrase does Paul use to describe the exemplary lifestyle of the Thessalonians?

"...the word of the Lord..." Their lives were so consistent that they had become a living word (or testimonial) of what Christ had become in them.

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