October 10, 2011

Monday after the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity


Morning - Ps. 103, 1 Kings 8:1-11, 1 Thess. 1
Evening - Ps. 104, Mt. 9:18-35

1 Thess.1

The Church in Thessalonica was founded by Paul and Silas during Paul's second mission journey and has the distinction of being the second church founded on European soil, probably in the year 51 or 52 A.D. (Acts 17:1-10). Silas is called by his Roman name in 1 Thess. 1:1, "Silvanus." Paul may have written 1 Thessalonians from Corinth, for he mentions in verses 7 and 8 that the Thessalonians were examples to believers in Achaia, where Corinth was located. The letter was written to encourage the Christians in that city who were under persecution from the very start (Acts 17:5), which is why Paul wrote they had received the word in much affliction (1 Thess.1:6). The new Christians feared for Paul's safety, and secretly sent him and his companions away at night (Acts17:10). Yet the Thessalonians' perseverance in the faith was known "abroad" (1:8). According to Acts 17:2, Paul spent only 3 weeks in Thessalonica, so these new converts, with very little exposure to the Gospel, remained faithful in the face of persecution.

Truly the Gospel came to them in power and in the Holy Ghost (1:5). Paul does not mean that he used persuasive arguments or eloquent speech to move the hearts of the Thessalonians. He refers to the Spirit moving the people to believe the Gospel and trust in Christ.

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