Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.
Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.
These teaching notes are from a series of studies about 1 Thessalonians.
[These notes are from more than 45 years ago.]
Paul and Silas went to Berea after leaving Thessalonica (Acts 15:5-13). Silas apparently stayed in Berea while Paul went alone to Athens. Paul left Athens and headed to Corinth and began a new ministry there. Silas and Timothy joined him in Corinth and stayed for more than 18 months (Acts 18:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 3:6). Paul probably wrote his first letter to the Thessalonians shortly after Timothy arrived in Corinth with news about the church. That would date the letter between 50-51 AD. Some scholars believe 1 Thessalonians was Paul’s first letter inspired by the Holy Spirit to become part of God’s Word — the Bible.
Paul wrote to the “church” of the Thessalonians. The Greek word for church is ekklesia — a called-out assembly. All Christians in a community were members of the same assembly. Splits, divisions and denominations came later in the history of the Church.
Paul makes a positional statement when he says the Thessalonians are “in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The word “in” is in the Greek locative case. It means that the Thessalonian Church was grounded and exists in the sphere of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (There is no article here in the Greek. Both names are treated as proper names.) Paul gives the full title of our Lord — Lord Jesus Christ. The translation of the Name gives insight to the Person — kurioi Jesou Christoi — Master Savior Anointed One. Lord (kurioi) was used by Romans to designate emperor worship. The Jews knew the word to be the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for God in the Old Testament.
Paul’ salutation was a forerunner of many salutations to come — charis humin kai eirene — grace be to you and peace. It was always Paul’s deepest wish that Christians experience the grace and peace of God in their lives. That is why Paul wrote the Letter to the Thessalonians.
We will look at the Thessalonians work in the next part of our special series.
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from more than 45 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your life and ministry.]