Those who have embraced the full Gospel, as proclaimed by the apostles will manifest it by separation from worldly idols, present service to men in the power of the living God, and expectation of the return of the Lord Jesus. Where true faith is, it will work by love and in the patience of the blessed hope.
I Thessalonians 1
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
I Thessalonians 1:1-2 – J. Vernon McGee
I Thessalonians 1:3 – J. Vernon McGee
I Thessalonians 1:4 – J. Vernon McGee
I Thessalonians 1:5 – J. Vernon McGee
I Thessalonians 1:6-7 – J. Vernon McGee
I Thessalonians 1:8-10 – J. Vernon McGee
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 – Imitators and Examples
This chapter abounds in thanksgiving; and the Apostle recites the many beautiful and hopeful traits of character and behavior by which the members of this Christian community had endeared themselves to him. Notice his favorite grouping of faith, hope, and love. We are taught to crave for these in our own soul-garden, and to rejoice to find them blossoming in others. Too often the gospel comes only in word; let us seek the other three accompaniments of I Thessalonians 1:5. What a blessed thing it would be if our church life were so full of the Spirit of Christ that the ministers would not need to say anything! “By whose preaching,” a lad was asked, “were you converted?” “By no one’s preaching,” was the reply, “but by my Aunt Mary’s living.”
There are three memorable steps indicated in I Thessalonians 1:9-10. Turn unto God: serve Him as true and living: wait for the coming of the Son of man. The last phrase strikes the keynote of this Epistle. The Church is encouraged to stand expectant at the oriel window. Behind her is the night from which she has been delivered, and on the bosom of the dawn shines the morning star. —Through the Bible Day by Day
I Thessalonians 1:10—To wait for his Son from heaven.
Oh blessed hope! Is it not wonderful that each of the chapters of this Epistle brims over with the glad anticipation of the Master’s quick return!
We should never lose this spirit of eager longing and waiting. It hath the promise of the life that now is, as of that which is to come. It lifts above the darkness of the present age; links the present with the great future; comforts us amid bereavement with the hope of speedy reunion; quickens us to watchfulness and consecration by the thought of the shortening of our opportunities; leads us to purify ourselves as He is pure, to gird our loins and trim our lamps.
Notice how closely the apostle combines the service of the living and true God, herein distinguishing Him from the dumb, dead stones of heathen idolatries, with this waiting for his Son from heaven. It has been alleged that the hope of the Second Advent is a dreamy, mystical sentiment, which disqualifies one for the active fulfilment of the duties of life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those who cherish that anticipation, who awake in the morning, saying, “Perhaps it will be today”; who go to their sleep whispering to their hearts, “Perchance I shall be changed into his likeness in a moment as I sleep, and wake in my resurrection body”—these are among the most devoted, strenuous, and successful workers of the Church. They are not recognized in the daily or religious Press; but God knows and honors them.
“Oh, blessed Hope! With this elate,
Let not our hearts be desolate;
But strong in faith and patience, wait
Until He come.” —Our Daily Homily