May 29, 2017
Following More Than Words

Following More Than Words
1Thessalonians 1:2-10
Verse 2 In these first few verses we see Paul remembering and praying for the people of Thessalonica.
Verse 4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,
• NLT We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people.
• Paul is simply confirming their call to be a part of the Christian faith.
Verse 5 One of the ways that Paul can know so confidently they are called is because of the powerful way God confirmed Himself to the people.
• Paul says that the Gospel didn’t come to them with just words, but also with power.
o This is a recurring theme for Paul. 1 Cor 2:4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
• Here he gives us a little more detail as to why this is so important.
o So that the faith of the people will not rest on the wisdom of men.
• There is nothing wrong with theology and apologetics, but even though Paul was great at both, he puts his emphasis on the Holy Spirit.
Continuing in the verse When the Holy Spirit comes there is also deep conviction.
• Our best and wisest words may or may not bring conviction.
Continuing in the verse… You know how we lived among you for your sake.
• This statement is in the same context of Paul saying that he came to them with power and the Holy Spirit.
Verse 6 Paul now commends them for becoming imitators of him, and Christ.
• Paul goes on to say that they imitated him despite great sufferings.
o Another great example for us to endure the sufferings of our day, as mild as they are.
• Paul then says they despite the sufferings they received joy from the Holy Spirit.
o Joy is a missing component in so much of the Christian faith.
• Is that because we have neglected the Holy Spirit to focus on the wise words and programs of men?
Verse 7 Because they imitated Paul and they became a model to the whole region, affecting thousands of people.
• Proof that following in the ways of Paul will pay great dividends.
Verse 8 The Lord’s message rang out because of their witness and imitation of Paul.
• They followed or imitated Paul and as a result their witness, and the Lord’s message, was known not just in their area, but everywhere.
• This all comes back to power and the Holy Spirit.
o So that it’s the Lord message that is known everywhere. Not the message or wisdom of man.