Survey of the Bible - I Thessalonians

Survey of the Bible - I Thessalonians

Text: I Thessalonians 3:11-13

 

I.         Background

            A.        Thessalonica was a major seaport and the capital of Macedonia.

                        1.         It had a population of about 200,000 people during the time of Paul

                        2.         It still exists as Thessaloniki in Greece.

            B.        It had a Jewish population, as seen by the synagogue - Acts 17:1

                        1.         How long Paul preached here isn’t known. It was longer than three weeks - Acts 17:2-3

                        2.         But the Jews became jealous of Paul’s success - Acts 17:4-10

            C.        Paul did receive two gifts from Philippi while here - Philippians 4:15-16

            D.        Paul worked hard here - I Thessalonians 2:9; II Thessalonians 3:7-9

                        1.         A lot of teaching had to be done to bring these people out of idolatry - I Thessalonians 1:9

                        2.         They suffered persecution from the Greeks - I Thessalonians 2:14

            E.        Paul journeyed from Thessalonica to Berea and then to Athens

                        1.         Here Paul was met by Timothy and Silas - Acts 17:15

                        2.         But he sent Silas back to Philippi and Timothy to Thessalonica - I Thessalonians 3:1-5

                        3.         Silas and Timothy came back, joining Paul in Corinth - Acts 18:5

                                    a.         They brought good news - I Thessalonians 3:6-8

            F.        It was from Corinth that I Thessalonians was written - I Thessalonians 1:1

                        1.         About A.D. 50

                        2.         It was Paul’s second letter to the churches.

II.        Purpose

            A.        Paul wanted to encourage their faith in the face of persecution and to encourage them to stay out of immorality

            B.        He gives a defense against the slander being spread about him, probably by the Jews

            C.        He addresses an apparent concern about what happens to the dead in Christ

            D.        He gives instruction about their leaders and worship

III.       Outline

            A.        The letter is divided into two parts

                        1.         Chapters 1-3 deals with the past.

                                    a.         Paul talks about his dealings with the church, reminding them where they came from

                        2.         Chapters 4-5 deals with the future

                                    a.         Paul focuses on practical matters for improvement.

            B.        Reflections - I Thessalonians 1-3

                        1.         Their growth - I Thessalonians 1

                                    a.         Greetings - I Thessalonians 1:1

                                    b.         Thanksgiving - I Thessalonians 1:2-4

                                    c.         Their reception of the Gospel - I Thessalonians 1:5-6

                                    d.         Their reputation - I Thessalonians 1:7-10

                        2.         Paul’s time with them - I Thessalonians 2

                                    a.         How he taught them - I Thessalonians 2:1-8

                                    b.         How he lived among them - I Thessalonians 2:9-12

                                    c.         Their faith in face of persecution - I Thessalonians 2:13-16

                                    d.         Paul being hindered in returning - I Thessalonians 2:17-20

                        3.         Timothy’s time with them - I Thessalonians 3

                                    a.         Timothy sent to bring news - I Thessalonians 3:1-5

                                    b.         Paul’s comfort in the news Timothy brought - I Thessalonians 3:6-10

                                    c.         Paul’s prayer for their continued growth and his return - I Thessalonians 3:11-13

            C.        Instruction - I Thessalonians 4-5

                        1.         Directions for growth - I Thessalonians 4:1-12

                                    a.         The need for sexual purity - I Thessalonians 4:1-8

                                    b.         Love for the brethren - I Thessalonians 4:9-10

                                    c.         Work - I Thessalonians 4:11-12

                        2.         The dead in Christ - I Thessalonians 4:13-18

                        3.         The return of Christ - I Thessalonians 5:1-11

                        4.         Holy living - I Thessalonians 5:12-22

                        5.         Prayer for their perseverance - I Thessalonians 5:23-24

                        6.         Request for prayers - I Thessalonians 5:25

                        7.         Spread his greetings and this letter - I Thessalonians 5:26-27

                        8.         Benediction - I Thessalonians 5:28