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In First Thessalonians, Paul begins the body of his letter with a prayer of thanksgiving for what is taking place in the church:

 

1 Thessalonians 1:2–3 (ESV)

The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example

2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 3 remembering before our God and Father

your work of faith

and labor of love

and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

There are thus three qualities in this church, work, labor and endurance.  This work is characterized by faith, love & hope. Therefore, we can take these qualities as something (perhaps not all) that a local congregation should exhibit.

 

We thus can ask:  (1) What causes these qualities to exist? (2) How do these qualities work themselves out (what is the result)?

 

Each of these elements have two parts:

  1. The cause
  2. From God
  3. From humans
  4. The result
  5. Immediate
  6. Continuing

 

Cause in God Cause in Men Immediate Result Continuing Result
      work of faith, labor of love, steadfast hope in our Lord Jesus Christ
Love from God      
Chosen by God      
  The Gospel brought to them.    
Power, in the Holy Spirit, with full conviction      
  The example of Paul (and those with him)    
    You became imitators of us and of the Lord (and you are remaining so)
    You received the Word in much affliction  
    You received the Word with Joy  
      You became an example to others of receiving the Word with joy in the midst of affliction
      The Word of the Lrod has sounded forth from you (they are thus repeating what they heard and saw in Paul)
      Others are now repeating what they saw and heard in the Thessalonians
    You turned from serving idols to (1)

serve the true and living God, and (2) wait for his Son from heaven

And continue to do so

 

 

 

Additional detail on how Paul came to them:

 

Cause in God Cause in Men Immediate Result Continuing Result
  We came in affliction but with much boldness    
  Our appeal did not spring from or entail:

1.    Error

2.    Impurity

3.    An attempt to deceive

4.    Not to please men

5.    Only to please God

6.    Not in flattery

7.    Not as a pretext for greed

   
We have been approved by God and entrusted with the God (God entrusts)      
God tests the hearts of men (to prove they have not proclaimed the Gospel for a wrong motive)      
  We were:

1.    Gentle among you (like a nursing mother).

2.    Affectionately desirous of you

3.    We shared the Gospel

4.    We shared our lives

5.    We worked to support ourselves so that we would not be a burden to you

6.    We desired not to be a burden to you

7.    We were holy and blameless toward yu

8.    Like a father we “we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.”

   
    You received the Word as the Word of God  
The Word is at work in you.      
    You became imitators of the preceding churches of God  

 

 

The result: “you are are joy and glory”