WHEN OTHERS HELPED YOU
1 Thessalonians 2:1-16 December 14 2008
In 1 Thessalonians I, Paul had thanked God for the
transformation they had experienced as a result of embracing
the gospel. They had become outstanding examples for other
Christians, both near and far. In chapter 2, Paul went on to
remind the Thessalonians about the nature of his ministry
while he had lived among them.
Today, we often think of the great apostle as a pattern.
He stands as a foremost example of what Christians are to
believe and how we are to behave as we seek to grow in
Christlikeness. This lesson will show us Paul is a pattern
for how to go about the task of teaching others. I The apostle
reminded the Thessalonians of his manner of teaching (with
both boldness and with love). Toward the end , he reminded
them of what was always the first goal of his teaching: that
persons would be saved (1 Thess 2:16).
1. Teach Boldly (1 Thess. 2:1-4)
1Thess. 2:1 You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not
a failure. 2:2 We had previously suffered and been insulted
in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we
dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition.
2:3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or
impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 2:4 On the
contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted
with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God,
who tests our hearts.
(1 Thess. 2:1-12) A “manual” for a minister: 1. His
message is God’s good news (“gospel,” 1 Thess 2: 2). 2. His
motive is not impurity (1 Thess.2:3), pleasing people (1 Thess
2:4), greed (1 Thess.2:5) or seeking praise from people (1 Thess.
2:6), but pleasing God (1 Thess. 2:4). 3. His manner is not one of
trickery (1 Thess.2: 3), flattery (1 Thess 2:5) or a cover-up
(1 Thess. 2:5), but of courage (1 Thess. 2:2), gentleness
(1 Thess. 2:7), love (1 Thess.2:8,11), toil (1 Thess.2:9) and
holiness (1 Thess. 2:10). (1 Thess.2:1) YOU KNOW. The local
church could refute the accusation of insincerity that evidently
had been leveled against Paul (1 Thess.2: 3). Insulted . Paul was
deeply hurt by the way he had been treated in the city of
Philippi (Acts 16:19-40). Trick . The Greek for this word was
originally used of a lure for catching fish; it came to be used
of any sort of cunning used for profit. Our Hearts . Not simply
our emotions, but also our intellects and wills.
2. Teach Out of Love (1Thess. 2:5-8)
1Thess. 2:5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on
a mask to cover up greed —God is our witness. 2:6 We were
not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.
As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, 2:7
but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her
little children. 2:8 We loved you so much that we were
delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our
lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
Mask . Personal profit was never Paul’s aim. Burden . Apostles
were entitled to be supported by the church (1 Cor. 9:3-14;
2 Cor. 11:7-11). Paul did not always take advantage of the
right, but insisted that he had it.
3. Live What You Teach (1Thess. 2:9-12)
1Thess. 2:9 Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and
hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a
burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to
you. 2:10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy,
righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
2:11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a
father deals with his own children, 2:12 encouraging,
comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who
calls you into his kingdom and glory.
Toil and Hardship . Greeks despised manual labor and
viewed it as fit only for slaves, but Paul was not ashamed
of doing any sort of work that would help further the gospel.
He did not want to be unduly dependent on others. Live Live
worthy of God .(Eph 4:1). Calls . (1 Thess.1:4). Kingdom . The
chief subject of Jesus’ teaching. Paul did not use this term
often, but used it once to sum up the message of his preaching
4. Teach for Results (1Thess. 2:13-16)
1Ths. 2:13 And we also thank God continually because, when
you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you
accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the
word of God, which is at work in you who believe. 2:14 For
you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea,
which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own
countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the
Jews, 2:15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also
drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men2:16
in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that
they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to
the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.
Not as the word of men . Not tailored to fit the popular
knowledge of the day. You suffered from your own countymen. At
the time of Paul’s initial visit to Thessalonica, persecution
instigated by the Jews apparently was carried out by Gentiles
(Acts 17:5-9). Jews . Although Paul had great love and deep
concern for the salvation of those of his own race ( Romans 9:1-3;
10:1), he did not fail to rebuke harshly Jews who persecuted the
church. Prophets . Throughout OT history, Israelites had persecuted
their prophets (Acts 7:52). Wrath of God has come. The
eschatological wrath, the final outpouring of God’s anger upon
sinful mankind (1 Thess.1:10). It is spoken of as already present,
either because it had been partially experienced by the Jews or
because of its absolute certainty.
The meaning of the verb translated "nurtures" had to do
originally and literally with keeping someone warm during cold
weather. It conveys the concept of one human cherishing or
tenderly caring for another, something readily observable in the
way a parent looks after an infant child. On the other hand, the
verb itself is rare in the New Testament, found only here and in
Paul appealed to family imagery to describe the way he had
nurtured the Thessalonians. He used both a feminine picture ("as
a nursing mother nurtures her own children;’ 1 Thess. 2:7) and a
masculine image ("like a father with his own children;’ 1 Thess 2:11)
to describe his relationship with these new believers. With God’s
help, he provided everything necessary for them to thrive. This
verb pictures the way more mature believers are to tenderly care
for other believers, who then can flourish in the warmth and
comfort that being part of God’s family offers.