1 Thessalonians 1** This epistle is generally considered to have been the firstof those written by St. Paul. The occasion seems to have beenthe good report of the stedfastness of the church atThessalonica in the faith of the gospel. It is full of affectionand confidence, and more consolatory and practical, and lessdoctrinal, than some of the other epistles. * The faith, love, and patience of the Thessalonians, areevident tokens of their election which was manifested in thepower with which the gospel came to them. (1-5) Its powerful andexemplary effects upon their hearts and lives. (6-10)1-5 As all good comes from God, so no good can be hoped for bysinners, but from God in Christ. And the best good may beexpected from God, as our Father, for the sake of Christ. Weshould pray, not only for ourselves, but for others also;remembering them without ceasing. Wherever there is a truefaith, it will work; it will affect both the heart and life.Faith works by love; it shows itself in love to God, and love toour neighbour. And wherever there is a well-grounded hope ofeternal life, this will appear by the exercise of patience; andit is a sign of sincerity, when in all we do, we seek to approveourselves to God. By this we may know our election, if we notonly speak of the things of God with out lips, but feel theirpower in our hearts, mortifying our lusts, weaning us from theworld, and raising us up to heavenly things. Unless the Spiritof God comes with the word of God, it will be to us a deadletter. Thus they entertained it by the power of the Holy Ghost.They were fully convinced of the truth of it, so as not to beshaken in mind by objections and doubts; and they were willingto leave all for Christ, and to venture their souls andeverlasting condition upon the truth of the gospel revelation. 6-10 When careless, ignorant, and immoral persons are turnedfrom their carnal pursuits and connexions, to believe in andobey the Lord Jesus, to live soberly, righteously, and godly,the matter speaks for itself. The believers under the OldTestament waited for the coming of the Messiah, and believersnow wait for his second coming. He is yet to come. And God hadraised him from the dead, which is a full assurance unto all menthat he will come to judgment. He came to purchase salvation,and will, when he comes again, bring salvation with him, fulland final deliverance from that wrath which is yet to come. Letall, without delay, flee from the wrath to come, and seek refugein Christ and his salvation.
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