1 Thessalonians 1

** This epistle is generally considered to have been the first

of those written by St. Paul. The occasion seems to have been

the good report of the stedfastness of the church at

Thessalonica in the faith of the gospel. It is full of affection

and confidence, and more consolatory and practical, and less

doctrinal, than some of the other epistles.

* The faith, love, and patience of the Thessalonians, are

evident tokens of their election which was manifested in the

power with which the gospel came to them. (1-5) Its powerful and

exemplary effects upon their hearts and lives. (6-10)

1-5 As all good comes from God, so no good can be hoped for by

sinners, but from God in Christ. And the best good may be

expected from God, as our Father, for the sake of Christ. We

should pray, not only for ourselves, but for others also;

remembering them without ceasing. Wherever there is a true

faith, it will work; it will affect both the heart and life.

Faith works by love; it shows itself in love to God, and love to

our neighbour. And wherever there is a well-grounded hope of

eternal life, this will appear by the exercise of patience; and

it is a sign of sincerity, when in all we do, we seek to approve

ourselves to God. By this we may know our election, if we not

only speak of the things of God with out lips, but feel their

power in our hearts, mortifying our lusts, weaning us from the

world, and raising us up to heavenly things. Unless the Spirit

of God comes with the word of God, it will be to us a dead

letter. Thus they entertained it by the power of the Holy Ghost.

They were fully convinced of the truth of it, so as not to be

shaken in mind by objections and doubts; and they were willing

to leave all for Christ, and to venture their souls and

everlasting condition upon the truth of the gospel revelation.
6-10 When careless, ignorant, and immoral persons are turned

from their carnal pursuits and connexions, to believe in and

obey the Lord Jesus, to live soberly, righteously, and godly,

the matter speaks for itself. The believers under the Old

Testament waited for the coming of the Messiah, and believers

now wait for his second coming. He is yet to come. And God had

raised him from the dead, which is a full assurance unto all men

that he will come to judgment. He came to purchase salvation,

and will, when he comes again, bring salvation with him, full

and final deliverance from that wrath which is yet to come. Let

all, without delay, flee from the wrath to come, and seek refuge

in Christ and his salvation.

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