One of Paul’s earliest letters, 1 Thessalonians writes to an early Christian church in the midst of persecution for following Jesus. The Thessalonians were dear to Paul’s heart because of how they received the message of the gospel and how they were faithful to live as Christ followers in the face of opposition.
In Thessalonica as in much of the rest of the Greco-Roman world, citizens were required to swear allegiance to the kingdom of Caesar, but for this small group of Christians, their allegiance could only be to Christ. This brought tremendous harm to themselves and their families, but it was their unwavering faith and commitment to Christ that led them to become one of the fastest growing and most effective churches in the early church period.
True both then and today, to follow Christ means living life in a way that is drastically different from the world around us. Being people of this new kingdom meant living holy lives, loving friends and enemies as ourselves, and fixing our eyes on the hope of eternity; This is life as a follower of King Jesus. Living in a culture that vies for kingship over our lives, this letter is an encouragement to all Christians, for all time, to live and operate as followers of the one true King, Jesus, who modeled counter cultural holiness, love and hope for eternity.
Apr. 28 – 1 Thessalonians 1-5 (5×5)
May 5 – 1 Thessalonians 2
May 12 – 1 Thessalonians 3
May 19 – 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
June 9 – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
June 16 – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28