Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Apostle by Chapter: 1 Thessalonians Chapter 3

Submitted by Sam Nobles

The words “your faith” occur five times in chapter 3 (vv. 2, 5-7, 10) and are a key to understanding the passage.  Sever persecution was falling upon the Thessalonian believers, and Paul was apprehensive to know how their faith was holding up under the pressure. This chapter is a lesson on the “follow-up” aspect of Christian discipleship. Leading sinners to the Savior is one thing, but there must be ongoing discipleship to help new believers grow in the things of the Lord after they accept the free gift of salvation. The disciples in Thessalonica very much needed the ministry and leadership of the Apostle Paul, but he was not able to return to help; so, he did what he could.

First, Paul sent Timothy to minister to the believers in Thessalonica because he couldn’t do it himself (v.1-5). Timothy was a true minister; his heart was not to be served, but to serve. Timothy was also a team player. He realized that he was linked to the Apostle Paul and to the rest of the body of Christ, and did nothing for his own personal gain; rather he stuck to the game plan to establish the believers and encourage them in their faith so they would not fold under the weight of persecution (v.6-9).

Second, Paul prayed for the believers in Thessalonica. One of Paul’s greatest concerns for the Thessalonian believers was not their comfort, but the perfecting of their faith in Christ (v.10). I feel A. W. Tozer was correct when he said, “Before God can use a person greatly, He must allow that person to be hurt deeply.” God knows we can’t comfort others unless we’ve been comforted ourselves by Him. Paul also prayed for their love (v.12). Specifically, he wanted them to demonstrate love to one another, and then daringly set himself as the standard to be emulated. Finally, Paul prayed for their obedience to the Lord (v.13). God desired that the Thessalonians would have their hearts established, blameless in holiness. Holiness is to be set apart from the world and unto God for His purposes; therefore, our obedience to God will lead our hearts to be established in Him, which will lead to a personal holiness that is pleasing to God.

Scripture to Claim:

Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.  1Thessalonians 3:11-13

Believer’s Bible Commentary, Second Edition, accessed May 16, 2017,

Pursuit Of God, accessed May 16, 2017,

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