1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 “Salutation of Love and Encouragement”

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 – Bible Study & Exploration

Uplifting and Encouraging Salutation

(Verses 1-5) As was customary during the time of the writing of these letters, they would begin with the names of those the letter was coming from as opposed to who it was addressed to.

It is likely the most prominent thought in Paul’s mind as he began to etch out his letter were the trials, persecution and deception that these young believers were facing. Not being able to be there in person to encourage and guide them ripped at his heart.

He knew it was most fitting to begin his letter with words of encouragement, faith, hope, and love. Just as badly as Paul wanted to write these enduring words, so to were these new believers thirsty to hear them (Verse 2).

Being apart from his new church, Paul demonstrates the use of his most powerful weapon he has in his arsenal – prayer. Then he immediately reminds them of his witnessing of their salvation through faith which produces good works. This is to remind them of the all important doctrine that works is not a means of salvation but rather the fruitfulness of our faith, love and endurance in the trust and hope of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

How God’s Word Rang Out

(Verses 6-10) Paul reminds his brothers and sisters in Thessalonica that his original visit to their city was no ordinary event. It was part of God’s plan who chose them to hear the gospel with an open heart and mind (Verse 4).

As God stated in Isaiah 55:10-11, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Paul is reminding them of the power of God’s word spoken through Isaiah. Paul shared the word with them. They received the word into their hearts. Their eyes were opened to the truth. They felt the power of the Holy Spirit move them to become fruitful servants of Christ. That same truth went out and produced fruit among others outside their immediate community and city.

Thessalonica sat on a major trade route between Rome and Asia Minor. Paul knew that what he preached here would grow beyond this region and he words bare testimony to that truth. These words encouraged and strengthened these new believers. This is exactly what Paul intended.

He finally concludes this chapter by pointing them to the return of Christ who will save us from the wrath that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 3:10).

As Christians, we should use the words of Paul in this chapter to remind us to edify our brothers and sisters in Christ. We should support and encourage with love, kindness and patience, especially those we introduce to Christ. We should nurture their new found understanding just as Christ would want us to. Always remembering, that we also once were blind to the truth, but now we see.