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I THESSALONIANS (5)
The Effects of the Gospel (2)
I Thessalonians 1:5-10
Victor M. Eskew
A. Paul, along with Silas and Timothy, took the gospel into the city of Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-10).
B. They were met with opposition from the Jews, but they were successful.
1. The church was established (I Thess. 1:1).
2. The lives of many in the city were radically changed.
C. In I Thessalonians 1:5-10, we read about the effects of the gospel upon those in Thessalonica.
1. Note: The word came to them (I Thess. 1:5).
2. Note: They received the word (I Thess. 1:6).
D. Last week, we looked at two things they had become.
1. The people of God (v. 6).
2. A pattern for others (v. 7).
E. Tonight, we will see three more effects the gospel had in the lives of the converts in Thessalonica.
I. PROCLAIMERS OF THE TRUTH (I Thess. 1:8)
For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not speak any thing.
A. The Sound
For from you sounded out the word of the Lord…
1. The meaning
a. The Greek word “sounded out” means “to echo forth, resound.
b. Its root word is echeo from which we get the word “echo” and it means “to make a loud sound.”
c. The Thessalonians were not quiet. They were loud and boisterous. They were probably pretty excited.
2. The message
a. Their message was “the word of the Lord.
b. We are reminded of Acts 8:4.
Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
c. Jesus wanted His word proclaimed (Mark 16:15). It is God’s power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16-17). It was what the Thessalonians had received that changed their lives.
B. The Spread
1. Greece: “…not only in Macedonia and Achaia…”
a. Last week we learned that Macedonian and Achaia were the two provinces of Greece when the Roman Empire dominated the world.
b. The church had a tremendous impact upon their region of the world.
2. Globally: “…but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad.”
a. Last week we asked: “How did they do this?”
b. We know the answer: “They sounded out the word of the Lord.”
1) How shall they hear without a preacher? (Rom. 10:14).
2) …it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe (I Cor. 1:21).
C. The Silence: “…so that we need not speak any thing.”
II. THEY BECAME PENITENT CONVERTS (I Thess. 1:9)
For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.
A. The Success: “For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we have unto you…”
1. Paul and his associates took the gospel into a very hostile environment.
a. The Jews had a synagogue there.
b. The city was filled with Gentiles who were idols worshipers.
2. Their labors were successful. So much so, that others would tell them “what manner of entering in” they had among the Thessalonians.
a. Paul did not have to boast of his work in that city of Macedonia.
b. Others heard about the effects of the gospel and would tell him what they had heard.
B. The Story: “…and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.”
1. They reported how the Thessalonians had turned to God from idols.
2. Two points:
a. Here, we see an example of true repentance.
1) The text says the Thessalonians “turned” to God from idols. They were going one way, made a U-turn, and went the opposite way.
2) Two other words also define repentance: change and death.
a) They changed their behavior.
b) They died to their old, sinful way of living.
3) This type of change is essential for all to be right with God.
a) Luke 13:3
I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
b) Acts 17:30
At the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.
b. This was not a simple act for the Thessalonians.
1) Reasons is was difficult:
a) Idols were tangible. They could be seen and held.
b) Idols worship had been a part of their culture for years.
c) Their families were engrossed with idolatry.
d) Their jobs were often tied to idolatry, esp. the trade jobs.
2) Their mindsets had to be radically altered. When they were, they would embrace the true God instead of a false god and a living God instead of dead gods made of wood, metal and stone.
a) It is not enough to be a sincere worshipper of something.
b) False religions are wrong and must be sacrificed for one to become a Christian.
III. PATIENT WAITERS FOR JESUS CHRIST (I Thess. 1:10)
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
A. The Second Coming
1. The Thessalonians had been told about Jesus’ return.
2. They were “waiting” for “his Son from heaven.”
3. The time of Jesus’ coming is unknown.
a. Matthew 25:13
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
b. We wait with patience.
1) We do not doubt the promise.
2) We make certain that when He comes we are ready.
B. The Son
1. His relationship to the Father: His Son, the “only begotten” Son (Luke 1:31-32, 35)
2. His residence: heaven (Acts 1:10-11)
3. His resurrection: whom he raise from the dead (Rom. 1:4)
4. His redemption: Jesus means “one who saves” (Matt. 1:21)
5. His rescue: delivered us from the wrath to come (II Thess. 1:7-9)
A. We have seen the powerful effects of the gospel upon the lives of the Thessalonians.
1. People of God
2. Pattern for others
3. Proclaimers of truth
4. Penitent converts
5. Patient waiters for Jesus
B. As we wait for the return of Christ, there are three actions that we must continue to practice. They are found in verses 9 and 10: turn, serve, and wait.