Paul encourages the Thessalonians by praising their response to the Holy Spirit, willingness to follow Godly leaders, being good examples of their conversion by their own witness, and their waiting on the Lord’s return.
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.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 to speak any thing.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;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.
Remember these were new believers. They had no Christian fellowship. They were in the middle of a hostile, wicked, Roman Empire. The Jews did not want any believers in Christ. Yet they were steadfast and joyful. They lived their Christianity and people noticed.
Thessalonica was a trade route. As they told others of their new life in Christ, the merchants were taking the Good News everywhere they went.
Hopefully this challenges us to do the same. Our lifestyles have a tremendous influence on others. People should want to know what’s different about us.
Next week 1 Thessalonians 2.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001