Having first given thanks to God for their demonstrated Christian virtues, their election unto salvation and their desire to be imitators of Paul, Silas and Timothy, we come to the final reason for Paul’s thanks to God . . . their testimony of salvation through their witness to the world.
1. Having expressed his joy at their having become imitators of us and of the Lord in v. 6, in v. 7 Paul states the result of their faith . . . so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.
a. In the previous lesson we examined Paul’s statement that you became imitators of us. We saw that the verb you became (Gr. ginomai—#1096) was used in the passive voice, indicating action accomplished upon the Thessalonians by God. Here in v. 7 the verb you became is the same Greek word. But here in v. 7 you became is in the middle voice. What does the use of the middle voice teach us about what was occurring in the Thessalonians?
b. The term example (Gr. tupos—#5179) is a very descriptive word to describe what was happening to the Thessalonians. Define the word and explain its significance as Paul uses it here in v. 7. In other words, what were they examples of?
2. Macedonia was the northern half of ancient Greece and Achaia was the southern half. What is the significance of Paul’s statement that the Thessalonians became an example to all the believers in Macedonian and in Achaia?
3. In v. 8 Paul gives the evidence for his statement of praise in v. 7 . . . For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.
a. What does the phrase the word of the Lord refer to?
b. The verb sounded forth (Gr. exēcheomai—#1837) is in the perfect tense and passive voice. What does this term mean and what is the significance of its grammatical use here?
4. In v. 8 Paul cites the fact that word of the faith and testimony of the Thessalonians has gone beyond Greece, but also in every place . . . What was it that caused the testimony of the Thessalonian church to reach even beyond Greece?
5. What does Paul mean in the final phrase of v. 8, so that we have no need to say anything?
6. In v. 9 Paul uses the plural pronoun, they, in referring to those who had brought him reports of the Thessalonians. Two subjects are reported back to Paul concerning the Thessalonians: the reception Paul and his companions received while in Thessalonica and the change that had occurred in them as a result.
a. The first subject of the reports that had reached Paul were about us what kind of a reception we had with you. What does the term reception (Gr. eisodos—#1529) mean?
b. What does this mean? What subject is Paul addressing when he refers to the kind of reception the missionaries had with the Thessalonians?
c. The second subject of the reports concerning the Thessalonians that had reached Paul was how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God. What is the importance of this statement?
7. In v. 10 we see the significant doctrines that Paul will further address in his two letters to the Thessalonians . . . and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come? What doctrines does Paul touch on here in v. 10?
8. Having reached the end of chapter one, in which Paul expresses his thanks to God for what He has done in the Thessalonian church, summarize Paul’s message here in the first chapter.