1. Paul begins his defense of himself from the accusations of the Jews and pagans in v. 1 with the statement, for you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain. We previously examined the words for know, oida (#1492) and ginōskō (#1096). Here in v. 1 Paul uses the term oida. What does his use of this word for know teach us about what the Thessalonians knew?
2. In v. 1 Paul states that our coming to you was not in vain.
a. What does the term in vain (Gr. kenos—#2756) mean?
b. What does its use in v. 1 teach us about what Paul is saying?
3. The second point Paul makes in his defense of himself is found in v. 2 . . . but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition.
a. To understand the context of Paul’s statement, read Acts 16:11-40. What does this passage reveal about Paul’s treatment in Philippi?
b. Paul speaks of his suffering and mistreatment (Gr. hubrizō—#5195) in Philippi. We see his physical suffering described in Acts 16. What does the term mistreated teach us about what he also endured there?
4. At the end of v. 2 Paul states that we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition.
a. What does this phrase teach us about the source of our strength and boldness in the face of opposition?
b. The term opposition (Gr. agōn—#73) was a significant word in the Greek culture. What does it mean and what was its cultural significance?
5. Then, having first called on the Thessalonians to remember the events surrounding their first arrival in Thessalonica, in v. 3-4 Paul defends the motives of them, as messengers. In v. 3 Paul begins by denying three motives for which they were accused. Define what each of these errors was.
a. error (Gr. planē—#4106)--
b. impurity (Gr. akatharsia—#153)--
c. deceit (Gr. dolos—#1388)--
d. What is the common theme of these three accusations against Paul?
6. In v. 4 Paul then proceeds to give the one, single motive for his ministry. To help us understand this significant verse, there is one Greek word that is used twice in this verse, but translated in different ways. The terms approved and examine are both translated from the Greek word dokimazō (#1381). This term has a significant meaning. What does it mean?
7. When Paul says that we have been approved by God, the term approved is used in the perfect tense and passive voice. In the second statement Paul states that it is God who examines our hearts. In this statement the term examines is in the present tense and active voice. What does the grammatical construction of these two uses of dokimazō teach us about what Paul is saying here?
8. What does Paul say is his motive for preaching the gospel message in v. 4?
9. What does v. 4 teach us about who is qualified to serve God? Do we choose to serve God or does God choose us to serve? Explain.