Sermon & Small Group Resources
This is the first sermon in our series looking at 1 Thessalonians. Preacher: The Rev’d Adam Lowe. Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Next Steps this Week
BIBLE READING: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Paul, Silas and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.
We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
Have you ever had a moment when you wondered if you were really a Christian? How can you know?
Why did Paul want the Thessalonians to recall their conversion story? What is your story? (It could be a precise moment or it could have been over a period of time.)
Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-7
What was the city of Thessalonica like? How are there similarities to modern day Australia?
What was the effect of the preaching of the Gospel in Thessalonica (cf. Acts 17)?
How is it evident that as quickly as people were gripped by the Gospel that others were also threatened by it? What do you think was behind such opposition? Is this every true today?
What were the two types of concerns that Paul had for Christian community in Thessalonica?
What does it mean that God has chosen them? How can we know if God has chosen us?
How is an understanding of God’s election actually of great assurance to us?
How was it abundantly evident that the Thessalonians had received the Gospel?
In what way does the Gospel come from outside of us? Why is that important to understand?
What was the context in which the Thessalonians had received the Gospel? How can they maintain joy amidst affliction?
In what ways had the Thessalonians embodied the Gospel? How do you see that as true in Christians that you know? In what situations, or in what ways, do you find it difficult to imitate Christ?
What does Paul mean by the Thessalonians imitating him (and the other missionaries)? Should we want our brothers and sisters in Christ to imitate us? Why or why not?
Read 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10
What does Paul mean by the word ‘sounding’ out from them? How have you witnessed the Gospel sounding out from our church or from Christians that you know?
What is the evidence that the Thessalonians had proclaimed the Gospel?
What was the extent and content of what the Thessalonians had proclaimed?
What are some specific opportunities this week for you to embody and proclaim the Gospel?
APPLY (this week): How can you embody and proclaim the Gospel more this week?
Heavenly Father, we thank you that we find our true identity and salvation through your great gift of your Son. Please help us, in the power of your Spirit, to receive, embody, and proclaim the Good News each and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Helpful Books and Articles
A great video to watch with your children and grandchildren.