Book information

Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessaloniansby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-87083-154-2
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 2 of 31 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF FIRST THESSALONIANS

MESSAGE TWO

CHARACTERISTICS OF A HOLY LIFE FOR THE CHURCH LIFE

Scripture Reading: 1 Thes. 1:4-10

The more we read the book of 1 Thessalonians, the more we realize that it truly was written to young believers. In this Epistle Paul is speaking to new believers.

SELECTED BY GOD

In 1:4 he says, “Knowing, brothers beloved by God, your selection.” Selection refers to God’s choosing before the foundation of the world for His eternal purpose (Eph. 1:4). The apostles knew that the brothers beloved by God were chosen in such a manner by God for the fulfillment of His heart’s desire. The apostles knew that the Thessalonians were included among God’s selected people, His chosen ones. Their selection had been made manifest to such an extent that the apostles had the assurance that the Thessalonian believers had been selected by God.

The fact that the Thessalonians had been selected by God was manifested by their reaction to the gospel. How do we know that we have been selected? We know this by the way we respond to the gospel. If a person rejects the gospel, that is a sign that he has not been selected by God. But if he accepts the gospel willingly in a positive way, that acceptance is a sign, an indicator, that he surely has been selected by God.

God selected us in eternity, before the foundation of the world. But in time He comes to us in the preaching of the gospel. Now it is a matter of our reaction. If our reaction is positive, that is a positive sign, a sign that we have been selected. But if our reaction is negative, that is a negative sign, a sign that we have not been selected. The apostles knew that the Thessalonians had been selected by God because of their ready and willing acceptance of the gospel in a very positive way.

No doubt, Paul’s word in 1:4 concerning selection is directed to young believers. New Christians need to be helped to know that they have been selected by God. The foundation of our salvation was not laid in this age; rather, it was laid in eternity past. Based upon His selection, God saves us. Furthermore, with God’s selection as the foundation, the Spirit moves us to believe in Christ. The move of the Spirit in this way is based upon the foundation of selection laid in eternity. We should try to help new believers realize God’s selection as the eternal foundation of their salvation. We all need to see that in eternity past we were selected by God and that our being in the church today is a sign of this eternal selection. Therefore, in 1:4 Paul could say, “Knowing, brothers beloved by God, your selection.”


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