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 1 of 31 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF FIRST THESSALONIANS

MESSAGE ONE

INTRODUCTION TO A HOLY LIFE FOR THE CHURCH LIFE

Scripture Reading: 1 Thes. 1:1-3

The two Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians may be considered the earliest of Paul’s writings. Thessalonica was a city of the Roman Empire in the province of Macedonia, north of the province of Achaia. After the Macedonian call, which Paul received on his second journey of ministry, he and his co-worker Silvanus visited first Philippi and then Thessalonica (Acts 16:9-12; 17:1-4). The apostle stayed and worked there for only a short time, probably less than one month (Acts 17:2).

WRITTEN TO NEW BELIEVERS

The two Epistles to the Thessalonians were written in the early days, while Paul was still on his second journey of ministry. In the course of this journey, Paul stayed in Thessalonica for less than a month. According to Acts, Paul worked there for three Sabbaths, for about three weeks, not long after his visit to Philippi. The Epistle to the Philippians, a wonderful book, was written much later, during Paul’s imprisonment.

No doubt, when Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, the church in Thessalonica was still very young. I doubt that the believers there had been in the church life for even a full year when these two Epistles were written. Thus, in 1 and 2 Thessalonians we see certain points that are not covered in Paul’s other Epistles. Because the church in Thessalonica was so young, Paul’s Epistles to the Thessalonians are more or less to those in a childhood stage. Some of what Paul says to the Thessalonians is different from what he says to other churches that were more experienced. It is worthwhile for us to study 1 and 2 Thessalonians in order to know the situation and condition of a young church. By reading these two books we can know the young Christian life and the young church life. If we keep in mind this aspect of the background, we shall be helped in our reading of these Epistles.

The books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians were not written to experienced Christians. They were written to young believers, to those who had been saved for less than a year. Most of them had been typical Gentiles. Therefore, in writing to them, Paul surely viewed them as young believers. These Epistles are very precious, for they render us particular help concerning the young Christian life and church life.


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