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Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessaloniansby Witness Lee

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

Currently in: Chapter 6 of 31 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF FIRST THESSALONIANS

MESSAGE SIX

THE TRIUNE GOD EMBODIED IN THE WORD TO PRODUCE A HOLY LIFE FOR THE CHURCH LIFE

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Scripture Reading: 1 Thes. 1:1-10

In the foregoing message we saw that the Triune God is revealed in chapter one of 1 Thessalonians. In verses 1 and 3 Paul speaks of God the Father; in verse 10, of the Son; and in verses 5 and 6, of the Holy Spirit. According to 1:1, the church of the Thessalonians was in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. This indicates that the church is in the Triune God. In this message we shall go on to consider, also from 1 Thessalonians 1, how this Triune God is ministered to us.

THE WORD OF THE LORD AND FAITH TOWARD GOD

In verses 5 and 6 Paul says, “Because our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, even as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, having accepted the word in much affliction with joy of the Holy Spirit.” According to these verses, to preach the gospel is to preach the word. The gospel preached by the apostles was the word accepted by the Thessalonians. In verse 8 Paul goes on to say, “For from you the word of the Lord has sounded out, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith toward God has gone out, so that we have no need to speak anything.” First the Thessalonians accepted the word, and then they sounded it out.

In verse 8 the word of the Lord and faith toward God are synonymous. This verse says that from the Thessalonians the word of the Lord sounded out and that their faith toward God went out. Thus, the word that is sounded out is the faith that goes out.

What is faith? Hardly anyone can give a satisfactory definition. It is very difficult to say what faith is. However, by considering these verses carefully, we can have a proper understanding of faith.

First, faith is a matter of having the word preached to us. Next, faith includes our accepting of the word and our sounding it out. This kind of word is faith. The word of the gospel is preached, accepted, and declared. In this way the word becomes faith within us. In the speaking of the preacher, the word is the gospel. But when we accept the word, and especially when we sound out the word, it becomes faith within us.

Suppose a preacher of the gospel speaks to an unbeliever concerning man’s fall and God’s salvation. The one who preaches the gospel tells the unbeliever that in Christ God was incarnate, that He was crucified for our sins, that He was resurrected from among the dead, and that He has become the life-giving Spirit in order to dwell in us. When this unbeliever receives the word of the gospel and declares it, it becomes faith.


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