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1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NET)

And so we too constantly thank God that when you received God’s message that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human message, but as it truly is, God’s message, which is at work among you who believe.

——

Context: In the previous passage, Paul reminded the Thessalonians how he worked to provide for himself to not burden them, how he lived holy, righteously, and blamelessly among them, and how he treated them as a father treats his own children. Now Paul tells them why he thanks God regarding them.

Phrases:

And so we too constantly thank God –

  • This is the second time Paul mentions his thankfulness to God for the believing Thessalonians.
  • The first time Paul was thankful for their work of faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (chapter 1 v 2-3)
  • Now he mentions he is constantly thankful for them because of the below reason.

Discussion Questions:

  • Can you share a few examples of people who you are thankful that God is working in their lives?
  • What are some practical ways that we can be reminded to ‘constantly’ be thankful?

that when you received God’s message that you heard from us you accepted it not as a human message, but as it truly is, God’s message-

  • Miraculously, some of the Thessalonians, previously idol worshippers, accepted Paul’s words as the words of God.

A) God

  • Strong’s Definitions: θεός theós,theh’-os; of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially the supreme Divinity.

B) message

  • Strong’s Definitions: λόγος lógos,log’-os; something said.

Below are other passages where a similar miracle happened.

  • The historical account of Paul at Thessalonica.
    Acts 17 
    After they traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
    Paul went to the Jews in the synagogue, as he customarily did, and on three Sabbath days he addressed them from the scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead, saying, “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large group of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.
  • 3000 accepted Peter’s words.
    Acts 2:41 (NET) 41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added.
  • Cornelius believes Peter’s words are from God.
    Acts 10:33 (NET) 33 Therefore I sent for you at once, and you were kind enough to come. So now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to say to us.”
  • Gentiles in Perga in Pamphylia believed Paul’s words as the word of the Lord.
    Acts 13:45,48 (NET) 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, and they began to contradict what Paul was saying by reviling him. 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began to rejoice and praise the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed for eternal life believed.
  • Peter says Paul’s words are scripture.
    2 Peter 3:15-16 (NET) 15 And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as also our dear brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, 16 speaking of these things in all his letters. Some things in these letters are hard to understand, things the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures.
  • A Christian believes Scripture is God’s words though they were written by men.
    2 Peter 1:21 (NET) 21 for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Discussion Questions:

  • Explain when you believed the Bible was God’s Word?
  • Explain what made you believe it was true?
  • Can you name ‘professing christians’ who do not believe parts of the Bible?

which is at work among you who believe-

A) Work

  • Strong’s Definitions: ἐνεργέω; energéō, en-erg-eh’-o; to be active, efficient.
    The English derivative is the word energy.
  • Notice the present tense of the phrase. It does not say the word of God worked, but it says the word of God is at work in the Thessalonian believers.
  • In a true believer, God’s word not only worked in their conversion years ago but continues to work in the life of the believer day by day.

Discussion Question:

  • In what area(s) has God’s words recently worked in your life?
  • What do you think happened to others who seem no longer effected or interested in God’s words?
  • We only see what is going on from the outside with others who seem backslidden, can you give an example of someone who seemed like God’s word had no effect, but later came back to the Lord and professed God was working in them the whole time?

Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.


Do you Believe the Bible is God’s Word?

Bob,

Be thankful for the miracle of believing the Bible is My Word.  Praise Me for what I am doing through My Word in the lives of those in your church. Glorify Me for sustaining the trust in My written words within your family members and friends. Don’t take for granted the miracle of others believing the Bible as My words in your culture which is declining rapidly.

Continue to trust all of My Words. Don’t throw out Paul’s teachings as some do. Don’t redact the miracles of My Son in the Gospels like Jefferson’s Bible. Don’t reject James because you think it contradicts Paul. Believe all My Words.  Work in studying them, and don’t cut them out because you can’t figure them out.

My work in you was not a one time event years in the past, but My words continue to work in you to mature you day by day. Pray for those who profess Me, but seem to deny Me with their behavior. Pray for their regeneration – possibly they have not a living faith. Pray for their repentance – possibly they are born again but are babes in Christ.


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