1 Thessalonians summary & testimony time - November 26, 2023

NewLife Christian Fellowship's Podcast

27-11-2023 • 38 mins

Finishing up 1 Thessalonians this morning. 1 Thessalonians was a letter written by a leader in the early church named Paul to a church in Thessalonica that he had been instrumental in starting around the year 49 AD. Paul and his fellow missionaries had been driven out of Thessalonica by a mob of angry Jews who found his message about Jesus being Lord to be blasphemous. And 2-3 years later, Paul has not been able to return to Thessalonica, so he sends Timothy, one of his fellow missionaries, who brings back a report about how the Thessalonians are doing and what issues they are facing. In response to Timothy’s report, Paul sends this letter. Let’s begin by reading the final section:

1 Thessalonians 5:23-28 - May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Before I dive into this passage, let me give a big picture about what I have tried to do the past couple of months. I have tried to help you understand what this letter meant in its original context and what it means for us today. There are right and wrong ways to read the Bible. The right way is to read it in context. Specifically, to read it in four contexts:

  • The grammatical, literary, and historical context – this is why I give the history, say it’s a letter, and read the whole letter. We don’t pick passages out of the air like a fortune cookie. We pay attention to genre, and we seek to understand the historical context.
  • The context of the Biblical metanarrative – creation, fall, redemption, new creation. This is why we reference so many other passages. Every passage fits within a larger story
  • The context of Christian community – resources, church tradition, community of faith. This is why I cite commentaries and other books and encourage discussion. If I’m coming up with an interpretation that no one else in history has come up with, I should question my reading.
  • The context of a life of Spirit-led, obedient discipleship – we’re not just reading for intellectual knowledge, or worse, to argue against it.

The Bible is God’s Word delivered through human words. Its purpose is to call people to repentance and faith in Jesus and then to align their lives with God’s purpose, living lives of faith, love, and holiness.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-28 - May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.


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