Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
December 8, 2013
Dayton, Texas
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<001> Thesis: The messengers, the recipients, and the message in generalities all focus upon God's intention of imparting to us a life worth having through hope. Introduction: As we begin our studies of 1Thessalonians, we are going to look at the big picture. The BIG, big picture has to do with the reason Paul wrote the letter in terms of the Spirit's inspiration of the books of the Bible. Each book has a particular reason for being that fits into the larger picture of God's dealings with His creatures. Each book arose out of a specific context that called for the truths contained in the resultant book. In the case of Paul's letters to the Thessalonians (also sometimes referred to as the Thessalonicans because of transliteration issues -- Qessalonikevwn ), we have his own statements in 2:15-16 in light of 3:1-5. It is pretty clear that Paul wanted to make sure that "the church in Thessalonica" would stand firm and that he considered the possibility that such "firmness" would be undercut by the opposition and suffering. In this light, 1:3 takes on a special significance in that it highlights what Paul calls "the patience of hope". This is especially significant because of 1:10 and its focus upon "waiting for His Son from heaven". Thus, in the BIG, big picture, Paul's letters to this group of believers put a particular focus upon our primary hope. So, I have titled this series "Paul's Message of Motivating Hope". In the lesser "big" picture, it is significant that Paul follows up his trilogy of characterization in 1:2 with special references to the large thesis of 1:10 -- waiting for His Son from heaven. In 2:19, 3:13, 4:13-18, and 5:23 Paul regularly turned to the "third" of the trilogy. Thus, we will be looking for some time to come at the issues involved in being motivated to stand firm because of our hope of the coming of the Son from heaven for us.