Click here to get started today!
- 1 Thessalonians
by E.W. Bullinger
THE STRUCTURE OF THE EPISTLE AS A WHOLE.
1 Thessalonians 1:1. EPISTOLARY. INTRODUCTION.
1 Thessalonians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 1:10. THANKSGIVING. NARRATION. APPEAL.
1 Thessalonians 4:1 - 1 Thessalonians 5:22. EXHORTATION. "concerning them which are falling asleep " (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).*
. EPISTOLARY. CONCLUSION.
> INTRODUCTORY NOTES.
1. The Church of the Thessalonians was planted by Paul, in association with Silas and Timothy (Acts 17:1, Acts 17:9). Although some of the Jews believed, it was composed mainly of Gentiles, and their joyful reception of the message as the word of God was the prelude to active missionary operations in all Achaia and Macedonia (1 Thessalonians 1:8), a territory about as large as Great Britain. In this respect especially they were a model church. From them sounded forth "the word of the Lord", and they became examples to believers, showing the power of that word in their lives. The apostle writes in a joyful spirit, for he had just received from Timothy glad tidings of their faith and love (1 Thessalonians 3:6).
2. A large part of the Epistle is occupied with the doctrine of the Lord""s coming, that coming which He Himself announced, Matthew 24:36; Matthew 25:31; Matthew 26:64; et al ., the same coming of which He spoke in Acts 1:7, "it is not for you to know the times and the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power". The similarity of Paul""s language, concerning "the times and the seasons" (1 Thessalonians 5:1), bears instruction for us. Indeed throughout the Epistle the nearness of that coming is emphasizes (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12, 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13 1 Thessalonians 4:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:1 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:23). But, as has been well observed, that which draws near may withdraw also, and such we know to be the case, for owing to His people""s rejection of the King and kingdom, the latter is in abeyance till the "times of the Gentiles" are ended. 1 and 2 Thessalonians are unique in many respects; e.g. chronologically , as well as canonically (see Appdx-180, 192); the use of special terms in relation to the coming ( parousia and epiphaneia ) of our Lord; for these see Notes. And they are the only Epistles addressed to a church specifically.
3. This Epistle is the earliest of the writings of Paul, having been sent out from Corinth about the end of 52 or the beginning of 53 A.D. Some hold that, of all the books of the New Testament, it was the first written.
4. Thessalonica, now Salonica, on the bay of the same name, has always been one of the busiest ports of the Aegean. It was the chief city of a division of Macedonia, and is said to have had a population of 200,000 at the beginning of our era. Much smaller now, the city has always had a large proportion of Jews among its inhabitants.
1 Thessalonians 1:2 - 1 Thessalonians 3:10. THANKSGIVING. NARRATION. APPEAL.
, . Thanksgiving.
1 Thessalonians 1:5. Reason. The Gospel received not in word but power.
. Its effect.
1 Thessalonians 1:10. Believers wait for God""s Son.
1 Thessalonians 1:10. Deliverance from the wrath to come.
. Paul and the brethren. Their teaching while present.
1 Thessalonians 2:13. Thanksgiving.
1 Thessalonians 2:13. Reason. The Gospel received as the word of God.
1 Thessalonians 2:14. Its effect.
-. Unbelieving Jews killed God""s Son.
1 Thessalonians 2:16. Delivered to the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 2:17 - 1 Thessalonians 3:10. Paul and the brethren. Their feelings while absent.
. PAUL AND THE BRETHREN. THEIR TEACHING WHILE PRESENT.
. The Gospel of God imparted.
1 Thessalonians 2:3. Their exhortation; not of deceit.
1 Thessalonians 2:4 -. Their preaching.
-, . God their witness.
1 Thessalonians 2:7. Comparison; as a nursing mother.
1 Thessalonians 2:8. The Gospel of God imparted.
1 Thessalonians 2:9 -. Their labor; not to be chargeable.
-, 1 Thessalonians 2:9. Their preaching.
1 Thessalonians 2:10. God their witness.
. Comparison; as a father.
1 Thessalonians 2:17 - 1 Thessalonians 3:10. PAUL AND THE BRETHREN. THEIR FEELINGS WHILE ABSENT.
, . Their departure.
. Joy in the Thessalonians.
1 Thessalonians 3:1. Their solicitude.
. Mission of Timothy.
1 Thessalonians 3:5 -. Their solicitude.
1 Thessalonians 3:5. Mission of Timothy.
1 Thessalonians 3:6. Timothy""s return.
. Joy in the Thessalonians.
1 Thessalonians 4:1 - 1 Thessalonians 5:22. EXHORTATION AND INSTRUCTION.
, . Exhortation.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Instruction.
1 Thessalonians 4:1. Walk, as before God.
1 Thessalonians 4:2. Commandments.
. God""s will:sanctification (positive and negative).
1 Thessalonians 4:6. Brethren:not to be defrauded (negative).
. God""s call:sanctification (negative and positive).
. Brethren:to be loved (positive).
1 Thessalonians 4:11. Commandments.
1 Thessalonians 4:12. Walk, as regards men.
; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. INSTRUCTIONS.
1 Thessalonians 4:13. Instructions as to those who are asleep.
1 Thessalonians 4:14. First reason. For ( gar ) God will bring them from the dead.
1 Thessalonians 4:15. Second reason. For ( gar ) those who are alive shall not stand in the way of them.
. Third reason. Because ( hoti ) both shall be caught up together ( hama ).
1 Thessalonians 4:18. Wherefore comfort one another.
1 Thessalonians 5:1. Instructions not necessary as to times and seasons.
. First reason. Because ( gar ) they knew already the character of the day of the Lord.
. Second reason. Because ( gar ) they that sleep sleep in the night.
. Third reason. Because ( hoti ) we are appointed to live together ( hama ) with Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:11. Wherefore comfort one another.
the Sixth Week after Easter