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Bible Commentaries

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

1 Thessalonians 1

Verse 1

1. To the Church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ” How plain, explicit, and unmistakable is the New Testament! And what a contrast with the Churchism of the present day, in which we find dancers, card-players, theatergoers, horserace-goers, circus-goers, extortioners, swindlers, whisky-drinkers, and other sins too dark to mention! Common sense teaches the most stupid Bible-reader that none of these characters can possibly be members of God’s Church, the Ecclesia, who, responsive to the call of the Holy Ghost, have come out of the world, and separated themselves unto God. Here we see that all the members of the Thessalonian Church are “in God the Father and Jesus Christ.” Nothing but the genuine regeneration of the Holy Ghost can put the soul “in God the Father and Jesus Christ.” Yet we have preachers who stultify themselves by the assumption that these Thessalonians were not converted (in order to get rid of the second work of grace). O that they could only salute their own Churches “in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!”

Verses 2-10

ARGUMENT 1

THESSALONIAN CONVERSION

2,3. Incessantly remembering your work of faith and labor of love. ” All who have faith and love are Christians, these two fundamental graces constituting the beautiful globe of the new creation, Faith the human, and Love the Divine hemisphere. Soul-saving work is the legitimate and normal fruit of a genuine faith; so is love demonstrated by evangelistic labor These people proved their faith and love by their works.

4. Knowing, brethren, beloved of God, your election. ” We are repeatedly informed in the Scripture that our election is through “sanctification of the Spirit.” In conversion we become candidates for heaven; in sanctification, we are elected. Though these people had not all been sanctified, God seeing it in the future recognizes it.

5. Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but even in dynamite and in the Holy Ghost and in much full assurance. ” You see from these inspired statements that their conversion was no modern bogus, but was like a sunburst from the throne of God. It is utterly impossible for a candid mind to call in question the genuineness of their spiritual birth.

6. Receiving the Word in much tribulation with joy of the Holy Ghost. ” No sinner has the joy of the Holy Ghost, but he has the sorrow and condemnation of conviction till he passes from death to life.

7. So that you are an example to all those who believe in Macedonia and Achaia. ” Here we see Paul holds them up as paragon saints for the exemplification of all others.

8. For from you the Word of the Lord has roared out, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith, which is toward God, has gone forth. ” Here we see that they were not only themselves saved, but efficient and enthusiastic missionaries, scouring all the surrounding country, and preaching with stentorian voices. Good Lord, give us everywhere the Thessalonian type of conversion!

8. The Thessalonian saints are bold missionaries, proclaiming the gospel in Macedonia and Achaia with stentorian voices. They were none of your dumb professors.

9. …We find Paul, on his first visit to Thessalonica, rendered the second coming of Christ exceedingly prominent. The Christhood, in which his first coming to suffer and die, and his second coming to conquer and to reign, are the great salient points, constituted the burden of apostolic preaching. So it is today. When we cease to preach Christ, we would better travel. “ To await his Son from the heavens, whom he raised from the dead, delivering us from the wrath to come. ” Christ is our great Deliverer, over all and in all.

1,2. Despite their cruel treatment in Philippi, and the hot and bloody pursuit of their enemies to Thessalonica, they were bold as lions, exposing the futility of the heathen gods, and the impertinency of the defunct Judaism; they fearlessly hold Jesus Christ as the only Savior of a lost world, the Holy Ghost attesting the truth of their testimony.

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Bibliographical Information
Godbey, William. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 1". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ges/1-thessalonians-1.html.