"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS" Chapter Three OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To see the very real danger of being tempted, and the need to stand fast in the Lord 2) To appreciate how our own steadfastness can be a source of joy and strength to those who taught us in the faith 3) To understand the need to increase and abound in love in order to establish our hearts blameless before God when Christ returns SUMMARY As Paul expresses his concern for their faithfulness, he explains why Timothy had been sent to them while he himself remained in Athens. Fearful that their afflictions might have given Satan an opportunity to tempt them and render his labors with them in vain, Timothy was sent to establish and encourage them in their faith (1-5). Timothy brought back good news to Paul concerning the church at Thessalonica, telling him of their faith and love, their fond memories of Paul, and their desire to see him again. This greatly comforted Paul who was suffering his own afflictions, and he is overwhelmed with thankfulness and joy. Praying night and day that he might see them again and perfect what is lacking in their faith, he offers a prayer that God and Jesus might direct his way to them. He also prays that the Lord will help them to increase and abound in love to one another and to all, and to establish their hearts blameless in holiness before God at the coming of Christ with all His saints (6-13). OUTLINE I. PAUL'S CONCERN FOR THEIR FAITHFULNESS (1-10) A. TIMOTHY'S MISSION (1-5) 1. When he could endure it no longer, Paul remained in Athens alone (1) 2. He sent Timothy... a. To establish and encourage them in the faith (2) b. That they not be shaken by their afflictions (3a) 1) To which they had been appointed (3b) 2) As Paul told them before (4) c. To know of their faith... 1) Whether they had been tempted (5a) 2) Whether his labor might be in vain (5b) B. TIMOTHY'S REPORT (6-10) 1. Timothy's return brought good news... a. Of their faith and love (6a) b. Of their fond memories of Paul (6b) c. Of their desire to see him, just as he desires to see them (6c) 2. Such news brought comfort to Paul in his affliction (7-8) a. He was comforted, knowing of their faith (7) b. He felt alive, knowing of their steadfastness in the Lord (8) 3. He is thankful beyond words (9-10) a. Thankful to God for them, for the joy they bring to him (9) b. Praying night and day that he may soon see them and perfect what is lacking in their faith (10) II. PAUL'S CONCERN FOR THEIR CONTINUED GROWTH (11-13) A. HIS PRAYER FOR HIMSELF (11) 1. A request made to both God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ (11a) 2. That he may come to the Thessalonians again (11b) B. HIS PRAYER FOR THEM (12-13) 1. That the Lord make them increase and abound in love... a. To one another and to all (12a) b. Just as Paul does toward them (12b) 2. So that the Lord might establish their hearts blameless in holiness... a. Before our God and Father (13a) b. At the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints (13b)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) Where did Paul stay when he sent Timothy back to Thessalonica? (1) 3) Why did Paul send Timothy? (2) 4) What was Paul fearful of that might have shaken their faith? (3) 5) What two reasons are given for Paul sending Timothy to learn of their faith? (5) 6) What good news had Timothy brought back to Paul? (6) 7) How did this news affect Paul? (7-9) 8) For what did Paul pray night and day? (10) 9) For what did Paul pray concerning himself? (11) 10) For what did Paul pray concerning the Thessalonians? (12-13)