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The People of the Kingdom

(Category 15 of 16)

Watch our Read Scripture video on 1 Thessalonians, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to 1 Thessalonians, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how it works within the Bible’s overall framework.

In 1 Thessalonians, Paul directs the persecuted Thessalonian Christians to hope in the future of king Jesus’ return who will make all things right.

Explore 1 Thessalonians



page 1038

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the


PAUL has many pleasant memories of the days he spent with the infant Thessalonian
church. Their faith, hope, love, and perseverance in the face of persecution
are exemplary. Paul’s labors as a spiritual parent to the fledgling church have
been richly rewarded, and his affection is visible in every line of his letter.
Paul encourages them to excel in their newfound faith, to increase in their love
for one another, and to rejoice, pray, and give thanks always. He closes his letter
with instruction regarding the return of the Lord, whose advent signifies hope and
comfort for believers both living and dead.
Because this is the first of Paul’s two canonical letters to the church at Thessalonica,
it received the title Pros Thessalonikeis A, the “First to the Thessalonians.”



1 PAUL, aSilvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the aThessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace 1from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Their Good Example

2 aWe give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers,

CHAPTER 1 References

1 a1 Pet. 5:12
bActs 17:1–9
1NU omits
from God our
Father and
the Lord
Jesus Christ
2 aRom. 1:8
3 aJohn 6:29
bRom. 16:6
4 aCol. 3:12
5 aMark 16:20
b2 Cor. 6:6
cHeb. 2:3
6 a1 Cor. 4:16;
11:1 bActs
5:41; 13:52

3 remembering without ceasing ayour work of faith, blabor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,
4 knowing, beloved brethren, ayour election by God.
5 For aour gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, band in the Holy Spirit cand in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.
6 And ayou became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, bwith joy of the Holy Spirit,

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7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.
8 For from you the word of the Lord ahas sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also bin every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.
9 For they themselves declare concerning us awhat manner of entry we had to you, band how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,
10 and ato wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us bfrom the wrath to come.

Paul’s Conduct


1 For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain.
2 But 1even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at aPhilippi, as you know, we were bbold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.
3 aFor our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit.
4 But as awe have been approved by God bto be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, cnot as pleasing men, but God dwho tests our hearts.
5 For aneither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a 1cloak for covetousnessbGod is witness.
6 aNor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when bwe might have cmade demands das apostles of Christ.
7 But awe were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.
8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased ato impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also bour own lives, because you had become dear to us.
9 For you remember, brethren, our alabor and toil; for laboring night and day, bthat we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.
10 aYou are witnesses, and God also, bhow devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe;
11 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and 1charged every one of you, as a father does his own children,
12 athat you would walk worthy of God bwho calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

Their Conversion

13 For this reason we also thank God awithout ceasing, because when you breceived the word of God which

8 aRom. 10:18
bRom. 1:8;
9 a1 Thess. 2:1
b1 Cor. 12:2
10 a[Rom. 2:7] bRom. 5:9

CHAPTER 2 References

2 aActs 14:5;
bActs 17:1–9
1NU, M omit
3 a2 Cor. 7:2
4 a1 Cor. 7:25
bTitus 1:3
cGal. 1:10
dProv. 17:3
5 a2 Cor. 2:17
bRom. 1:9
1pretext for
6 a1 Tim. 5:17
b1 Cor. 9:4
c2 Cor. 11:9
d1 Cor. 9:1
7 a1 Cor. 2:3
8 aRom. 1:11
b2 Cor. 12:15
9 aActs 18:3;
20:34, 35
b2 Cor. 12:13
10 a1 Thess.
1:5 b2 Cor. 7:2
11 1NU, M
12 aEph. 4:1
b1 Cor. 1:9
13 a1 Thess.
1:2, 3 bMark
4:20 c[Gal.
4:14] d[1 Pet.
1:23] 14 aGal. 1:22
bActs 17:5
15 aActs 2:23
bMatt. 5:12;
23:34, 35
cEsth. 3:8
16 aLuke 11:52
bGen. 15:16
cMatt. 24:6
17 a1 Cor. 5:3
18 aRom. 1:13;
19 a2 Cor. 1:14
bProv. 16:31
cJude 24
d1 Cor. 15:23

you heard from us, you welcomed it cnot as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively dworks in you who believe.
14 For you, brethren, became imitators aof the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For byou also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans,
15 awho killed both the Lord Jesus and btheir own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God cand are 1contrary to all men,
16 aforbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always bto fill up the measure of their sins; cbut wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.

Longing to See Them

17 But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time ain presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire.
18 Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again— but aSatan hindered us.
19 For awhat is our hope, or joy, or bcrown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the cpresence of our Lord Jesus Christ dat His coming?
20 For you are our glory and joy.

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The Character of Those Who May Dwell with the LORD

A Psalm of David.

1 LORD, awho may 1abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

2 He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the atruth in his heart;
3 He who adoes not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, bNor does he 1take up a reproach against his friend;

PSALM 15 References

1 aPs. 24:3–5
2 aZech. 8:16;
[Eph. 4:25] 3 a[Lev.
19:16–18] bEx.
23:1 1receive
4 aEsth. 3:2
bLev. 5:4
5 a2 Pet. 1:10

4 aIn whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the LORD; He who bswears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 He who does not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things ashall never be moved.




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