Summary of the Book of 1 Thessalonians
The book of 1 Thessalonians is a personal and affectionate letter to the church, Paul’s own words confirm this, “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us (2:8). The main themes that run through 1 Thessalonians is living holy and sanctified lives and being self-controlled and alert waiting the coming of the Lord Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 1 - The Thessalonians’ Faith
1 Thessalonians 1 opens with a prayer of thanksgiving for the Thessalonians faith. Paul recognizes their work produced by faith, labor prompted by love and endurance inspired by their hope in Christ Jesus. In spite of intense suffering this church became a model to believers everywhere as their faith in the Lord Jesus was well known.
1 Thessalonians 2 - Paul’s Ministry
1 Thessalonians 2 is a reminder to the church that when Paul, Timothy and Silas came to them, they cared for them gently never being a burden. They encouraged, comforted and taught them how to live lives worthy of God. Paul tells them that they we were delighted not only to share the gospel with them but their lives as well because they were very dear. The church accepted their word as it was from God not men.
1 Thessalonians 3 - Timothy’s Visit
1 Thessalonians 3 tells how Timothy was sent to strengthen and encourage the church. Paul wanted to find out about their faith and Timothy delivered a good report. The response was an overflow of joy and a longing to see one another again. Paul prays for the way to be open for them to come.
1 Thessalonians 4 - Called to a Holy Life
1 Thessalonians 4 is a reminder to the church that we are called to live holy lives and be sanctified. We are to avoid sexual immorality, learning to control our bodies in ways that are honorable. We are reminded to love one another deeply, to live a quiet life working hard and winning the respect of others. We are encouraged that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back and we will forever be with him.
1 Thessalonians 5 - The Coming of the Lord
1 Thessalonians 5 winds down with instructions on the Lord’s coming. The time and date will come like a thief in the night but we are reminded that we are not in darkness so as to be surprised by this. We are instructed to be alert and self-controlled because God has appointed us to receive salvation. Paul ends this letter with final instructions on loving one another, living in peace, being joyful, praying always and giving thanks in everything.
May you be blessed and inspired as you read and study the book of 1 Thessalonians.
Share your favorite passage from this book or an insight you’ve had from studying this letter in the comments below!