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THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 9

Verse 9. For they themselves. They who have visited you, and they whom you have sent out: all persons testify of your piety. The apostle seems to refer to all whom he had met or had heard of "in all places," who said anything about the Thessalonians. They were unanimous in bearing testimony to their fidelity and piety.

Show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you. The testimony which they bear of you is, in fact, testimony of the manner in which we preached the gospel, and demeaned ourselves when we were with you. It shows that we were intent on our Master's work, and that we were not actuated by selfish or sinister motives. The argument is, that such effects could not have been produced among them if Paul, Silas, and their fellow-labourers had been impostors. Their sound conversion to God; their change from idolatry to the true religion, and the zeal which had been the result of their conversion, was an argument to which Paul and his fellow-labourers might appeal in proof of their sincerity and their being sent from God. Paul often makes a similar appeal, Comp. See Barnes "2 Co 3:2, See Barnes "2 Co 3:3".

It is certain that many of the Jews in Thessalonica, when Paul and his fellow-labourers were there, regarded them as impostors, Ac 17:6,8; and there is every reason to suppose that after they left the city, they would endeavour to keep up this impression among the people. To meet this, Paul now says that their own undoubted conversion to life of holiness and zeal under their ministry, was in unanswerable argument that this was not so. How could impostors and deceivers have been the means of producing such effects?

And how ye turned to God from idols. That is, under our preaching. This proves that the church was, to a considerable extent, composed of those who were converted from idolatry under the preaching of Paul. Comp. Intro. paragraph 5. The meaning here is, that they who came from them, or they who had visited them, bore abundant testimony to the fact that they had turned from idols to the worship of the true God. Comp. See Barnes "1 Co 12:2; Gal 4:8".

 

To serve the living and true God. He is called the "living God" in opposition to idols —who are represented as dead, dumb, deaf, and blind. Comp. Ps 135:15-17. See Barnes "Isa 44:10"

and following; See Barnes "Mt 16:16"; See Barnes "Joh 5:26"; See Barnes "Ac 14:15".

 

{c} "to God from idols" 1 Co 12:2; Gal 4:8

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