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THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 6

Verse 6. And ye became followers of us. "You became imitators— mimhtai of us." This does not mean that they became followers of Paul, Silas, and Timothy, in the sense that they had set themselves up as teachers, or as the head of a sect, but that they imitated their manner of living. See Barnes "1 Co 4:16"; See Barnes "1 Co 11:1".

 

And of the Lord. The Lord Jesus. You also learned to imitate him. From this it is evident that the manner in which the Saviour lived was a prominent topic of their preaching, and also that it was one of the means of the conversion of the Thessalonians. It is probable that preaching on the pure and holy life of the Lord Jesus might be made a much more important means of the conversion of sinners than it is. Nothing is better adapted to show them the evil of their own guilty lives than the contrast between their lives and his; and nothing can be conceived better fitted to win them to holy living than the contemplation of his pure and holy deportment.

Having retired the word in much affliction. That is, amidst much opposition from others. See Ac 17:5-8. It was in the midst of these trials that they had become converted—and they seem to have been all the better Christians for them. In this they were imitators of the Saviour, or shared the same lot with him, and thus became his followers. Their embracing and holding fast the truths of religion amidst all this opposition, showed that they were controlled by the same principles that he was, and that they were truly his friends.

With joy of the Holy Ghost. With happiness produced by the Holy Ghost. Though they were much afflicted and persecuted, yet there was joy. There was joy in their conversion, in the evidence of pardoned sin, in the hope of heaven. See Barnes "Ac 8:8".

However great may be the trials and persecutions experienced in receiving the gospel, or however numerous and long the sufferings of the subsequent life in consequence of having embraced it, there is a joy in religion that more than overbalances all, and that makes religion the richest of all blessings.

{e} "followers of us" 2 Co 8:5 {f} "Holy Ghost" Ac 13:52

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