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Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

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

Grace to you and peace.


The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example

2 We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly 3remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. 6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. 9For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.

The brevity of the inscription clearly shews that Paul’s doctrine had been received with reverence among the Thessalonians, and that without controversy they all rendered to him the honor that he deserved. For when in other Epistles he designates himself an Apostle, he does this for the purpose of claiming for himself authority. Hence the circumstance, that he simply makes use of his own name without any title of honor, is an evidence that those to whom he writes voluntarily acknowledged him to be such as he was. The ministers of Satan, it is true, had endeavored to trouble this Church also, but it is evident that their machinations were fruitless. He associates, however, two others along with himself, as being, in common with himself, the authors of the Epistle. Nothing farther is stated here that has not been explained elsewhere, excepting that he says, “the Church in God the Father, and in Christ;” by which terms (if I mistake not) he intimates, that there is truly among the Thessalonians a Church of God. This mark, therefore, is as it were an approval of a true and lawful Church. We may, however, at the same time infer from it, that a Church is to be sought for only where God presides, and where Christ reigns, and that, in short, there is no Church but what is founded upon God, is gathered under the auspices of Christ, and is united in his name.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-5

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

2. Gratias agimus Deo semper de omnibus vobis, memoriam vestri facientes in precibus nostris,

3. Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

3. Indesinenter 488488     “En nos prieres, sans cesse ayans souuenance; ou, En nos prieres sans cesse, Ayans souuenance;” — “In our prayers, without ceasing having remembrance; or, In our prayers without ceasing, Having remembrance.” memores vestri, propter opus fidei, et laborem caritatis, 489489     “De vous pour l’œuure de la foy, et pour le trauail de vostre charite; ou, de l’effect de vostre foy, et du trauail de vostre charite;” — “Of you for the work of faith, or for the labor of your love; or, of the effect of your faith, or of the labor of your love.” et patientiam spei Domini nostri Iesu Christi coram Deo et Patre nostro,

4. Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

4. Scientes, fratres dilecti, 490490     “Freres bien—aimez, vostre election estre de Dieu; ou, freres bien—aimez de Dieu, vostre election; ou, vostre election, qui est de Dieu;” — “Brethren beloved, your election to be of God; or, brethren beloved of God, your election; or, your election, which is of God.” a Deo esse electionem vestram.

5. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

5. Quia Evangelium nostrum non fuit erga vos in sermone solum, sed in potentia, et in Spiritu sancto, et in certitudine multa: quemadmodum nostis quales fuerimus in vobis propter vos.


2 We give thanks to God. He praises, as he is wont, their faith and other virtues, not so much, however, for the purpose of praising them, as to exhort them to perseverance. For it is no small excitement to eagerness of pursuit, when we reflect that God has adorned us with signal endowments, that he may finish what he has begun, and that we have, under his guidance and direction, advanced in the right course, in order that we may reach the goal. For as a vain confidence in those virtues, which mankind foolishly arrogate to themselves, puffs them up with pride, and makes them careless and indolent for the time to come, so a recognition of the gifts of God humbles pious minds, and stirs them up to anxious concern. Hence, instead of congratulations, he makes use of thanksgivings, that he may put them in mind, that everything in them that he declares to be worthy of praise, is a kindness from God. 491491     “Est vn benefice procedant de la liberalite de Dieu;” —”Is a kindness proceeding from God’s liberality.” He also turns immediately to the future, in making mention of his prayers. We thus see for what purpose he commends their previous life.

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