The Berean Expositor
Volume 43 - Page 171 of 243
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Chapter 1: has its own structure which is as follows:
I Thessalonians 1: 2 - 10.
A | 2, 3. | a | Work of faith.
b | Labour of love.
c | Patience of hope.
B | 5. "For"--the gospel's coming--not only
But also
What manner  /
C | 6. Followers.
D | 6. The Word and much affliction.
C | 7. Examples.
B | 8. "For"--The Word's sounding out--not only
But also
} Where
What manner
A | 9, 10. | a | Turned to God.
b | To serve the living God.
c | Wait for His Son from heaven.
By observing the members marked "A" we shall see that faith, hope and love are
resolved by the faithful Thessalonian believers into action. The work of faith is exhibited
by the fact that they turned away from idols to God and put their faith in Him. Their
labour of love was shown in their service to the living and true God in contrast to their
former service to dead idols, the work of men's hands.
Their patience of hope was manifested in their waiting for the Son from heaven.
Christ was their hope--as He is the Hope of all believers, but this hope did not leave
them with their heads in the clouds; it made them intensely practical in service and
devotion to the One Who had so gloriously saved them. They had become examples to
believers all over Greece for their faithful witness and through them the gospel had
spread not only through Greece but beyond (1: 7, 8).
No wonder Paul, in his opening remarks, gave thanks to God always for them and
constantly remembered them at the Throne of Grace (verse 2). We cannot help noticing
that, wherever possible, the Apostle gave commendation, praise and encouragement.
Even when he had to correct departure from Truth, he usually finds something to praise
first. He did not look for faults, rather he sought and found the fruits of the Spirit
wherever he could. "Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely . . . . ." He
reckoned in others (Phil. 4: 9). What an example to all of us! How much easier would
the work of the Lord be if believers would constantly manifest this spirit instead of the
critical, harsh attitude that is sometimes found in Christian circles.
The Apostle continues `knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God'. The A.V.
margin reads "or, beloved of God, your election", and with this agrees the R.V. This is
more in harmony with the natural flow of the Greek.