| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 43 - Page 173 of 243 Index | Zoom | |
Let us all remember that we have received the Word of God as a stewardship; that God
has promised to honour and work through His Word by the Holy Spirit, and if we want to
see a lasting effect in Christian witness we must minister that Word in all its purity and
then look to him to "give the increase" (I Cor. 3: 6).
1: 6 - 2: 16.
pp. 37 - 40
After commenting upon the work of faith, labour of love and patience of hope of the
Thessalonian believers, the Apostle declares that they had become imitators of him and of
the Lord. This had led them through much tribulation and persecution for their faithful
witness, but through it all there had been joy of the Holy Spirit to more than compensate.
The result was that they had become "ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and
Achaia" (1: 7). The critical texts read the singular number "ensample". This is the Greek
tupos which gives us the English word type. Paul stated that he had been an example or
pattern to them in his behaviour, by working night and day so that he would not be
chargeable to them (II Thess. 3: 8, 9). Again he holds himself up as a pattern to the
Philippian saints (Phil. 3: 17). Both Timothy and Titus are exhorted to be "examples" or
"types" (I Tim. 4: 12; Titus 2: 7). The church at Thessalonica had become a pattern to
the whole of Greece and beyond (1: 7). The Apostle could hardly give higher
commendation than this. Their Christian testimony sounded out far and wide and so the
Truth spread abroad.
The need for bold and fearless witness is not the less needed in our day. We all should
show clearly Whose we are and Whom we serve. There are far too many secret disciples,
those who are afraid to let the light shine. Specially is this so concerning the deeper
truths revealed in Paul's prison epistles. Many keep quiet because of the fear of man that
bringeth a snare even when these are believers. They are afraid of the price they will
have to pay. May we all be so strengthened and inspired to "shine as lights in the world,
holding forth the word of life" (Phil. 2: 15, 16) and so avoid being "ashamed of the Lord
and His prisoner" (II Tim. 1: 8).
In view of the practical effects that accrued from the outstanding witness of the
Thessalonian saints, the Apostle states that he had no need to speak anything; rather the
people of Macedonia and Achaia reported what manner of entering in he had to them and
with the results that had glorified the Lord so much.
The closing verses of the chapter strike a dispensational note. Believers at
Thessalonica were awaiting the Lord Jesus from heaven. This can only mean that they
expected, as their hope, the return of the Saviour in their lifetime. The Apostle also
identifies himself with this hope in the phrase in chapter 4: 17, "we which are alive and