1 Thessalonians 2:1-16.

August 16, 2020 •

>> Download the Study Notes here.


     In those days, there were many “prophets” traveling around the Roman empire. They were nothing but con artists trying to get rich. It’s quite apparent that when Timothy came back with his report on his visit to the Thessalonians, he told Paul that his Jewish opponents were saying Paul was one of those con artists. 

     Therefore Paul defends himself. Twice in the first 12 verses of chapter two, Paul talks about God being his witness. Four times he says, “they know” and says they must remember how he acted.

     Agree or disagree: It’s easy to defend yourself in a God-pleasing way against unjust charges.

Vs. 1-2: Paul ministered fearlessly

     How had Paul suffered in Philippi?

     The opposition (literally “agony”) was so fierce that Paul left during the night – Acts 17:10.

Vs. 3-5: Paul ministered honestly – pure motives

     He didn’t do it for greed. What might be some signs of greed in pastors?

     He didn’t do it to please people. What might be some signs of people-pleasing in pastors?

Vs. 6-12: Paul ministered gently

    Note how he uses both the imagery of a mother and father to get his point across. Note also how he subtly describes the different ways mothers and fathers parent. 

A common biblical literary style – chiasm

  • A. Not seeking human glory
    • B. Like mothers tenderly caring for her children
      • C. Shared not only the gospel but their lives
      • C. Worked night and day not to be a burden
    • B. Like fathers encouraging them to walk worthy
  • A. God called them into his glory

     Vs. 8; Remember he didn’t know them before he arrived. How could he say he loved them so much?

     Vs. 9: Remember how much Paul and Silas had been physically abused in Philippi. But that didn’t stop them from working! What work did Paul do? (See Acts 18:3).

     Vs. 10: How could Paul say this? Is this arrogance?  Do you ever talk that way about yourself?

     Vs. 12 emphasizes that Christians are to be changed people.  Christians living is living up to what we already are – God’s children!  It’s like Joseph the slave living like Joseph the prime minister.

Vs. 13-16: Paul’s thankfulness for the Thessalonians

     This is like what Paul said in chapter one. It’s amazing how thankful Paul remained despite all the negative experiences he had. Christians are to be thankful people!

     Note that Paul thanked God continually.  The joy of their conversion stayed with him like the Fiesta Bowl victory has stayed with BSU fans.

     Vs. 13: The word is continually working in us!

     Note how strongly Paul talks about the Jews.  Remember, at one time, he was out front leading the persecution of Christians.              Vs. 16: How did the wrath of God come on the Jews?