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Category: Bible Study (page 19 of 25)

Theology of 1 Thessalonians–God the Father

We are looking now at the theology of 1 Thessalonians. (Check out archives for our exegetical look through the book).  Our goal is to answer the question what does 1 Thessalonians teach on some core doctrines of the Christian faith.   You can see our first two articles here and here.

I want to look now at what does 1 Thessalonians teach us about God the Father.

Here are few truths I’ve gathered from the book:

  1. God is a personal God:  Our first introduction to God is as Father (1:1).  Paul repeats this title throughout the book.  However, God is not just Father in general, He is our Father.  In fact Paul would say, He is our God (2:2).  God is not the God of the deist (unconcerned with human affairs now), but instead He is our personal God today.
  2. God is a revelatory God.  He has a message (2:13).  He has a will (4:3).  He has a gospel (2:2). All of these are revealed to mankind in such a way that we can know them.  Not only can we know them, but the revelation of God is such that we can understand and obey it.
  3. God is a relational God.  God is prayed to (1:2).  We put our faith in Him (1:8).  We turn to Him from our idols (1:9).  We can please Him (4:1) or we can be displeasing to Him (2:15).  Depending upon our relationship status we will either receive His wrath, or His salvation at the return of Jesus (5:9).
  4. God is an omniscience God.  He knows all things. Our God is witness to our outward actions (2:10) and our inward motives (2:4).  He knows all.  This puts him in the perfect position to either approve or disapprove us (2:4).
  5. God is a working God.  God works within us for our sanctification (5:23).  God also works with us as we continues His mission in the world (3:2).  This goes back to the personal nature of God, He is truly concerned with us and comes along side us.
  6. Our God is a saving God.  The gospel of God (and thus God Himself) calls men to a relationship with God through His Son.  This relationship with God’s Son is the means by which God saves us from His wrath (5:9).

What other aspects of God did you see in 1 Thessalonians?

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Theology of 1 Thessalonians–Christology

Let me say this up front.  I love writing all the different posts on this site.  It is a way for me to study and share with others.  But this post was even more exciting than usual.  Now for some of you what I’m about to say will not matter (feel free to forget it after you read it, or skip the italics part, and just move to the actually meat of the article), but for those who deal much with the world of religious scholarly opinion this might interest you like it does me.

In the world of scholarly opinion Christology (what does the Bible say about Christ?) is under attack.  Liberal Scholars want to claim that a high view of Christ developed over time. That Christians did not original see Christ as exalted as we do now.  Normally they argue that it was added later by the Gospels and especially by John in his writings.   Here is what I love about 1 Thessalonians, it is our oldest book and explains a very high view of Christ.  It teaches all the fundamentals of a Christian worldview concerning Jesus.  It teaches His deity.  It teaches His death on our behalf.  It teaches His resurrection. It teaches salvation is connected with Him and it teaches that He is going to return at the summation of history.  What is my point?  My point is that the high view of Christ that the church now holds did not develop, but rather was there from the very origins of the Christian faith!

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1 Thessalonians Theology–Word of God

Theology might not be a word you use often.  But it is a word that in concept you use all the time.  Any time a Christian asks, or wonders, what does the bible say about…?  They are asking for an theological answer.  Theology hopes to put the different sections of Scripture that deal with a certain subject together in a way to give an answer on what the Bible teaches on a particular subject.

In our case over the next few posts we are not asking what does the Bible say about …? But rather what does 1 Thessalonians teach on those subjects?

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Jesus Friend of Sinners

We preach over and over that we need to “go into all the world and make disciples”. Many times, however, our idea of what is “all the world” is very limited. We will preach, but only to those who we want to be around. We well minister to a nice educated middle class family, to a single business woman, or to a well behaved college student, but not to the man sleeping on a bench in a park.

Jesus’ love for sinners knew no boundaries. Jesus went to the lowest of the low. During His time, the scribes and the Pharisees felt those who had broken the religious and moral laws of Judaism were beyond the pale: they were to be excluded, ostracized and rejected; Jesus however did not! Luke tells us that without condoning sin, Jesus welcomed sinners and offered them forgiveness and love. Jesus treated all with respect and gave them understanding and care. Like a magnet, Jesus drew the most despised members of society towards himself, valued them and used His time with them as an opportunity to teach them about salvation. Jesus not only welcomed sinners when they came to Him, but Jesus also took the trouble to seek them out and meet them; “for the Son of man has come to seek and to save the lost”. It is no surprise that when the scribes and Pharisees saw Jesus in the company of such people they got very angry toward Him. Jesus would go on to correct this attitude with several parables about items which were lost in (Luke 15)

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1 Thessalonians–A Look Back

Now that we have walked through section-by-section of First Thessalonians.  Lets make sure we do not miss the main point of the book.   But first a tangent.

The way I studied the book of 1 Thessalonians was purposeful.  It was not an immediate discussion of each verse of the book.  Not that each verse should not be studied.  But, I think it is important that we get back to better Bible study.  And in my opinion better Bible study is moving past verses and chapters to paragraphs and books.  That is why we started with an overview of the book, then we moved to studying each paragraph.  This allows us to move through a book naturally (like the author intended).  It allows the author to develop his own argument and keeps us from forcing ourselves upon the text.  The next step will be an overview of the book (this post).  Then we will spend a few sessions talking about the theology of the book (i.e. what does the book have to say about doctrine).

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