For Your Sake


Today we begin exploring Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Paul, along with Silvanus (or Silas) and Timothy, came and preached the gospel in Thessalonica. As was his custom, Paul boldly preached the gospel to the Jews as well as the Gentiles there. As a result, many of the Jews and Gentiles came to faith in Jesus. Almost immediately, Paul was chased out of town without the chance to help establish these believers in their newfound faith. After settling in Corinth, Paul sent Timothy back to check up on them and bring a report. The letters of 1 and 2 Thessalonians are Paul’s response to these reports.

  • Have you ever had opportunity to start something important but you didn’t have the chance to observe its growth? Imagine how you would feel if you had to abandon something of great importance.

READ THE WORD: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5 (ESV)

1:1 From Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you!

We thank God always for all of you as we mention you constantly in our prayers, because we recall in the presence of our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, in that our gospel did not come to you merely in words, but in power and in the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction (surely you recall the character we displayed when we came among you to help you).


  1. Who are identified as the authors? Assuming Paul actually wrote most of, if not all, the letter, why do you suppose he gives credit to the others?
  2. In verse 1, Paul gave a double address to them. Can you identify both? (Hint: One is geographical, the other spiritual.)
  3. What three characteristics are noted in verse 3?
  4. What truths are affirmed in verse 4?
  5. The gospel message has inherent power, but if we contradict those words with how we live, the message gets really messed up. Beyond your words, how might you effectively live out the gospel, with conviction, to others?


It would seem that Paul is clearly communicating his care for the Thessalonians. He’s thankful for them, and prays for them. The basis of his thankfulness is the active characteristics noted as work of faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope. The reminder that “he has chosen you” is the evidence of living faith. Faith, love, and hope are identified as characteristics of a living faith. These come from the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. The last three words of this section highlight Paul’s selfless motives. How might you exhibit faith, love, and hope in your day-to-day experiences?

  • Ask God to allow you to live out the gospel in your life, selflessly, and in such a way as to be able to say to others “for your sake.”