In our last visit we discovered two powerful truths that initiated the life transforming experience of salvation in the believers described in 1st Thessalonians 1: God loved them and chose them. In addition to these two powerful truths, Paul makes it clear that when he brought the Gospel to them it was with divine power, verse 5. God empowered the messengers He sent to those He loved and chose.
Paul then points out in verse 6 the Holy Spirit gave them a joy that enabled them to receive this message even though it would involve severe suffering. Yes, God was involved deeply in their experience, and that’s essential whenever there is a genuine experience of salvation.
Does this describe what has happened in your life? Take a Reality Check!
Now let’s look at another element in what Paul describes in Chapter 1. What was the part of the messenger in what took place in their experience? Paul makes it clear that his preaching was more than just words or ideas. Verse 5 says God anointed the words “with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.”
When you experienced salvation was there a sense that the one bearing God’s message to you was deeply convicted and empowered? Was the message embodied in his or her life? Did you sense Christ-likeness in them? Was the message and the life of the messenger compelling? Is that what happened when you were introduced to the Christian life? Take a Reality Check!
Tomorrow we’ll look at the response of these believers to the message and messenger.