Paul's commendation for the church

Paul’s commendation for the church

Paul highly commends the church of Thessalonica:

Paul remembered their “work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” in his personal prayer for the church. (1:3)

Paul confirmed their faith and testimony: “ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost, so that ye were examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to Godward is spread abroad, so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you (「我們是怎樣進到你們那裡」), and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living the true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven”. (1:6-10)

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews. (「因為你們也受了本地人的苦害,像他們受了猶太人的苦害一樣」).” (2:13-14) The believers in Judea or outside of Judea received strong opposition from the local people, mainly from the Jews who “have persecuted us (Paul)…forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved”. (2:15-16)

Paul heard of their faith and love from Timothy: “But now when Timothy came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity (NRSV, ‘love’), and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you. Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith.” (3:6-7) The church of Thessalonica also remembered Paul always and desired very much to see him again, just as he did to them.