Paul, Silvanus (Silas), and Timothy write to the young church in Thessalonica. Their time among the Thessalonians was brief. They shared the gospel and led a number of Jews and Greeks to faith in Jesus. But soon after that, enemies of Paul formed a mob and terrorized the city and the new believers until Paul left. Now Paul writes to the Thessalonian believers after receiving an update on their welfare. He tells them that they are ever present in his thoughts and prayers, that they are loved and chosen by God, and that the fame of their belief in God has spread to other churches in Greece, and elsewhere. Once idolators, the Thessalonians now serve the true God and have already endured painful attacks against them. Paul praises them for setting such an excellent example.

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1 Thessalonians 1:1

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy greet the Thessalonian church with grace and peace. Paul was chased out of Thessalonica, so he wants to encourage the believers there and exhort them for their continued faithfulness.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-5

The Thessalonians are always in Paul’s thoughts and prayers. He affirms to them that they are loved by God, and that he has heard report of their boldness in faith and love. Paul reflects on the brief time he spent sharing the gospel with them.

1 Thessalonians 1:6-10

Despite the suffering that the Thessalonians have experienced, they persist in their faith in Jesus. News of their good example has spread to the other churches in Greece and beyond—their testimony of turning from idolatry to faith in God, and their anticipation of Jesus their Savior’s return to earth.