Thursday, March 18, 2010


By E. L. Bynum
Lesson: I Thessalonians 3:1-13
Memory Verse: I Thessalonians 3:12


This chapter takes us back to the events recorded in Acts 17, which is a record of the founding of the Thessalonian Church and the subsequent events.


A. Paul's Concern. vs. 1-5

1. Paul's concern for the Thessalonian Church. v. 1. See Acts 17:15-34. "Wherefore" looks back to 2:17-20, where Paul tells of his great love for the believers.

2. Paul's willingness to be inconvenienced. v. 1. John 10:12-13, But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. II Corinthians 12:15, And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

3. Paul's well-qualified messenger sent. v. 2

a. Timothy a spiritual brother. I Timothy 1:2, Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

b. Timothy a minister of God. I Timothy 4:6, If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

c. Timothy a fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ.

4. Paul was concerned that they be established and comforted. v. 2. Hebrews 5:11-14, Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

a. "Establish" has the idea of putting in a buttress, a support.

b. "Comfort" has the idea of strengthening.

5. Afflictions should not move the Christian from God. v. 3. Philippians 1:29, For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. I Peter 4:12, Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

6. Christians need to be warned of tribulation. v. 4. Acts 14:22, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. I Pet. 5:8-9, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

7. Paul's concern was based upon his knowledge of Satan and false religion. v. 5. II Corinthians 11:2-4, For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. II Corinthians 11:13-15, For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. I John 5:4, For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

B. Paul's Consolation. vs. 6-8

1. Timothy's good report. v. 6

a. It was good tidings of their faith.

b. It was good tidings of their charity.

c. It was good tidings that their memories of Paul caused them to desire to see him again.

2. Paul was comforted (strengthened) by their faith. v. 7. This was especially needed in the midst of his affliction and distress. II Corinthians 7:6-7, Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.

3. Their standing fast in the Lord imparted new life to Paul. v. 3. This is of course, is not to be taken in the literal sense, but rather he was enlivened, and lifted up by the knowledge of their standing fast.


A. Paul's Satisfaction. vs. 9-10

1. Paul thanked God for their stand and the joy this brought him. v. 9. See I Samuel 12:23; Acts 6:4; Acts 20:32.

2. Paul's prayer for them. v. 10

a. Its season -- night and day.

b. Its intensity -- praying exceedingly.

c. Its object -- that he might see and perfect them. See Ephesians 4:11,12

B. Paul's Intercession. vs. 11-13

1. He prayed that God might direct him to them. v. 11. "Direct" is singular in the Greek, thus testifying to the unity of the Godhead.

2. He prayed that they might increase and abound in love. v. 12

3. He prayed that they would be ready for the Second Coming. v. 13

a. He prayed for their hearts to be established. For "established" see v. 2.

b. He prayed that they would be unblameable in holiness. See II Thessalonians 1:10.

"In reading this passage one cannot but observe the immediate and living way in which the Lord's coming is linked with daily practical life, so that the perfect light of that day is thrown upon the hourly path of the present time." ---Gaebelein


1. Why did Paul send Timothy to Thessalonica?

2. What had Paul told them before?

3. Who did Paul think might lead them astray?

4. How are people led astray from the truth?

5. How did Paul receive his consolation?

6. What was Timothy's report?

7. What two things did Paul pray for?

8. How does Paul relate these things to the Second Coming?

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