Thessalonians

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1 Thessalonians is a pastoral letter written by Paul of Tarsus to the recently formed Christian community of Thessalonica. The letter, written in response to concerns of the newly converted Gentiles, offers encouragement and support, and addresses specific issues and problems they were confronted with. Paul begins his letter by giving thanks for the Thessalonians’ faith, love, and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. They have “turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven...” (1 Thessalonians: 9-10). Paul assures the people that he brings the message of the gospel of God to them. This is to set himself apart from others who may have come preaching to them from “deceit or impure …show more content…
(1 Thess. 3:4). He reminds them that they now live to please God and should continue to do so more and more. They have been given the Holy Spirit, which allows them to live out a more ethical life. In living a life according to God’s will, they don’t need the approval of others, nor do they need to depend on anyone else, the change in action involves an inner conversion that will allow for the outward sign of change in their actions. The Thessalonians have been taught by God to love one another; God chose them, and now they are called to live this out. Paul goes on to warn the Thessalonians that in order to achieve sanctification in God they must learn to control their bodies and abstain from fornication. They should no longer live with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God. (1 Thess. 4: 5) Paul recognizes there is temptation to return to the commonly accepted practices of their society. It was likely common practice to visit prostitutes in this society. Paul reminds them “God did not call us to impurity but in holiness.” (1 Thess. 4: 7). They ought to practice living pure lives; this is God’s will for them in order to achieve sanctification. Paul emphasized to the Thessalonians “as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God” (1 Thess. 4: 1). Paul is speaking to his own lived out life of ethical purity that he gives to his community as an example to follow. He has controlled his own lustful passions and set himself apart from others,