1 Thessalonians 1:5-7 say, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, even as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became a pattern to all those who believe…” This week in Bible study, we covered 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:20. It was so enjoyable being back with other believers and getting into the Word! I was particularly struck this week seeing that Paul and the brothers, in coming to the young believers in Thessalonica, preached the gospel not only in word, but also, much more, in their living. This means that in everything they did, the person who was expressed, the person who was magnified, was Christ. This point actually reminded me of our Bible studies on Romans this past school year. In Romans, we see the full gospel of God, and particularly, in Romans 5, we see the much more salvation. Paul and these brothers had a living that testified Christ because, past their initial salvation, they experienced organic salvation in a day to day way. In this process, these ones were constituted with more Christ, even to the point that their living expressed Him! And it was so striking to the young believers that they saw these brothers as patterns and they became imitators of them and of the Lord. Eventually, these young believers themselves also became patterns to the ones around them. This is a picture of our Christian life! As we go on, more Christ is constituted into our being, and the Christ that we express in our daily living becomes an encouragement for the ones around us to go on. Even more, the Christ that we express speaks something of the full gospel to those around us, causing them to go on in the way that we have!
Looking forward to more Bible studies this summer :~)