The Impact of Effective Witness

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Therefore,we must never think that there is no justice. In this world, we frequently see that murderers, rapists, plunderers, liars, adulterers, thieves and robbers go scot-free. We become so furious when we see them get acquitted for crimes they obviously committed merely because of a technicality, political connections, or celebrity status.

Isaiah 59:17-20; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10 (text)
January 16, 2011

Introduction

Ruins with St Paul Preaching

"Ruins with St Paul Preaching" by Giovanni Paolo Pannini, 1735

In the first five verses of his first epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul gives thanks to God for the believers’ faith, love and hope. They had evidence of their faith and love in their works, and they persevere through sufferings and persecution because of their hope in the coming of Christ. In the first part of verse 5, Paul says that the gospel came to them with power for salvation, with the work of the Holy Spirit, and with full assurance.

In the second part of verse 5, Paul says, “You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.” The truth of the gospel was strengthened because the Thessalonian believers saw the integrity, sacrifice and faithfulness of Paul and his companions. Paul and his co-workers came and preached the gospel, not for personal gain, not because of pride, but for the sake of the people in Thessalonica. They saw that Paul and the others were worthy of being imitated—role models and examples—because of their faithfulness in word and deed to Christ their Lord and Savior. So they received the gospel with joy even in the midst of sufferings. In addition, they were reassured that they also belong to the elect who are loved by God.

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