This article is part of the Christ in All of Scripture series.
Power of God for Salvation
Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians bear witness to the glorious reality that the gospel is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (see Rom. 1:16). In 1 Thessalonians, Paul cannot stop rejoicing that the gospel came to the Thessalonians in word, in power, and with full conviction by the Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 1:5). Paul and his companions labored diligently among the Thessalonians (Acts 17), and by God’s grace they could glorify God as they witnessed the steadfast faithfulness of the body of Christ in Thessalonica. The Thessalonians were a congregation who genuinely loved one another as they followed the example of Christ and his apostles, and they lived each day in light of the promised return of Jesus Christ.
As the Thessalonian believers waited, Paul urged them to be steadfast in their faith in Christ, to continue to grow in love for one another, and to remain sexually pure according to God’s holy calling. Such living, Paul explained, must be grounded in the daily heart-application of the gospel itself. In this way the Thessalonians would continue to manifest their genuine faith in the resurrected and returning Jesus Christ—living gratefully, prayerfully, and expectantly. The gospel promise is that we who are saved by God’s grace alone through faith alone in the sinless life, sacrificial death, and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ can eagerly look forward to his return that will come “like a thief in the night” to rescue us and unite us with his loved ones from all the world and from all ages (1 Thess. 4:13–5:11)
This article is adapted from the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible. Browse other articles in this series via the links below.
Genesis • Exodus • Leviticus • Numbers • Deuteronomy • Joshua • Judges • Ruth • 1–2 Samuel • 1–2 Kings • 1–2 Chronicles • Ezra • Nehemiah • Esther • Job • Psalms • Proverbs • Ecclesiastes • Song of Solomon • Isaiah • Jeremiah • Lamentations • Ezekiel • Daniel • Hosea • Joel • Amos • Obadiah • Jonah • Micah • Nahum • Habbakuk • Zephaniah • Haggai • Zechariah • Malachi
Matthew • Mark • Luke • John • Acts • Romans • 1 Corinthians • 2 Corinthians • Galatians • Ephesians • Philippians • Colossians • 1 Thessalonians • 2 Thessalonians • 1 Timothy • 2 Timothy • Titus • Philemon • Hebrews • James • 1 Peter • 2 Peter • 1–3 John • Jude • Revelation