The Thessalonians Response To The “Mercies Of God”

1Th 1:3  Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 

1Th 1:4  Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God

1Th 1:5  For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 

1Th 1:6  And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: 

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian saints, Corinthian saints, and the Thessalonian saints within a few years apart, they were all given the same structure for learning as the others, they all saw Paul, and the disciple’s labor and suffering, and persecution. But yet, the Thessalonian saints ‘allowed’ the word of God to “work effectually” within them, but the Galatian, and the Corinthian saints did not allow God’s word to work effectually within them, the question is why? Why did they become “followers” of Paul, and the Lord, and the Disciples, but the others did not? Why did they ‘know their election of God,’ but the others could not perceive their election of God? The answer is the Thessalonian saints not only ‘believed’ the gospel of their salvation from the debt and penalty of sin against them, but they also ‘believed,’ and were ‘much assured’ that the gospel of sanctification unto holiness was going to “work” for them as they served, as they too labored as Paul.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

1Th 1:7  So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. 

1Th 1:8  For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. 

1Th 1:9  For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 

Therefore, just as Paul ‘beseeches’ all saints by the “mercies of God” to be a “living sacrifice,” the Thessalonian saints ‘believed’ Paul’s ‘beseeching,’ they saw Paul ‘laying out’ the Lord and Savior’s sacrifice for us at the cross, they saw the Lord’s ministry on the earth, and His faithfulness, His labor, and His selfless love for their sakes, they saw God the Father’s provision for them, and that He has “put no difference between” Jew and Gentile in this dispensation, and that the Gentiles now have the privilege to bring forth fruit unto holiness in His sight. These are just some of the “mercies of God” that we too are given by Paul in his 13 epistles that most too often, we only see ‘just justification unto eternal life’ in the verses, and not the actual purpose of ‘the why’ Paul is writing to justified saints about the cross. And much too often, the “mercies of God” that Paul ‘lays out’ for us is only just taken as, Paul is reminding us that we are ‘saved and on our way to heaven!’

Gal 3:1  O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 

Gal 3:2  This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 

Gal 3:3  Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 

However, the Thessalonian saints ‘saw’ what the Apostle Paul “set forth” before their eyes concerning the “mercies of God,” they saw that Paul was giving them an instruction in the Lord and Savior’s selfless love, and God the Father’s selfless love as an ‘identity’ to walk in, and to be “after,” just as God intended in the beginning with Adam. It’s sad that many assume that God offered His Son up for us so that He will only just save our souls from going to hell, but God desired man to be ‘in His image, after His likeness.’ The Thessalonian saints ‘saw’ that they were being ‘offered’ MORE than justification unto eternal life, they were ALSO being offered an identity of the Lord, and the Father! And they ‘knew their election of God’ that Paul “set forth” before them, they also knew that the only way this “power” could work effectually within them, was that they too had to become a “living sacrifice,” and operate upon the selfless love of God. They had to see those “mercies,” and value and esteem them within their hearts, and know who’s servant they are. And that God has provided for them “whole armor of God” as they have “put on” this “new man.”  

Col 3:10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 

Col 3:11  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 

Col 3:12  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 

Col 3:13  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 

Col 3:14  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 

Moreover, the Thessalonian, and Philippian saints saw Paul’s “affliction,” and persecution ‘firsthand,’ they knew what a “living sacrifice” looked like, they knew how a living sacrifice walked, they knew a living sacrifice responded to the sufferings, and persecutions that he faced, Paul says that they “knew” what “manner of men” he and the disciples were among them. The Corinthian and Galatian saints also saw Paul’s sufferings, and labor, but they responded negatively to Paul’s manner of life. Therefore Paul says: “we are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised” (1Co 4:10), they viewed Paul’s life as of no interest to them, and as ‘foolish.’ They knew they were “in Christ,” but they did not fully understand “the mercies of God,” they did not understand and appreciate the necessity to “come out from among” this ungodly world, they desired their life to operate upon the same “carnal minded” principles as they lived by before they became saved, and this is what many Christians do today.

Col 1:8  Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. 

Col 1:9  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 

Col 1:10  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 

Col 1:11  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 

The Thessalonian saints acknowledged something that the other saints did not understand that God desires sons and daughters to ‘live’ in godliness, and in His likeness, and in His selfless ‘abounding love’ that Paul ‘lays out’ for us also in every one of his epistles. But when we see Paul preaching Jesus and Him crucified, we who are ALREADY SAVED ought to also acknowledge that we too are being instructed in “the doctrine which is according to godliness,” not so that we are ‘reassured’ about the gospel of our salvation from the debt and penalty of sin over, and over. We ought to be as the Thessalonian saints, they ‘knew their election,’ but we think the only “election” that pertains to us is our heavenly vocation. But we too ought to fully apprehend the value of the mercies of God, and all that He has provided for our SANCTIFIED walk, not just for our justified position in Christ.

2Ti 3:10  But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 

2Ti 3:11  Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 

2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 

2Ti 3:14  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 

Finally, the saints who understood and appreciated the “election of God,” and apprehended the value of this identity, they saw Paul’s example for them, they saw that walking in, and after the Lord in Godliness would cause Satan, and this world to ‘work against’ this “new man,” and they fully understood that this is where Christ’s strength “is made perfect” in our weakness. They knew what “glory” it produced when they suffered “with Him,” they “continued in the things” for Christ’s sake, and the ministry’s sake, and as Paul had educated them in the sufferings that Christ faced for the ’sakes’ of others, they saw Paul’s sufferings for Christ’s sake, and the ministry’s sake, they saw the selfless love of Christ “on the right hand, and on the left.” This is why the word of God worked effectually within the Thessalonian saints, but not the others, it was because they “saw,” and believed the mercies of God toward them, and desired to follow this identity as a living sacrifice unto the Lord in godliness.

1Th 3:3  That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 

1Th 3:4  For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. 

Rod Jones

  1. Edifying and insightful….thankful for the exhortation !

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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