Apr 22, 2008

1 Thessalonians 1:3–5: A Few Observations

Yesterday, I noted briefly the nature of Paul’s thanksgiving in 1 Thessalonians 1:2. Today, I want to offer a few observations about the rest of the thanksgiving, namely vv. 3–5. We begin by noting that a key component of Paul’s thanksgiving is his continual remembrance of the manifestation of Christian virtue (faith, love, hope) in the lives of the Thessalonians (v. 3; cf. 5:8). Another observation is the Trinitarian character of the thanksgiving with the Father and Son mentioned in v. 3 and the Holy Spirit noted in v. 5. A third observation is the soteriological character of the thanksgiving. We see election in v. 4, proclamation in v. 5a, and calling in v. 5b. Finally, one observes a foreshadowing element in the closing statement: “You know how we lived among you for your sake.” This previews the discussion of Paul’s ministry and character that will dominate chapter 2.

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