These application questions are designed to be preceded by observation questions to provide a self-directed or group study of the book of Thessalonians. Enjoy!
Read 1 Thessalonians Chapter 1 thoroughly and answer the questions below. Consider reading the chapter multiple times.
- When Paul thought about the faith, hope and love which was evident among the Thessalonians, it led him to thank God and to pray for them. What does this tell us about the types of things which should cause us to thank God and to pray for others? How does this differ from many prayer requests that you hear? (v2-3)
- Does the spiritual growth of others bring you joy? If so, why? If not, why not?
- As Paul stated the things for which he was thankful, he specifically mentioned the Thessalonian’s work of faith, labour of love, and steadfastness of hope. Consider whether or not these three things are present in your life as you answer the questions below. (v2-3)
- Faith always shows itself through our works (James 2:17). In what ways is your faith in Jesus clearly seen through your life? (v3)
- Faith in Jesus Christ always results in a love for others (4:9-10; 1 Cor 13:2; Gal 5:6; Eph 1:15; Col 1:4; 2 The 1:3; Phm 5; 1 John 3:10,23; Matt 22:37-39; John 13:34). How have you seen a love for others develop in your life since you’ve believed in Christ? (v3)
- Belief in Christ includes a steadfast hope in his future return (1:10; Gal 5:5; Rom 8:23; Php 3:20; 1 Cor 1:7; 2 Pet 3:14; 1 John 3:2-3). In what ways does the promise of Christ’s return give you hope? How has the reality that he is going to return affected your life practically? (v3)
- There is no way of knowing who is “chosen” by God before these individuals come to Christ for salvation. However, Paul indicates that he was confident that the Thessalonians were “loved by God” and “chosen”. His confidence was based upon what he heard about how they received the gospel when it was preached to them (2:13). The word worked powerfully among them through the Holy Spirit and they experienced full conviction.
In what ways do the effects of the ministry of the word in your own life lead you to believe that you are a genuine believer? Does the word of God seem powerful to you? Do you believe it with conviction? Does it convict you? (v4-5)
- Another evidence that the Thessalonians were indeed loved and chosen by God is that they received the word joyfully, in much affliction (2:14; 3:3). Do you have a pattern of remaining faithful to the word even in the midst of trouble (Matt 13:20-21)? Are you able to maintain a spiritual joy even when things are difficult? (v6)
- Because of the clear evidence of genuine salvation in the Thessalonians, and their faithfulness to the word in the midst of suffering, they became an example to others. In what ways has your life of faithfulness been an example to others? Have there been times when you’ve failed to be this example? What could you have done differently? (v7-8)
- The Thessalonians experienced a dramatic transformation when they were saved (Eph 2; 2 Cor 5:17; 1 Pet 4:1-6). It was obvious to people far and wide that they turned from pagan, dead idols to serve the living and true God. In what ways have you experienced such a transformation since you’ve believed? Is it clear to everyone around you that your faith has transformed your life? (v9-10)