These observation questions are designed to be followed with application questions to provide a self-directed or group study of the book of Thessalonians. Enjoy!
Read 1 Thessalonians Chapter 2 thoroughly and answer the questions below. Consider reading the chapter multiple times.
- In Chapter 1, Paul listed what he saw as wonderful evidences that his (along with Silas and Timothy’s) ministry in Thessalonica was fruitful. He now begins to highlight further evidence that his coming to them was not in vain (evidence which should have been plain to them as well). Summarize his point in verse 2.
- Although Paul and his missionary companions had been treated shamefully in Philippi, they remained emboldened to preach the gospel. According to verse 3, what does Paul suggest this willingness to declare the gospel in the midst of conflict proves about the nature of their message?
- Judging by verse 3, what do you think were some of the accusations against Paul and his companions?
- Paul and his companions did not preach error, nor did they deal in impurity, nor did they seek to deceive others (v3). On the contrary, how did he characterize he and his companions in verse 4?
- The fact that God had approved Paul and his companions and had entrusted them with the gospel was clear. It is seen in both the effectiveness of their preaching of the gospel and in the fact that they boldly endured in their ministry, even in the midst of conflict. In the latter part of verse 4, Paul gives another important characteristic of such a genuine ministry, what is it?
- According to verses 5-6, what are three evidences that Paul and his companions conducted their ministry in order to please God, and not man?
- As Paul lists the selfless and God-centered ways in which he conducted his ministry among the Thessalonians, he is sure to make a qualification (the latter portion of verse 6), what is it?
- Although Paul, as an Apostle, could have made legitimate demands of the Thessalonians as he ministered among them, he did not. Instead, according to verse 7, how did he interact with them?
- In verse 8, Paul continues to express his love for the Thessalonian church. How did Paul feel about this church? What were he and his companions willing to do for them?
- According to verse 9, what is the evidence of Paul’s willingness to sacrifice for the Thessalonians?
- Earlier in the chapter Paul indicated that his ministry was never characterized by error, impurity, deception, flattery, greed, or a desire to please people. According to verse 10, what three things did characterize his ministry?
- After illustrating his love for the Thessalonians by comparing his care for them to that of a Mother for her nursing child, Paul then compares it to that of a Father for his children. Like a Father, what three things did Paul do for the Thessalonians (v12)?
- In chapter 1:2-3 Paul expressed his thankfulness toward God for the Thessalonian church and the abundant fruit they had shown. Paul returns to this theme of thankfulness in verse 13. What does Paul thank God for?
- There was clear evidence that the Thessalonians had received the preaching of the gospel as the very word of God. Some of this evidence was the fact that they had become like the churches in Judea. In what way did they become like the churches in Judea (vss 14-15)?
- In verses 15-16, what does Paul indicate were some of the sinful actions of those Jews who opposed the preaching of Christ?
- According to verse 16, how has God responded to these Jews who have persecuted Paul, driven him out, and hindered him from preaching to the Gentiles?
- Although the persecuting Jews had driven Paul out of Thessalonica and away from this young church, his love for them had not diminished. What was the evidence of Paul’s ongoing care for this church even in his absence? (vss 17-18)
- In verses 19-20, Paul continues to emphasize his love for this church. In what four ways does he describe them?