These application questions are designed to be preceded by observation questions to provide a self-directed or group study of the book of 1st Thessalonians. Enjoy!
1 Thessalonians 3 – Application Questions
Read 1 Thessalonians Chapter 3 thoroughly and answer the questions below. Consider reading the chapter multiple times before answering.
- It was no small sacrifice for the Apostle Paul to send his faithful co-worker Timothy back to Thessalonica, leaving himself to minister alone in Athens (2:19-3:2). In what ways have you been willing to sacrifice or be inconvenienced for the spiritual well-being of others?
- Although the Apostle Paul had much positive to say about the Thessalonians and the genuineness of their faith, he also recognized that they needed to be established and further exhorted in their faith (3:2). In what ways are you continuing to grow and be strengthened in your faith?
- It was important that the Thessalonians become established in their faith because such maturity would be required to persevere through trials (3:3). How have trials affected your faith? Has suffering in this life caused you to experience doubt or other spiritual struggles? What difficult experiences can you point to which you know have had a strengthening effect on your faith?
- In the short time that Paul was with the Thessalonians, he felt it necessary to teach them about the inevitability of suffering and affliction in the Christian life (3:4). What might be some negative consequences if a believer does not have an understanding that suffering and trials are to be expected in the Christian life?
- Having been torn away from the Thessalonians (2:17), Paul did not spend as much time teaching and encouraging the church as he would have liked. For this reason, he feared that they were not yet firmly established in the faith and were therefore susceptible to Satan’s temptations (3:5). What temptations might a young believer face shortly after confessing Christ as his saviour and Lord? How did you struggle in the times immediately following your conversion?
- Although the Apostle Paul was suffering through his own distress and affliction, he found incredible comfort in the news that the Thessalonians were standing firmly in their faith and that they longed to see him once again (3:6-10). Are you able to maintain care and concern for others while you are experiencing your own suffering, or do you become self-focused? What might help us to maintain an others-oriented attitude even when our lives are difficult?
- Paul thanked God for, and took great joy in, the spiritual growth of the Thessalonians (3:9). Do you have people in your life whom you long to see grow spiritually? What are you doing to help them?
- Paul understood that genuine spiritual growth would include a growing love among believers for one another and for all (3:12). What is some evidence in your own life of a growing love for your fellow Christians and unbelievers?
- Paul also understood that spiritual growth would result in increasing holiness (3:13). In what ways has your life changed in the direction of holiness since you became a Christian?
- Paul cites the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints as a motivation for the Thessalonians to continue loving one another and to see their hearts established in blamelessness and holiness (3:13). In what ways has the reality of Christ’s second coming affected your life practically?