1Th 3:1 Explain the chronology and locations of Paul’s interaction with the Thessalonians. See Acts 17:1-18:5. Who is the “we” here? What does this verse tell us about the deep concern Paul felt for those children he had begotten in the Lord? Was travel free in those days? How might Paul’s experience with the Galatian churches that resulted in the Jerusalem Council have heightened his concern for the Galatians?
1Th 3:2 How long had Timothy been with Paul? See Acts 16:1ff. What was his estimate of this young man? See 1 Cor 4:17, Phil 2:19-23. Why did Paul send Timothy to the Thessalonians? Note: NASB “strengthen” means to strengthen in the sense of establish; see 3:13 for the same word, and also 2 Thess 2:17, 3:3.
1Th 3:3 Why would the Thessalonians need strengthened or established in their faith? Note: NASB “disturbed” means literally “to wag the tail” and in a metaphorical sense to flatter or beguile. How might such afflictions beguile a new believer?
1Th 3:4 Are Paul’s words about the certainty of affliction applicable only to those in the first century, or do they apply even to American Christians today? See Matthew 7:14 where the Greek word for affliction is the same translated there as “narrow”. Why would true believers be destined for affliction in this world regardless of the time or government under which they lived? See Jn 3:19-21, 15:19-21, 16:1-3,33, Acts 14:22, 2 Tim 3:12.
1Th 3:5 Is it significant that Paul says in 1Th 3:2 “we sent Timothy” and in this verse “I also sent to find out about your faith”? See Acts 18:5. How might the tempter have tempted the Thessalonians in their circumstances? Why does Paul say his labor would then be in vain? See Matthew 10:22. What did Paul understand about the danger of falling away? See Gal 4:11, Phil 2:15-16. Should we be as concerned?
1Th 3:6 How was the loyalty of the Thessalonians to Paul different from that of the Galatians? See Gal 1:6.
1Th 3:7-8 Besides distress and affliction of direct persecution, what other type of distress afflicted Paul? See 2 Cor 11:28. What was his great comfort? See 2 Cor 7:5-7. (For a nice study on the importance of standing firm in the Lord, see Jn 8:31, 15:4,7, Acts 11:23, 1 Cor 15:58, 16:13, Gal 5:1, Eph 3:17, 4:15-16, 6:13,14, Phil 1:27, 4:1, Col 1:23, Heb 3:14, 4:14, 10:23, 1 Pet 5:10, 2 Pet 3:17, Rev 3:3,11.)
1Th 3:9 What was the source of Paul’s great joy? What is the nature of true joy, and how does one obtain it?
1Th 3:10 How often did Paul pray? How often do we pray? What was the substance of Paul’s prayers for the Thessalonians? What was lacking in their faith? See 2 Cor 7:1, Eph 4:13, Phil 3:12-14, Col 1:28, 4:12, Heb 6:1-2.
1Th 3:11-12 What was the substance of Paul’s prayer in regard to the Thessalonians? Did he ask that they be made prosperous? Did he ask that their afflictions cease? What is of greater importance than these? With verse 12 see 1Th 4:9-10, Gal 5:6,13-14, 22.
1Th 3:13 For what purpose does Paul pray that the Thessalonians may abound in love for one another? What part of a person is to be established unblamable in holiness? See 1 Tim 1:5. How is this different from all of man’s self-made religion? See Col 2:20-23, Mat 23:25-28. Why is it important for one to be established unblamable in holiness at the coming of the Lord Jesus? See 2 Thess 1:8. Who is Jesus coming with? See 1Th 4:14.