Weekly Gathered

January 20, 2019

1 Thessalonians 1:7-10

Gospel Conversion – Part II

Should our church be focused on local or global ministry? Should we be seeking to support missionaries here in New Hampshire, in the broader region or nation, or those overseas? These are questions we wrestle with throughout the year and will discuss and vote on next week at our annual business meeting.

At FCBC, we believe these are not “either-or” questions, but “both-and.” And as we continue to study the “ordinary church” in Thessalonica, we can see this illustrated. Last week, we saw how Paul was overjoyed by the local Gospel conversion of those in the church at Thessalonica. The true words of the Gospel infused with the true power of the Spirit were proclaimed by true witnesses to the Thessalonians, who imitated that witness with true obedience. All of this happened locally.

However, in the second half of the chapter, we see that the local conversion at Thessalonica has led to the word of the Lord spreading outside the region of Thessalia, throughout Macedonia and Achaia (essentially the entirety of mainland Greece) and even “everywhere.” (1 Thess 1:8).

Local conversion has far-reaching effects.

As you prepare for Sunday Gathered, read 1 Thess 1:7-10, and then reflect on these questions:

  • How were the Thessalonians transformed? (vv 9-10; see also Rom 12:2)
  • How did this local transformation lead to widespread impact (vv 7-10)
  • How can local discipleship impact worldwide missions?
  • Paul imitates Christ (1 Cor 11:1)
  • The Thessalonians imitate Christ by imitating Paul and his companions (v6)
  • The Macedonians and Achaians imitate Christ by following the example of the Thessalonians (v7)
  • The word sounds forth “everywhere” (v8)