Sermon by Pastor Raymond Keable
1Thes Lesson #1: Introduction
1Thessalonians is the 2nd epistle written by Paul. I favor Galatians being 1st. Why?
In Acts 13, 14 Paul and Barnabas went on their first apostolic journey which took them into Galatia – cities like Antioch, Lystra, Derbe, etc. I believe soon after Paul returned from this journey he wrote the letter to the Galatians.
Acts 14:27-28: 27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that
God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. 28 And there they abode
long time with the disciples.
Gal 1:6: 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another
THE FIRST RESPONSE FROM THE “RELIGIOUS CROWD” IS NEVER ACCEPTANCE! IT IS: Gal 3:1-5; 4:9-15; 5:4, 7!
The order of the Acts period epistles: Gal (?); 1Thes (Acts 18); 2Thes & 1Cor (Acts 19); 2Cor & Rom (Acts 20)
—1Thes is the first or second epistle but it is the last in canonical order. Why? Rom – 2Thes are the 9 epistles Paul wrote to the local churches. 1 & 2 Tim, Titus, & Philemon are “pastoral” epistles because they are written to individuals, to persons, not churches.
—There are four “gospels” in scripture: Matthew – John. This is because there is a four-fold doctrinal view that is presented, four distinctly different points about Messiah that the O.T. prophets told Israel to look for, which is what these four books present. There are doctrinal reasons for this! The so-called conflicts between these four books have to do with the way they are structured in order to accomplish God’s desire & design. (King, servant, man, God)
In Paul’s epistles, you have the same issue going on … for doctrinal reasons!
—People say: Let us study them chronologically, the order in which they were written. But the Bible does not do this, for doctrinal reasons. Paul’s epistles are ordered & organized based on Rom 16:25-26 & 2Tim 3:16-17:
The edification design, the information we need to learn first, then next, & so forth!
—This is done in order to carry you from milk to meat, from being a baby, unskilled in the Word, to being an adult with skill: Romans, the doctrine designed to orient you to grace; to 1 & 2 Cor & Gal, which are commentaries … reproof & correction on the doctrine of Romans:
Rom 16:25-26: 25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of
Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 16 But
now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the
everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
—Then, Ephesians carries you into the orientation toward the goal for which God created the church, the B.O.C.
—Then, Phil & Col are reproof & correction about the doctrine in Ephesians.
—After this, 1 & 2 Thes teaches you about the glory the Lord is going to have when He executes His purpose. After this, there is no more reproof & correction. If you studied them in God’s order, they would do for you what they are designed to do! This is why they are not in chronological order, to give you this edification design!
—And yet, when you study Acts & the epistles Paul wrote during the Acts period, you can identify when he wrote most of them. He wrote:
Gal written first: before Acts 18. Any time after Acts 15: This chapter coincides with, corresponds to Galatians 2.
1Thes written from Corinth in Acts 18.
2Thes written from Ephesus in Acts 19. 1Cor written from Ephesus in Acts 19.
2Cor written from Macedonia in Acts 20. Rom written from Corinth in Acts 20.
The reason for the written order of six of Paul’s epistles in Acts is opposite from the edification issue. How so?
—When you want to know & deal with the issues that come up in the ministry, the issues are going to be the things of the contrary mind … THE OPPOSITION! This is where the chronological order helps you! Again, why?
—You can start with Gal & you can work your way through 1 & 2 Thes, 1 & 2 Cor, & so forth (the order in which they are written), & you will discover that in each of these books there were problems Paul was seeking to correct.
—The chronological order identifies for you, in the reality of life & ministry, the issues you are going to face!
—This is really the order in which the problems will come at you. This helps when you get involved in the work of the ministry … to be on guard in looking for & being aware of what we will be dealing with.
So, there is a doctrinal design either way to do it!
—We are much more concerned about the edification design (Rom 16:25-26), but it is important to understand that the design associated with the chronological order in which they were written is also important for our ministry.
Nothing in scripture is unimportant!
THE REAL PURPOSE OF THE BOOK OF ACTS!
The popular view of the book of Acts is that it is a history of the birth of the church. Rather than being a book on the history of the church, it is a record of the fall of Israel & God’s right & justice of setting Israel aside & turning to the Gentiles through Paul’s ministry! Not the beginnings of the church! The Acts time period is an incubator for the fledging new church, the BOC & new dispensation, both which began in Acts 9!
Read Acts 9:15 & Rom 11:11-12
The other edification passage!
2 Tim 3:16-17: 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all
good works. Notice what Paul does at the end of every epistle:
1 Cor 16:21: 21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand. salutation: A greeting; either written or oral.
Col 4:18: 18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
2 Thes 3:17: 17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.
token: a sign, a mark, one that distinguishes you from others & is known. Your signature!
It looks like Paul “physically” wrote only 2 of his 13 Epistles. The rest he dictated to scribes or secretaries.
Gal 6:11: 11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. (Philemon 1:18-21)
—One of the reasons why I believe Gal was written first is because of the response to the message: anger, unbelief.
—Why would Paul personally write an epistle with his own hand to the Galatians? Is it because they were attacked first? Does this lend credibility to Galatians being his first epistle? Gal 2:14; 3:1-3; 4:9, 16; 5:7
The phrase in 2Tim 3:17: throughly furnished (Gk 1882), is used 2 times. In Acts 21:5: accomplished.
This phrase is fitted with an interesting Greek preposition: Ek (Gk 1537)
Preposition: in grammar, a word usually put before another to express some relation or quality, action or motion to or from the thing specified.
Ek: a primary preposition used for Gk 1882: to fit out (time); figuratively, to equip fully (teacher): to complete; to furnish perfectly (fitted with necessaries … things necessary for some purpose), denoting origin from the point from which action or motion proceeds. (Things to shun & things to seek: 2Tim 2:22-26)
Ek: denotes as well exit or emission out of, as a separation from something with which there has been a close connection! HOW CLOSE OF A CONNECTION DO WE HAVE WITH OUR OLD SIN NATURE?
Job 15:16: 16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?
Isa 1:3-4: 3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
It was under Paul’s ministry when believers were 1st called Christians. A title never used prior to Acts 11:26!
Acts 11:26: 26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole
year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called
Christians first in Antioch. This makes Paul’s writings the first & earliest Christian literature!
—The title “Christian” was not just for the church, the B.O.C., in the dispensation of grace. Peter also uses the term:
1 Pet 4:16: 16Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
Do you know how you can prove the Hebrew epistles were not written to us today?
Read Heb 12:29; Jas 1:1; 1Pet 2:12; 1Pet 4:3; 3John 1:7; Rev 1:6
In Thessalonica, people became Christians under much persecution! 1Thes 1:5-6; 2:1-2
The Thessalonians glorified God in four ways:
1. 1Thes 2:13: they received His Word.
2. 1Thes 2:13: they believed His Word.
3. 1Thes 1:6: they relied upon the Word regardless of experience.
4. 1Thes 3:3-5: they knew how to fight against the tempter.
1 Thes 3:1-5: 1 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; 2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: 3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. 5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
THIS IS “REALITY” PREACHING! NOTHING HAS CHANGED WITH THE WORLD OR WITH MANKIND!!!