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1 Thessalonians 3

Talks for Growing Christians

Standing Firm in the Midst of Affliction

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Lesson Number 5

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers are destined for afflictions in this life.
  2. Believers are destined for glory in the next life.

Practical Application

  1. How would the Apostle Paul refer to you?

Questions

  1. Read 1 Thessalonians 3:1. What could Paul no longer endure?
  2. How did Paul find out how the Thessalonian believers were doing?
  3. What was the report brought back to Paul?
  4. Why did Paul want to return to Thessalonica?
  5. What are “afflictions”?
  6. Why does God allow afflictions?

Answers

  1. Paul could not endure not knowing how the believers were responding to persecution.
  2. He sent Timothy back to check on them, and to establish and encourage them in their faith.
  3. That the believers were standing firm in their faith.
  4. To see the believers and perfect (or complete) what was lacking in their faith. They were young in their faith and needed to know more about the content of their faith so they could grow and mature as believers.
  5. Affliction are any suffering due to circumstances or antagonism by people.
  6. Many reasons, including to prove the reality of the faith of the believer and to comfort others going through similar trials.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Believers are destined for afflictions in this life. Was this only true of the Thessalonian believers? See Acts 14:22 and 2 Timothy 3:12. If we are trying to live a godly life, we will experience opposition. Discuss the reasons why God allows these afflictions (see question #6). Have you found this to be true in your life?
  2. Believers are destined for glory in the next life. We will be with Christ when He returns to earth to set up His glorious kingdom. We are going to share His glory then. See Colossians 3:4. The glory we will share then far outweighs the suffering we endure now. See Romans 8:17-18. Are you suffering now?

Challenge

  1. Paul refers to Timothy as "our brother and minister of God and our fellow-laborer in the gospel of Christ." How would the Apostle Paul refer to you?

Key Verses

  • “ Timothy…our brother and minister of God and our fellow-laborer in the gospel of Christ. ” - 1 Thessalonians 3:2
  • “ Be not shaken by afflictions; for you know that we are appointed to this. ” - 1 Thessalonians 3:3
  • “ In all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord. ” - 1 Thessalonians 3:7-8
  • “ Night and day we pray exceedingly that we might see you and perfect what is lacking in your faith…and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, so He may establish your hears blameless in holiness before the Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. ” - 1 Thessalonians 3:10, 12-13

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