Main point summary
We, (Paul, Silas, and Timothy) write to you (Thessalonians) with a specific purpose of delivering a divine message of grace and peace.
If you were to distill Paul's purpose for writing all 13 of his letters into two words what do you think those two words be? Take a moment and look at the beginning of all of Paul's letters (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; Philemon 3; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4). Did you notice the two recurring words in the opening off all his letters? God, through Paul, chose to purposefully use the words "grace" and "peace." As Paul wrote, he expected that God's grace and peace would flow into and out of people's lives as they read his letters. This is Paul's purpose in writing this letter to the Thessalonian Church and it is also his purpose for writing his other New Testament letters. A MESSAGE OF GRACE All of Paul's letters contain the message of the grace. The message of grace is one which purposefully flows from God whose greatest display of that grace is at the cross. Grace rescues and saves the sinner making him or her a child of God. However, grace doesn't stop at the cross. It flows outward enabling those of us changed by it to extend it and its message to others (Acts 1:8). The cross is like a grace generator. It is the power source for every aspect of the believer's salvation and sanctification. If there is no cross, there is no power source. The grace of the cross has the power not only to save the sinner but also to sanctify the saint. A MESSAGE OF PEACE Paul's letters also contain a message of peace. The message of peace also purposefully flows from God whose greatest display of that peace is at the cross. Since we are sinners, we all fall under the wrath of God. This means everyone is at enmity with God. There is no peace between God and man. How can we have peace? God initiates a peace treaty. A peace treaty is an agreement between two hostile parties which formally ends a state of war. God's initiates and writes the treaty. This treaty states that he will take the blame and guilt for what started the war in the first place. When God draws you into this treaty and saves you, it is important to note that the treaty will never be broken. One never needs not worry about a future hostile attack from God. The war is over. At the cross, God's wrath has been satisfied. Jesus has become the propitiation for our sin. He takes the blame and guilt for our sin even though he was sinless. Like grace, God's peace also doesn't end at the cross. It also flows outward enabling us to be at peace not only with God but also with each other. We are to bring this message of peace to a world at war with God. CONCLUSION The grace and peace that God's extends to us through the gospel is the fabric that binds the church together. Not only does it transform our relationship vertically (with God) but it also transforms our relationships horizontally (with others). Let us take this gospel fabric and adorn it (Titus 2:10) before a watching world. When the world asks us where they can buy this counter-cultural clothing, we take them to the cross where they learn the best news of all - that these gospel cloths are free of charge.
1 Thessalonians 1:1
Paul, a Silvanus, and Timothy,
Paul, Silus, and Timothy,
To the church of the b Thessalonians
We open this letter with a greeting to the Thessalonian church
in God the Father
located in God the Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ:
and located in the Lord Jesus Christ...
c Grace to you
Our purpose in writing to your church is to deliver a message to you from God. This message is one of grace that God extends to you through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
and a message of peace that is also extended to you through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The kindness that God gives to those who do not deserve his kindness. This kindness from God: Grants forgiveness of sin Grants eternal salvation (as opposed to eternal damnation) through Jesus Grants ongoing grace throughout the life of the believer to be able to continue to believe and obey God. Grants the believer to extend this kind of grace to others.
The peace that God gives to his people: Peace between God and man that can only be achieved by Jesus' work on the cross The aforementioned peace will give mankind a clear conscience and peace of mind The ability to live in harmony or promote harmonious way of life. Our relationships with God and each other become so secure and safe that we do not have to worry about a hostile attack.