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THE GOSPEL COMES TO THESSALONICA. Lesson 1 for July 7, 2012. In Acts 16:6-17:1, we read how God the led the coming of the Gospel to Thessalonica . . 4. 5. 3. 2. 1. The Holy Spirit forbade Paul to preach in Asia (Acts 16:6 )
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THE GOSPEL COMES TO THESSALONICA Lesson 1 for July 7, 2012
In Acts 16:6-17:1, we read how God the led the coming of the Gospel to Thessalonica. 4 5 3 2 1 The Holy Spirit forbade Paul to preach in Asia (Acts 16:6) In Mysia, the Holy Spirit didn’t let him go to Bithynia (Acts 16: 7) In Troas, Paul saw a vision during the night; a Macedonian man begged him to come to help them. He immediately began set off with his collaborators (Acts 16: 8-10) They arrived to Philippi (Acts 16:11-40) • Lydia became the first Christian in Macedonia. • Paul and Silas were harshly whipped and imprisoned. • An earthquake shook the prison and the jailer was converted. Filipos Tesalónica Troas Misia Asia They finally arrived to Thessalonica(Acts , 17: 1)
IN PHILIPPI “But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict” (1 Thessalonians 2:2) That experience helped Paul and Silas to face the problems that they were going to find in Thessalonica and in other places. Why were Paul and Silas so harshly whipped and imprisoned (Acts 16:16-23)? Sometimes the Gospel comes into conflict with some personal interests (Economic interests in this case) When this happens, there are two options; the person is converted and lets the Holy Spirit to change his/her interests or he/she rejects the message and becomes an enemy of the Gospel.
That’s the same strategy that Jesus used with the disciples in the road to Emmaus after the resurrection (Luke 24:13-35) He went to the synagogue in Sabbath; there he found some people who were receptive to the message. He preached by using the Scriptures as the foundation. He presented the story of Jesus. THESSALONICA What was Paul’s strategy for preaching the Gospel in Thessalonica (Acts 17:2-4) “AFTER leaving Philippi, Paul and Silas made their way to Thessalonica. Here they were given the privilege of addressing large congregations in the Jewish synagogue. Their appearance bore evidence of the shameful treatment they had recently received, and necessitated an explanation of what had taken place. This they made without exalting themselves, but magnified the One who had wrought their deliverance” E.G.W. (The Acts of the Apostles, cp. 22, pg. 221)
“Explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”” (Acts, 17:3) CHRIST IS PREACHED IN THESSALONICA Paul needed to clarify the wrong concepts about the nature of the Messiah, so the Jews from Thessalonica could accept Jesus as the Messiah (the Christ) The Jews only accepted those texts that described the Messiah as a glorious king, but they left out those texts that described Him as a suffering servant. Paul explained them that the Messiah had to suffer before being glorified.
“THE CHRIST HAD TO SUFFER” “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5) For the writers of the New Testament, Isaiah 53 was the key to the Messiah’s role. Paul would certainly have preached this text in Thessalonica. According to Isaiah 53, the Messiah would not appear kingly or powerful at the time of His first appearance. In fact, He would be rejected by many of His own people. But that rejection would be the prelude to the glorious Messiah of Jewish expectation. With this in mind, Paul was able to show that the Jesus he had come to know was, in fact, the Messiah whom the Old Testament had foretold.
THE FIRST CONVERTS IN THESSALONICA “And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas” (Acts 17:4) The first Christian Church in Thessalonica was made of: • SomeJews. • A great number of God-fearing Greeks. • Many noble women. Paul wrote his first epistle to the Thessalonians some time later, when the Church was eminently Gentile (1Ts. 1: 9) Although there was some noble people among them, most of the people had their own business or worked for others (1Ts. 4:11)
“Those who today teach unpopular truths need not be discouraged if at times they meet with no more favorable reception, even from those who claim to be Christians, than did Paul and his fellow workers from the people among whom they labored. The messengers of the cross must arm themselves with watchfulness and prayer, and move forward with faith and courage, working always in the name of Jesus. They must exalt Christ as man’s mediator in the heavenly sanctuary, the One in whom all the sacrifices of the Old Testament dispensation centered, and through whose atoning sacrifice the transgressors of God’s law may find peace and pardon” E.G.W. (The Acts of the Apostles, cp. 22, pg. 230)