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1 Thessalonians chapter 2

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What does 1 Thessalonians chapter 2 mean?

In this chapter Paul recalls his ministry at Thessalonica. He had been maltreated at Philippi, but his suffering did not deter him from moving on to Thessalonica and declaring the gospel there. His willingness to suffer in order to share the gospel showed he wasn't motivated by money or self-glory. God had entrusted him with the gospel, and he had been true to that trust. His message was truly from God. His motives for preaching the gospel were pure. And his ministry was genuine. He testifies that the Thessalonian Christians had become "very dear to us" (1 Thessalonians 2:1–8).

Just as a mother gently cares for her children, so Paul was gentle among the Thessalonian believers. He would not be a burden to them, but provided for his own needs. Most likely, Paul did this by working part-time as a tentmaker (Acts 18:3), much as many modern evangelists need to work in some kind of secular field in order to support their ministry work. The Thessalonians could see that Paul was a righteous servant of God, and just as a responsible father encourages and instructs his children, so Paul acted as a father on behalf of the believers at Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 2:9–12).

Paul thanks God for the Thessalonians, because they had responded positively to the Word of God, and the Word had produced fruit in their lives. They had become like the Judean believers by withstanding persecution. Paul assures his readers that those who oppose the gospel are objects of God's wrath. He explains that he wanted to return to Thessalonica, but Satan hindered him from doing so. He calls the Christians at Thessalonica his glory and joy (1 Thessalonians 2:13–20).
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