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YO UT H WO RK S B IB L E S TU DY S E R I E S


First published January 2004 Revised edition published March 2011 Anglican Youthworks PO Box A287, Sydney South NSW 1235 Ph: 612 8268 3344 Fax: 612 8268 3357 www.cepstore.com.au Copyright Youthworks Press © Ken Moser 2011 This book is copyright. Apart from fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without the written permission of the Publisher. Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. National Library of Australia ISBN 978-1-921460-74-6 Author – Ken Moser Editor, First edition – Julie Moser Managing Editor, Revised edition – Julie Firmstone Theological Editor – Marshall Ballantine-Jones Typesetting and design – Rebecca Jee


Welcome to the book of 1 Thessalonians. This is one of the Apostle Paul’s earliest letters and it’s filled with great instruction about how to live as a follower of Jesus. Over the next few weeks, these studies will help you to get to know more about Jesus and become a stronger Christian. Here are a few simple things you need to know about the book of 1 Thessalonians:

Paul wrote to a group of Christians that he came to know for only a short time. He had visited a place called Thessalonica (you can still visit this city in modern Greece) and spent less than a month preaching about Jesus. Some people decided to turn to Christ. This repentance – turning from a lifestyle of idolatry and sin – was marked by a different way of living. Unfortunately, Paul was forced to leave the town (see Acts 17:5–12) and, a short while later, he sent Timothy back to find out how they were. When Timothy came back to Paul he brought good news – the Thessalonians were still strong Christians! They still had faith in Jesus and loved each other deeply. With this news Paul was overjoyed. He wrote this letter just after Timothy came back.

In this letter from Paul, there are a number of themes that emerge, including: • • • • •

The changed life of the Thessalonians Paul’s model of ministry Sexual purity The return of the Lord Jesus How we should live in these ‘last days’.

Each study will follow a similar pattern: you will spend a few minutes ‘warming up’ and then move on into more in-depth questions. You will finish with some questions designed to help you put what you’ve learned into practice. Enjoy this fantastic book of 1 Thessalonians. Ken Moser

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You have just discovered something very important that can help millions of people. How would you go about telling people? Circle your choice, then share your answer giving a reason for your choice.

Have you ever told someone about Jesus? How did they react? (For example, were they happy, angry, bored etc.?)

1 Thessalonians is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the Church in the city of Thessalonica. Paul had preached the good news about Jesus in Thessalonica and a small church was formed. To understand this letter we need to look at the story about how Paul made ‘first contact’ with the Thessalonians in Acts 17.

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Read Acts 17:1–9 What are your first impressions from this story?

Paul usually started preaching about Jesus in a town by going to the local synagogue (a place where Jewish people met to worship God). Why do you think he went there and not somewhere else? (If you need help, see Paul’s background: Acts 22:3; Galatians 1:13–14; Philippians 3:5–6)

Explain in your own words the message Paul preached.

Telling people about Jesus can bring a couple of different reactions:

What three groups of people became followers of Jesus? (verse 4)

1.

2

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What was the response by some of the Jewish people and why do you think they responded this way? (verses 5–9)

Have you ever seen people respond like the three groups in verse 4?

Have you ever seen people react angrily to the message about Jesus?

Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1–3 When he thought of his friends in Thessalonica, what did Paul thank God for? (verse 3)

What would these three things look like in everyday life? Can you give any examples?

How do you think Paul felt when he saw the positive results of his preaching?

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Three marks of a Christian should be faith, love and hope (verse 3). Read what the following passages have to say on the subject: 2 Thessalonians 1:3–4 1 Corinthians 13:13 Colossians 1:3–5 Are these three characteristics seen in your life?

Is there anything you need to do to increase them?

If you want to read more on these three topics, here are some great Bible verses to look up: Faith: Galatians 3:6–9; Hebrews 11:1–2; James 2:14–20 Love: Romans 12:9–16; 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:13–14 Hope and endurance: 2 Corinthians 4:16–18; Titus 2:11–14; Hebrews 12:2–3

Has following Jesus changed you? If so, how?

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How can we help each other in this group to have more faith, love and hope?

How can we be bold like the Apostle Paul when it comes to sharing our faith?

• • •

Pray that our lives would reflect faith, love and hope to those around us. Pray also for boldness in sharing the good news about Jesus. Other things we can pray for:

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What does it mean to follow Jesus? What changes does it bring? The book of 1 Thessalonians answers these questions with advice on a variety of topics including: dealing with persecution; relating to the opposite sex; Christian leadership and much more! About the author Ken Moser has been running youth groups and small group Bible studies for 25 years. In addition to a second Youthworks Bible Study: Job – Trusting God in hard times, Ken is the author of several youth ministry books and resources. These include Changing the world through effective youth ministry and Youth evangelism: Reaching young people in a way that honours God. He teaches youth ministry at Briercrest seminary in Canada.

About the Youthworks Bible Study series More than ever, young people today need answers to life’s big questions. The Youthworks Bible Study series is designed to challenge and encourage young people to be confident in their faith in Jesus in a changing world. The studies have been written by experienced youth leaders and are arranged into Old Testament, New Testament and Topical.

ISBN 978-1-921460-74-6

9 781921 460746

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