An Exemplary People

One Sunday morning in 1865, a black man entered a fashionable church in Richmond, Virginia. When Communion was served, he walked down the aisle and knelt at the altar. A rustle of resentment swept the congregation. How dare he! After all, believers in that church used the common … More

Example

Despite severe suffering the Thessalonians had welcomed their message and became imitators of Paul and Silas (v. 6). The message of salvation, though welcomed with great joy brought the Thessalonians severe suffering because it led to persecution from both Jews and Gentiles (3:2-4). Often a new Christian first looks to other believers as his example, but then as he matures he realizes that Jesus Christ is his best model (I Peter 2:21). This is a good reason why we need to be very careful how we walk before others. When Paul wrote his letter to the Corinthians, he said, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (I Corinthians 11:1). What a challenge for every one of us who know the Lord!

The way we live affects not only how we communicate the truth but how others receive it and in turn what they do with it. The modeling process did not stop with Paul, Silas and Timothy but continued through the Thessalonian Christians. What they saw in these men’s lives was then exemplified to others (v. 7).

After commending these believers for being a good example, Paul shared the results. He said, “The Lord’s message “sounded out” from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia but your faith in God has become known everywhere” (v. 8). The word sounded actually means to blast out like a trumpet. In fact the “Lord’s message” was so clear that Paul didn’t need to travel to other parts of the world to share the gospel.

Application

Could I honestly say to a new Christian, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ?"  I can be sure that others are watching my life and some may even be looking to me as a role model. The responsibility I have is awesome!

I Thessalonians 1:6-8 (English Standard Version)

And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.

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