Lesson 2: Being An Effective Witness1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
In this lesson, we can observe much about what it means to be an effective witness for Christ through the examples of Paul, Silas, and Timothy in Thessalonica.
While having a prepared testimony can be part of witnessing, what is demonstrated in this lesson is that witnessing is a lot more about living than just sharing a testimony. It is developing relationships, having the right motives, meeting people’s needs, and of course being equipped as a disciple so that you can share the gospel with others.
In addition to the questions below, I have prepared a little test to demonstrate that you know more than you think when it comes to sharing the good news. Have fun with it, as well as with this lesson’s study.
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and answer the following:
- This chapter can be broken down into two main topics: (a) questions about Paul’s motives in spreading the gospel, and (b) the actions he and his group used to witness to others. Can you determine when the passage stops addressing his motives and begins to illustrate his actions?
- Read Acts 17: 1-15. This is the record of Paul’s missionary team’s visit to Thessalonica. Do you think that by reading this it will help you better understand the letter he has written to them? This indicates to us that we should use all of God’s Word when we study, as it will add a great deal of understanding to our efforts.
- Now look at 1 Thessalonians 2:1-6. In the following verses, the motives of Paul’s team are in question on several fronts. Beside each verse, list the thing that they are being accused of. You may want to look back to Acts 17: 1-15 for comparison as well.
- Verse 2:1
- Verse 2:2
- Verse 2:3 (in this verse they are accused of three things)
- Verse 2:4
- Verse 2:5
- Verse 2:6
- In the following verses, Paul and his group witness by "doing." What is it that they "do" in each of the following verses?
- Verse 2:7
- Verse 2:8
- Verse 2:9
- Verse 2:10
- Verse 2:11
- Verse 2:12 (in this verse they do three things)
- Can you see something in common between verse 7 and verse 11? What does this tell us about our witness?
- Consider all that you have read in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and Acts 17:1-15. It will tell us many things about Paul and his team of witnesses—how they approached spreading the gospel (in the synagogue, first to the Jews, then in Gentile homes), their motives, their character (worked secular jobs to support their ministry, high moral ethics, etc.), their ability to develop long lasting relationships, and their understanding of God’s word and Christ as the Messiah. It also shows us something else about our witness. Consider this: was Paul a one-day and gone preacher? Did he and his team immediately leave any village or city where the Jews rejected them? Did Paul and his group leave as soon as they faced tough times? What does this tell us about commitment, persistence, the importance of time in building lasting relationships, and our approach to witnessing?
Now, here is the little test that I warned you about. Have fun with it! TEST: Being An Effective Witness
May God richly bless you as study this lesson this week.