Lesson 3 w/Answers: The Power of Faith1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
I hope that in the previous lesson’s study you saw how important that our daily living is in witnessing about Christ. Our character, our resolve, and the relationships we develop with others should all mirror Paul’s example in taking the gospel to the lost. Through the way we conduct our lives, love our neighbors, and care for those around us, Christ will always shine through as He did in Paul’s life. Finally, as we also saw in Paul’s example, witnessing is a long-term commitment, not a momentary one.
In this lesson, I want you to see how strong the faith of those at Thessalonica was by recognizing what faith really is, how we get it, and what we are to do with it. We will see how powerful God’s Holy Word is, the impact that it had on the Thessalonians—and the power it can have in your life.
Real, life-changing faith will give us a peace, a reassurance, a victory over the enemies of Christ, and help us to live a fulfilling and fruitful life. May God bless you as we study His Holy Word.
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16 and answer the following:
- In this passage, Paul is commending the Thessalonians for being faithful servants who accepted God’s Word and endured in their faith even in the face of severe persecution. Do you believe that their perseverance was evidence of their faith? Why?
- ANSWER: Clearly, their perseverance is a testimony to their faith—as it is to anyone who endures great hardship for the sake of the Gospel. We can say this emphatically, as we know that no one would suffer that kind of hardship for something they did not actually believe. We who follow Jesus are prepared for that day when we suffer as Jesus did, but because we know our eternal home is in heaven with God and His son Jesus, we will preserve until the end.
- How did the gospel message come to Thessalonica? (In verse 5, it came in three forms. Can you name them?)
- ANSWER: Just as was mentioned in Lesson 1, the Gospel came in three forms to the Thessalonians. Paul states that the Gospel came to them, not by man’s efforts, but by God’s will through the Holy Spirit, who empowered Paul to bring the message of good news to them. (The verse references the gospel coming in three ways: man’s words, in power, and through the Holy Spirit.)
- In the previous lesson, you were asked to read Acts 17: 1-15. Look at this passage again, as well as our study scripture for this lesson. Who were the people persecuting them?
- ANSWER: The Jews themselves were persecuting the Thessalonians, who themselves were also a mix of Jews and Gentiles. It is incredible that the very people God chose as His own were now persecuting the followers of his only Son, sent to save them from their sins. As Paul mentions in verse 16, because these Jews were keeping Paul and his team from speaking to the Gentiles who could be saved, they had sinned greatly; and God’s wrath will destroy them in the end.
- Enduring trials, persecutions, and facing our doubts and fears all require a strong faith in what we believe. How did those in Thessalonica, as well as we today, get the faith we need? (Romans 10:17)
- ANSWER: Romans 10:17 sums up how faith comes to each of us. It comes by hearing the word of God proclaimed, that Jesus is the true Messiah. All of us who follow Jesus came to that faith through hearing the Word of God—hearing. This means someone must speak, preach, teach, or proclaim that Word in order for anyone to be saved. Without the spoken word, faith won’t be found. This is why Paul was so upset that the Jews were preventing him from speaking the word of God to the Gentiles.
- There is power in God’s word, power beyond anything we can even imagine. What does God himself say about His Word? (Isaiah 55:11)
- ANSWER: In Isaiah 55:11, God tells us His word will accomplish His will; it never fails Him. We should not underestimate the power of God’s word, the Bible. When you have a chance to witness to someone lost, do not worry about to say; God will provide that for you. Think of it this way: if all you do is read God’s word to someone, God will use that to speak to that person’s heart. Again, His Word saves, not ours.
- Many people believe the Bible is simply a collection of writings by 50 or so authors over several thousand years. What do the Apostles tell us about God’s word and the book we today call the Holy Bible? (II Peter 1:21, and II Timothy 3:16-17)
- ANSWER: Peter tells us that all scripture is the inspired word of God, written by man as they were led by the Holy Spirit. Timothy tells that God gave us His Word so that we can use it for teaching, rebuking, correction and for training in righteousness. He goes on to tell us that God did this, "...so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
- Knowing then that faith comes from hearing the word of God, and that God’s Word is written out for us in the Bible as the Holy Spirit led men to write it; we realize that our faith isn’t blind—it is purposeful and will empower us to live as "faithful servants." What does God’s Word command us regarding faith? Beside each scripture below, in a word or two, write how we are to live our new life of faith.
- Romans 1:17
- ANSWER: We are to live by faith.
- Romans 4:12
- ANSWER: We are to follow in the footsteps of those who lived by faith.
- Matthew 21:22
- ANSWER: We are to believe, so that when we ask in prayer we will receive.
- Ephesians 6:16
- ANSWER: By living in faith, we keep away the evil one.
- 1 John 2:13-17
- ANSWER: Do not love the world; the world is not from the Father.
- Hebrews 11:13
- ANSWER: Hold to our faith, even if we will not receive the promise until later, after death.
- 1 Corinthians 16:13
- ANSWER: Be alert and courageous, stand firm, and do everything in love.
- 2 Corinthians 8:7
- ANSWER: Excel in grace, faith, speech, knowledge, and all diligence.
- Luke 17:5
- ANSWER: A small amount of faith can accomplish much.
- Romans 1:17
Finally, Proverbs 3:5-7 summarizes our life in faith. I pray that from this lesson’s study, you will commit to living your life out in faith, i.e., faith in our Lord’s provision for your every need, direction for your life, caring for your family, and with the hope of heaven firmly in your heart.
May God richly bless you as study this week.