First Thessalonians: 1 Thessalonians 1:5a-The Holy Spirit’s Power was Manifested to the Thessalonians by the Proclamation of the Gospel Lesson # 10
1 Thessalonians 1:1 From Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you! 1:2 We thank God always for all of you as we mention you constantly in our prayers, 1:3 because we recall in the presence of our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:4 We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you. 1:5 in that our gospel did not come to you merely in words, but in power and in the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction (surely you recall the character we displayed when we came among you to help you). (NET)
1 Thessalonians 1:1 From Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, to the Thessalonian congregation in union and fellowship with God the Father as well as the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to each and every one of you resulting in peace. 2 We make it our habit of always giving thanks to the one and only God (the Father) on behalf of each and every one of you because we constantly make it our practice of bringing each and every one of you into remembrance during our prayers. 3 Specifically, because we make it our habit of remembering in the presence of God, our Father, your work, which was produced by your faith, as well as your labor, which was motivated by your divine-love and also your perseverance which was produced by your confident expectation of blessing from our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 Furthermore, because each one of us possesses the conviction He elected each and every one of you to privilege brothers and sisters, divinely loved by the one and only God (who is the Father). 5 At the same time, each and every one of us exists in the state of possessing the conviction that our proclamation of the gospel was by no means manifested by the act of speaking only but on the contrary, by means of power as well. Specifically, it was manifested by means of the Holy Spirit’s power as well as with deep conviction. In the same way, each one of you exist in the state of possessing the conviction regarding the quality of character each one of us as individuals manifested among each one of you for the benefit of each of you. (My translation)
1 Thessalonians 1:5 contains a hoti direct object clause, which itself contains an emphatic correlative clause which is followed by an epexegetical clause which defines specifically the meaning of the emphatic correlative clause and this verse ends with comparative clause.
The hoti direct object clause presents another conviction that Paul, Silvanus and Timothy possessed while at the same time possessing the conviction that the Thessalonians were elected by God.
This hoti direct object clause asserts that Paul, Silvanus and Timothy each possessed the conviction that their proclamation of the gospel to the Thessalonians was by no means manifested by the act of speaking only but on the contrary, by means of power as well.
Thus, verses 2-4 speak of the Thessalonians while on the other hand, verse 5 speaks of Paul, Silvanus and Timothy and then, verse 6 draws a comparison between these three men and the Thessalonians Christian community.
Specifically, the comparison is that the Thessalonians experienced undeserved suffered as a result of accepting the gospel, while on other hand, Paul, Silvanus and Timothy experienced undeserved suffering as a result of proclaiming the gospel.
The purpose of this comparison is to demonstrate the solidarity that existed between the Thessalonians and Paul, Silvanus and Timothy because of the gospel.
The participle form of the verb oida is omitted due to the figure of ellipsis though implied from 1 Thessalonians 1:4 and is functioning as a temporal participle which means that in relation to its controlling verb, it answers the question, when?
Here in 1 Thessalonians 1:5, the controlling verb of the verb oida is the eucharisteō which appears in 1 Thessalonians 1:2.
This indicates that Paul, Silvanus and Timothy gave thanks to the Father for the Thessalonians because they possessed the conviction that they were elected by God because of their godly conduct “while simultaneously” possessing the conviction that their gospel was manifested to them by means of the Spirit’s power and with full conviction on their part.
In other words, the temporal participle form of oida is expressing the idea that Paul, Silvanus and Timothy had a two-fold conviction.
The first conviction is that the Thessalonians were elected by God which was manifested by their godly conduct, which caused these three men to give thanks to the Father for them.
The second conviction was related to the faithfulness of these three men in not only communicating the gospel to the Thessalonians but also living it out in their own lives among the Thessalonians and for the benefit of the Thessalonians in giving them an example to follow.
Therefore, the two convictions were taking place simultaneously in the sense that while these three men faithfully communicated the gospel and lived it out in their own lives in order to provide an example for the Thessalonians to follow, the Thessalonians were obeying the gospel which was manifested in their godly behavior.
When 1 Thessalonians 1:5 uses the expression “our gospel,” it does not mean that Paul, Silvanus and Timothy had a different gospel from that of the other apostles, nor does it mean that they invented the gospel.
But rather, it is simply a recognition that they had been entrusted with communicating the gospel to Jew and Gentile alike.
The implication is that the communication of the gospel was a stewardship in which they would have to give account for at the Bema Seat (cf. 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10).
The noun euangelion, “gospel” means “proclamation of the gospel” since the word contains the figure of metonymy meaning that the gospel is put for Paul, Silvanus and Timothy communicating the gospel to the Thessalonians.
This noun pertains to communicating the good news to the unbeliever that Christ died and rose from the dead for them and that through faith in Him they could receive the gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins.
Secondly, it also refers to the communication of the good news to the Christian that they are identified with Christ in His death and resurrection and by appropriating this identification with Christ they can experience victory over sin and Satan.
This is indicated by the fact that verse 3 describes the Thessalonians’ godly conduct which they manifested after justification.
Lastly, euangelion, “gospel” also refers to the good news that the church age believer will receive rewards from the Lord Jesus Christ at the Bema Seat for faithful service (cf. Col. 1:5, 23).
1 Thessalonians 1:5 asserts that the gospel proclaimed by Paul, Silvanus and Timothy was by no means manifested by the act of speaking only but on the contrary, by means of power as well, which is a reference to divine omnipotence.
Thus, this assertion is associating the proclamation of the gospel with the manifestation of the divine omnipotence.
This corresponds to Paul’s teaching about the gospel in Romans 1:16-17, which teaches that the gospel is the power of God for salvation.
Now, 1 Thessalonians 1:5 also identifies specifically the source of this power which was manifested through Paul, Silvanus and Timothy proclaiming the gospel to the Thessalonians.
It asserts that the gospel which these three men proclaimed to the Thessalonians was manifested by means of the omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit as well as with deep conviction on the part of these three men.
Thus, 1 Thessalonians 1:5 is associating the proclamation of the gospel with the manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s divine omnipotence.
Again, this corresponds to Paul’s teaching about the gospel in Romans 1:16-17, which teaches that the gospel is the power of God for salvation.
This manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s omnipotence not only involved the Spirit empowered proclamation of the gospel but also it refers to the various signs and wonders, which were produced by the Holy Spirit through Paul (cf. Rom. 15:18-19).
As we noted, 1 Thessalonians 1:5 not only asserts that the gospel proclaimed by Paul, Silvanus and Timothy was not only manifested to the Thessalonians by means of the Holy Spirit’s omnipotence but also with deep conviction on the part of these three men.
This “deep conviction” means that Paul, Silvanus and Timothy were totally and completely convinced of the power of the gospel and it also means that this conviction was firmly established in their souls.
Thus, 1 Thessalonians 1:5 is also associating Paul, Silvanus and Timothy proclaiming the gospel to the Thessalonians with the deep conviction of these three men.
This deep conviction in the lives of these three men was the direct result of exercising faith in the gospel which results in experiencing the deliverance from sin and Satan which was provided by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In fact, exercising faith in the command to love one another as Christ loves enables the Spirit to reproduce the love of God in the life of the Christian.
The more the Christian experiences victory over sin and Satan by appropriating by faith their union and identification with Jesus Christ in His crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and session at the right hand of the Father they will receive more conviction.
This conviction produces discernment in the sense that it provides the Christian the ability to discern what is the Father’s will and what is not and specifically identifies for the Christian what thoughts and actions are based upon the love of God in their life and what thoughts and actions are not.