1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
The prayers of the Apostle Paul are expressions of thankfulness to God for the reaction of the believers in the church in Thessalonica to the preaching of the word of God. When Paul and his ministry associates share the word of God, the church members don’t treat it lightly. They don’t believe it is just one opinion among many. Scriptural instruction, unpacked and applied to their lives, makes a discernible difference in how they live. Their reception of the teaching of Scripture, and the subsequent transformation of their lives, is evidence of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
God’s word comes alive in the hearts and lives of His people by the power of the Holy Spirit. As the writer of Hebrews says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) It is the Holy Spirit who gives life to the word of God, and spiritual life in the word of God bears fruit.
The fruit of the work of the Holy Spirit through the word of God is varied among the people of the church in Thessalonica. But the letter Paul writes to them shows their desires and perspectives are becoming more Christ-centered, and their weaknesses are being strengthened. In the face of persecution, applying truth gives them the ability to endure hardships.
For those who are part of our church, we want you to know that we thank God for your openness and devotion to hearing and applying God’s word. You could choose to go to churches that don’t demand the kind of thoughtful attention it takes to learn and apply truths unpacked through expositional teaching and preaching. Your elders are grateful that you want to learn and grow, and we rejoice in the wonderful changes the application of truth is making in and through your lives. Desires and perspectives are becoming more Christ-centered. We are seeing the weaknesses of many of you engaged with the power of strength of Christ. When suffering and affliction arrive, we watch people persevere by the grace of our Lord. Your acceptance of the authority of Jesus Christ and His word is a delight to hearts and souls.
We’re thankful you’re here!