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Faithful witness

For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia. And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment. 1 Thessalonians 4-10 NLT

Paul, from the text, is mentioning the power behind the success in sharing the gospel to the Thessalonians. It was not just spoken words but it came to them providing an assurance that what was said was true. This is why it resulted in the Thessalonians receiving salvation from God. Paul’s experience provides us a reality that it is God and His power that makes a person decide to receive His offer of salvation. “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). The Word of God is both constructive and destructive. It was constructive for it resulted to people being reconciled with God. It is destructive because the bondage caused by idolatry that takes hold of the life before salvation has been broken. It is only God’s working in us that can stop Satan’s influence in our lives. It is only through His power at work within that we can overcome the desire to give in to temptation. Paul also emphasized the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting sinners to surrender their lives to Christ. It is also the Holy Spirit that will sustain believers providing them joy even in the midst of suffering. This is why when we share God’s word to others we do not rely on our own ability and eloquence delivering His Word. It is the Holy Spirit’s work to convict sinners from their sin. All God asks of us is to be faithful witnesses. We also need to be consistent with what we are teaching others about God’s Word. “And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you” (1Thessalonians 1:5b). Our words and our lives should be consistent to our call as God’s faithful witnesses.



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