A Study in 1 Thessalonians : The Thessalonians as Ensamples
In our first lesson we are going to look at the Thessalonians as ensamples. Paul says that they were ensamples unto all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. So what is an ensample?
Ensample – to exemplify; to show by example[An American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828]
By definition it would seem to be a person who sets a good example for someone to follow by his own actions. Below we will list a chain reference for this word being used in the scripture this way.
1 Corinthians 10:11 (things written in the Old Testament were for our ensample)
2 Thessalonians 3:9 (Paul was making himself an ensample unto the Thessalonians)
1 Peter 5:3 (pastors should be ensamples unto the flock)
2 Peter 2:6 (Sodom and Gomorrha are ensamples unto those who live ungodly)
The Thessalonians as ensamples (1:8-10) :
In these verses we see that Paul says the Thessalonians were ensamples in several things.
1) In Salvation (verse 9)
- Notes how they turned from idols to serve God.
2) They sounded out the word of God (verse 8)
- They were witnesses unto to others.
3) There faith was also shed abroad (verse 8)
- Our faith should have an effect on others.
- Our faith is shown by our works. We are not saved by works but we should work because we are saved (Ephesians 2:10).
- Notes also because of this Paul said that he didn’t need to say anything on their behalf.
4) Patience in waiting for Jesus Christ (verse10)
- This is what helped them through the persecutions (1 Thessalonians 2:3)
Paul as an ensample to the Thessalonians (2:1-12)
The Thessalonians became good ensamples unto others but this started with Paul being a good ensample unto them.
1) Paul as an ensample in regards to the gospel (2:1-8)
- Paul and his group were bold in speaking the gospel even when there was much contention. (verse 2)
- Paul was concerned with pleasing God not man (verse 4)
- Paul’s exhortation was not of deceit, guile, or uncleaness (verse 3)
- Paul’s preaching was not with flattering word nor did he seek man’s glory (verse 5-6)
- Not only did Paul preach the gospel, but they would have given themselves also (verse 8)
2) Paul as an ensample in his manner of life (2:9-12)
- Paul labored and worked among these people to not be a financial burden on them. This also showed the people a good example of work. (verse 9)
- They conducted themselves holy, justly and unblameably in the sight of the Thessalonians (verse 10).
- Exhorted and comforted them as a father would his child (verse 11).
What was Paul’s purpose in setting for himself as an ensample this way? Most obviously it was for their salvation but also that after salvation that they would walk worthy of God (verse 12).
What is the key to this taking place?
Here we have seen that Paul and those with him lived a good testimony and a good example in front of these people. This added the preaching of the word of God and these people were saved. But the key to this is the fact the people received the word of God as it was the word of God in truth and not the word of men. (verse 13)
What we must do as saved people is strive to become good ensamples as the Thessalonians were. We must witness and sound for the faith as they did but also our lives will have to back up what our words are saying. Then we must simply trust people to accept or reject the word of God and let it work in their lives as the Thessalonians did.
A Study in 1 Thessalonians
The Thessalonians as Ensamples (Chapters 1-2)
1) What does the word ensample mean?
2) Give a chain reference for this word being used in the Bible.
3) How were the Thessalonians ensamples?
4) How was Paul an ensample to the Thessalonians?
5) What can we learn from this?