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A Preacher Worthy Of Imitation - 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

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1. In our previous lesson we mentioned the value of a good role model

2. In the second chapter of 1st Thessalonians, we find Paul reflecting upon

a. His preaching while at Thessalonica - 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

b. His conduct while at Thessalonica - 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12

3. Just as churches would do well to emulate the church at Thessalonica, so preachers would do well to imitate the example of the apostle Paul while he worked with them. But not just preachers; all Christians would benefit by imitating the example of Paul





1. Paul preached with boldness - 1 Thessalonians 2:1-2

a. Despite his previous persecution at Philippi

b. Despite the persecution at Thessalonica

2. Such boldness was not natural for Paul, or for others

a. Paul often experienced fear and trembling - 1 Corinthians 2:3

b. Timothy needed encouragement to be bold - 2 Timothy 1:6-8

3. But he found boldness in our God

a. For which reason he asked others to pray for him, that God would grant him boldness - Ephesians 6:19-20

b. Others also looked to God when in need of boldness - Acts 4:29, 31

4. To proclaim the word with all boldness, look to God for courage


1. Paul preached the truth, not error - 1 Thessalonians 2:3

2. He did so with honesty, not through impure motives or trickery - 1 Thessalonians 2:3

3. Note the need for both truth and honesty:

a. It is not enough to speak the truth, we must do so honestly

b. It is not enough to be honest, we must speak the truth

4. Let's strive to have both truth and honesty - 2 Corinthians 2:17


1. Paul was aware that God had trusted him with the gospel - 1 Thessalonians 2:4

a. As an expression of grace - Ephesians 3:8

b. As an example of mercy and longsuffering - 1 Timothy 1:11-16

2. Therefore it was God he sought to please, not man - 1 Thessalonians 2:4

a. Knowing that it is God who tries the heart - Hebrews 4:13

b. Knowing that this is what made him a true servant of Christ - Galatians 1:10

3. Be concerned with pleasing God, not gaining the popularity of men


1. Paul did not resort to flattering words to gain an audience - 1 Thessalonians 2:5

a. He undoubtedly knew that using flattery was dangerous - Proverbs 29:5

b. Flattery is a tool used by false teachers - 2 Peter 2:18

2. Nor did Paul resort to using covetousness, either to persuade or for his own personal gain - 1 Thessalonians 2:5

a. Covetousness is another tool of false teachers - 1 Peter 2:1-3

b. Paul was careful not to take advantage of his brethren, becoming wealthy off of them - Acts 20:33; 2 Corinthians 11:9; 12:17

3. Win souls through the truth, not flattery, and avoid any semblance of taking advantage of brethren for monetary gain


1. Paul was careful not to seek glory from them or from others - 1 Thessalonians 2:6

a. As an apostle of Christ it would have been easy to do

b. He could have easily abused his authority, but he was careful not to

2. Any such glory would have been vain glory - Proverbs 25:27

3. True servants do not seek glory from men, but from God!


1. He was gentle, like a nursing mother with her children - 1 Thessalonians 2:7

a. As he counseled Timothy to be towards those in error - 2 Timothy 2:24-25

b. As he instructed the spiritual to be toward those overtaken in a fault - Galatians 6:1

2. He had affection for them, which prompted him to share not just the gospel, but his own life - 1 Thessalonians 2:8

a. Paul was a preacher who loved his brethren - Philippians 1:8

b. For which he joyfully sacrificed his life as necessary - Philippians 2:17

3. Let gentleness and love for the brethren be apparent both in our preaching and in life




1. Paul did not desire to be a burden, and so worked to support himself - 1 Thessalonians 2:9

a. Not that it is inappropriate for preachers to be supported - 1 Corinthians 9:7-14

b. Paul chose to preach the gospel without charge as a way of demonstrating his willingness to accept his calling as a steward - 1 Corinthians 9:6,15-18

c. So Paul often worked as a tent maker while preaching - Acts 18:1-4

2. His example should remind us of the sacrificial nature of our service

a. Some may choose to support themselves like Paul did

b. All should be available and accessible both night and day - Acts 20:31

c. Note also that we can serve by praying "night and day" - 1 Thessalonians 3:10

3. The main point is that our service to God and one another is a not a 9-5 job!


1. Devoutly depicts the nature of his service, holy NIV, pure NRSV - 1 Thessalonians 2:10

2. Justly describes his dealings with his fellow man, upright NRSV, righteous NIV

3. Blamelessly reflects his carefulness to be above reproach

a. Something he was always careful about - Acts 24:16; 2 Corinthians 6:3

b. Even before he became a Christian - Philippians 3:6

4. All three of these graces are important; they impact our relationship to God, our relationship to our fellow man, and help keep our reputation pure


1. Paul was like a father to them - 1 Thessalonians 2:11

a. Exhorting and comforting them (encouraging them) - 1 Thessalonians 4:1

b. Charging them as necessary (commanding them) - 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 12

2. For he was concerned about their walk as a Christian - 1 Thessalonians 2:12

a. He wanted their walk to be worthy of God

b. For God had called them into His kingdom and glory



1. Certainly all preachers would do well to have the same kind of fatherly concern (and motherly gentleness and affection) that Paul had

2. But not only much better it would be if all members of the church served one another as Paul served his brethren

a. With boldness, truth and honesty, seeking to pleasing God and not men

b. Without flattery, covetousness, or seeking glory from men

c. With labor night and day, seeking to be devout, just, and blameless

d. With the gentleness and affection of a nursing mother, and the guidance and encouragement of a caring father

3. Yes, the apostle Paul is indeed a preacher worthy of imitation for such reasons every Christian would do well to heed his admonition as found in 1 Corinthians 11:1


Are You Saved?


-- Don Treadway, August 2009 --


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