"And you became followers of us..."
Text: 1 Thessalonians 1:6
It was the Lord Jesus Christ who invited people to follow Him. Those who did were called “disciples”. In time, they were appointed as apostles and these proved themselves well. The apostle Paul was most conscious that believers became “followers”.
“And you became followers of us and of the Lord,
having received the word in much affliction,
with joy of the Holy Spirit.”
1 Thessalonians 1:6
Paul wrote these words in reflection of the ministry in Thessalonica.
1. “Having received the word on much affliction”
a) The word of the gospel was preached.
b) The ministry in Thessalonica was fraught with problems.
i) The enemies of the Gospel raised up opposition.
ii) There was much affliction indeed.
c) The word of God was received in these circumstances.
2. “With joy of the Holy Spirit”
a) The gospel brought much joy to the hearts of the believers.
b) One of the blessings received was the “joy of the Holy Spirit”.
i) Joy of salvation
ii) Joy as the fruit of the Spirit
3. “And you became followers of us”
a) The word “followers” here literally means “imitators”.
b) The new Thessalonian believers wanted to emulate the apostle Paul and his team.
i) Paul preached the gospel with power from the Lord.
ii) He also lived with power from the Spirit of God.
4. “And of the Lord”
a) This additional phrase is important.
b) The Thessalonian believers were not just following godly examples.
c) Paul and his team exemplified what it meant to be followers of the Lord.
d) The Thessalonians were therefore “imitating” the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.