"I sent to know your faith..."
Text: 1 Thessalonians 3:5
A DEEP SENSE OF CONCERN
Paul had developed a deep sense of affection for the Thessalonian brethren. He led many to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thus was a spiritual father to them. He was deeply concerned about how they were faring under severe persecution.
“For this reason, when I could no longer endure it,
I sent to know your faith, lest by some means
the tempter had tempted you, and our labour might
be in vain.”
1 Thessalonians 3:5
1. “For this reason, when I could no longer endure it”
a) Paul repeats himself here.
b) He made mention of being unable to bear the suspense concerning the Thessalonians in verse 1.
i) Great anxiety was experienced.
ii) Great concern about the well-being of the Thessalonians was on the heart and mind.
2. “I sent to know your faith”
a) Timothy was sent on Paul’s behalf.
b) One task, among many others, was to ascertain the faith of the Thessalonians.
3. “Lest by some means the tempter had tempted you”
a) Paul was speaking of Satan in this context.
b) He addressed Satan as “the tempter”.
i) The word may suggest “testing”.
ii) It may also suggest “temptation” (guile, deception etc).
c) He was concerned that the Thessalonians would fall away from their faith in Christ.
4. “And our labour”
a) Paul had always laboured hard for the Lord.
b) Paul and Silas shared a ministry in Thessalonica and laboured together.
5. “Might be in vain”
a) The phrase “in vain” literally means “empty”.
b) The hard work put in could be in vain if the Thessalonian believers collapsed under persecution.
c) He was well aware of how deadly the attacks from Satan could be.
d) It would have been a sad day if the faith of the Thessalonians could not hold up under duress.