"The main characteristic of the church at Thessalonica is that they are brand new believers. And this is the first time that persecution has actually risen up against the church outside of Jerusalem. So these brand new believers had to suffer persecution right off the bat. They had no grace period, no growth period. They either had to walk with the Lord and be persecuted for it. Or leave the things of the Lord because of the hardship and difficultly."
"Not just words. Words are boring. Words are without power. Even the Bible with words on the page sitting on the shelf means nothing unless the Spirit of God ministers those words. Not in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance. So it did not happen by word only. It was not just words. But rather it was the demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit bringing much conviction and confidence, which is what much assurance means."
"You yourselves became imitators or followers of us and of the Lord. In Paul's day the mime or mimic was an actor. Not somebody who answered verbally according to the script. But they would act out a message for people to receive without saying a word. So Paul is saying as that expression of Christ is in us, you begin to follow that expression because the same Christ is in you. In order for you to be following Christ accurately you must be living like we are - the same expression. Paul's ministry is different but his message was, 'Become like us, one with us. As you see Christ express Himself through us, so imitate us.' So they became expressions of Christ just like Paul."
"Here is our main point for this morning. They did not turn from idols to God. They did not turn away from something first to go to something else. They turned to the Lord first. When you turn to the Lord you turn from something automatically. That is very important. You turn to God from idols, not from idols to God. So the turning point, the focal point of a believer's life is God. At conversion, at salvation, one turns to the Lord for one's life and lifestyle. One turns to the Lord to serve the living and true God. So when you are facing God, and trusting God, and following the Lord Jesus Christ, you turn your back on everything else. In the New Testament this is called submission and resistance. Submission and resistance. Very important."