Luke 10:38-42; 1 Thess 1:8-9
I’m really enjoying working through the Gospel Transformation Bible with Lily at the moment. It’s a wonderful tool that is helping us to see Christ in all of Scripture. Here’s a sample of the notes. I hope they help you to marvel at the gospel this morning, and live passionately and faithfully today in light of this glorious news.
“This short story reveals the ever-present temptation, even among believers, of substituting religion for the gospel. We could define religion as human activity pursued in an attempt to please God. The gospel, however, is the message of God’s gracious love toward us and the invitation to orient our lives toward him. Rather than focusing on doing—even doing good things such as serving—the one thing that is “necessary” and the “good portion” (v. 42) is to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen to him. We can in fact be “distracted with much serving” (v. 40). Before the gospel is a call to doing it is an invitation to the presence of the Lord. To follow Jesus as a disciple means to be with him and listen to him. This abiding with and depending on the Lord alone enables us to take up our cross daily and follow him (9:23).”
Having received the gospel of Jesus Christ by the calling of the Holy Spirit in accord with the Father’s sovereign plan, the Thessalonians became imitators of the apostles and of the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 6). Our imitation of Christ is a natural consequence of the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration. We seek, trust, pursue, and imitate Christ because Christ sought, found, pursued, and rescued us. Thus Paul rejoices in the Thessalonians’ faithfulness as they serve as an example to believers (v. 7), sound forth the word of the Lord, possess a faith that goes forth everywhere as a shining light to a dark world (v. 8), show generous hospitality, and serve the living and true God, having repented and turned from serving idols (v. 9).
The Thessalonians know the gospel and live faithfully in light of it to such a degree that Paul admits that he and his companions “need not say anything” (v. 8). The Thessalonians’ faith shines so brightly that people everywhere know who they are and the truth of the word they proclaim. From the very beginning, even amid much affliction, the Thessalonian church has been a gospel-centered church, reflecting the light of Christ and the gospel with the joy of the Holy Spirit (v.6) and awaiting the return of the risen Christ who “delivers us from the wrath to come” (v. 10). The gospel story of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection culminates in our final deliverance from the wrath of God (5:9). First Thessalonians is a message of good news from start to finish.”