“But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict“
to speak to you the gospel of God
The gospel is not only “our gospel” (1 Thessalonians 1:5) but it is also the “the gospel of God.” The sole author and authority of the gospel is God. In the face of the persecution the gospel team faced in Philippi, they moved into Thessalonica with a bold message. They did not say, “We had better pull back on our message unless it disturbs some people.”
in much conflict
When the gospel team came to Thessalonica, they did so amid much conflict. The impact of the shameful situation at Philippi was still much on their minds. We get the English word “agony” from the Greek word for “conflict.” This is an athletic term used for demanding physical exertion. Advancing the cause of Christ is not an easy task. It is a demanding mission. A halfway effort will make no significant difference in reaching the maximum number of people for Christ.
Note the word “much.” The gospel team communicated the gospel in “much agony.” That speaks of their burden for getting the message out. Their consuming passion for those without Christ carried them through much personal suffering. Paul and his team were dead earnest. It is impossible to manufacture this kind of boldness.
Intensity is necessary for the serious advance of the gospel in the world.
Are you dead earnest in your witness for Christ? Are you willing to take some “guff” in order to get the message to those without Christ?
“Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 1:28-2:3).