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Read Introduction to 1 Thessalonians


“…and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith”


Timothy receives his marching orders. Paul asks Timothy to walk all the way from Athens in southern Greece back to Thessalonica three hundred miles to the north and then from Thessalonica to Corinth, which was south of Athens.

to establish you

Timothy’s task was twofold: 1) to establish and 2) to encourage the Thessalonians. They needed confirmation and comfort in the Christian faith. They needed someone to come in to stabilize the situation. When churches become unsettled, they always need someone like Timothy.

The word “establish” means fix (firmly), make fast, set, support. It carries the ideas of confirm, strengthen. In 12 of the 14 times this word occurs in the New Testament, it refers to strengthening people in the faith. Timothy was in the business of making the Thessalonians stronger in the sense of more firm and unchanging in their convictions and attitudes. The faith of the Thessalonian church was at stake. Timothy was to make them strong in their faith. He was to help them set their faith fast.

“You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:8).

“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).

“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth” (2 Peter 1:12).

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God” (Revelation 3:2).


All Christians need spiritual stability.


Man is inherently unstable. Sin is at the root of instability. That is why some oscillate in their convictions. If people do not know the Bible, any wind of doctrine will sweep them away. They become vulnerable to false teaching.

Christians need to set their faith fast like a deep cement foundation for a skyscraper. It can bear up under any pressure that may come its way.