The subject of this section switches to the ministers themselves
It is important for us to understand that not all "ministers" hold to proper standards of conduct.
This entire section involves Paul's defense of his motives and his ministry to the Thessalonians.
Paul can call on the Thessalonians themselves as his witnesses in his defense.
Persecution only serves to validate the gospel (1 Thess. 2:1-2)
Paul's ministry in Thessalonica was not in vain (lacking reality, false).
Just as the charges in Philippi were unfounded, so are the charges being brought against him in Thessalonica.
If the gospel were a man-made fabrication, any opposition to it would naturally cause the person to change his story!
Paul's boldness despite persecution proved that he was not a false teacher! He was speaking God's truth!
The charges against Paul (1 Thess. 2:3-6)
Paul was teaching error. He is accused of being a false teacher who was attempting to lead them astray.
Paul had impure motives. Paul is accused of having a desire for sensual living or indulging the flesh.
Paul used impure methods. He is accused of using trickery as a means of winning followers.
Paul flatly denies these charges
Quite to the contrary, he states that he has been tested and approved by God to carry the true message of the gospel (1 Thess. 2:4).
Paul was not using the kind of methods that one would use to win people over.
Paul never used flattery to gain followers, and he never had the desire to "gain more" for himself.
Paul was dictatorial and power-hungry.
Paul was never seeking glory from men. Paul had the right as an apostle to exercise his authority over them, but he did not do it.
Paul's illustration of a godly mother (1 Thess. 2:7-8)
A godly mother is the embodiment of the complete opposite of all the charges brought against Paul and his companions.
Paul was gentle, nurturing, caring, and self-sacrificing. There was a bond of affection between Paul and the Thessalonians that was like that between a godly mother and her child.
Another charge is dealt with (1 Thess. 2:9)
Paul was lazy and indisposed to do any work for himself.
On the contrary, Paul worked all hours of the day and night to support his ministry activities. He did not want to place any burden on new believers. He wanted to be able to offer the gospel to them free of charge.
Point of Application: Ministers should examine this principle in light of their own ministry circumstances today.
Paul's illustration of a godly father (1 Thess. 2:10-11)
The Thessalonians as well as God Himself were witnesses as to how uprightly Paul had behaved among them.
A godly father deals with his children by exhorting, encouraging, and imploring them to become mature and godly followers of Jesus.
Point of Application: Behaving as a godly family is essential in order for people to rightly understand the Scriptures themselves!
Paul's purpose in setting a godly example (1 Thess. 2:12-13)
The goal of Paul's example as well as his teaching was that believers everywhere would live in a way that honors God.
God's call on our lives should produce good fruit and will ultimately lead to our glorification.
Paul is thankful that they received the gospel message and accepted it as the very words of God to them.
It is the Word of God that energizes this work within believers. The Holy Spirit who indwells believers will apply that Word to their lives in a progressive way.
Points of Application:
We must all evaluate our motives as well as our methods to ensure that they are honoring to God.
Instead of bending to the wishes of other people, we should first ask God whether HE is pleased with our lifestyle and our ministry.
We must commit to being in a place where we can grow into a deeper understanding of God's Word and see its impact in our lives.