Scripture Reading: I Thessalonians 2:2-7
“For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.” (I Thessalonians 1:4,5)
The gospel is God’s power for salvation — “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the POWER OF GOD for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). The conversion of the Thessalonians was evidence that the gospel had come to bear upon their lives. At the heart of the gospel is the word of the cross — “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the POWER OF GOD” (I Corinthians 1:18).
Notice the work of the Holy Spirit in the conversion of the Thessalonians. It is the Holy Spirit who applies the work of Christ to us. Jesus accomplished salvation through His redemptive work on our behalf. The Spirit gives spiritually dead sinners new life as He causes us to be born again. Once we have been born again by the Holy Spirit, we can understand the things of God. Without the work of the Spirit a person cannot grasp the truth of the gospel — “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14).
When the Spirit opened the eyes of the Thessalonians and the gospel came in all its power, those early believers had full conviction. They came to grips with their sin and they fully embraced Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. The Spirit gave them assurance that they were indeed loved and chosen by God.
Do you realize that this is what happened to us when we believed? We were loved and chosen by God before the foundation of the world. The Spirit of God caused us to be born again and the gospel’s power brought salvation to us. As a result, we can have full conviction that we have been redeemed by Jesus Christ and that we belong to the family of God.
Heavenly Father, I know that You loved me and chose me before the foundation of the world. Your Spirit brought life to me when I was spiritually dead. I am so thankful for the gospel which is the power of God for salvation. Thank You for loving, choosing and saving me through the work of Your Son Jesus.
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