1 Thessalonians 3:6-13

1 Thessalonians 3:6-13



We all have people who inspire us to live better lives. Some inspire us to get in better shape, pursue a dream we have been putting off, or be better friends, spouses, or parents. Name someone who has deeply inspired you or shaped the course of your life. Why were they so inspiring?

Helping others stand firm in their faith should be a central priority of every Christian’s life.


Read 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13 aloud.


  • Observe the passage together. What stands out? What is interesting? What questions do you have? What is the main point or theme?1

  • Paul and his companions planted this church in Thessalonica and were quickly driven out of town by an angry mob (see Acts 17). No doubt, Paul was distressed to leave these young Christians so soon without having adequate time to disciple and root them in their faith. So, as Paul and his companions continued their missionary journeys, he was constantly anxious to find out how the Thessalonians were doing. Were they continuing with Jesus? Had they abandoned the faith? Had false teachers slipped in and deceived them? In this passage, Timothy brings a glowing report about the faith of the Thessalonians, bringing great comfort and relief to Paul (v7). Then Paul says these words: “For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord” (v8). 
    • What do you think Paul means by this statement? And what does this tell us about Paul’s priorities?

  • The main principle in this passage could be stated like this: helping others stand firm in their faith should be a central priority of every Christian’s life.  Paul said in verse 8 that this is what he lived for. And then, in verses 9-13, he shows us that this is what he constantly prayed for. With its encouragements, exhortations, and doctrinal instructions, the writing of this letter was aimed entirely at helping the Thessalonians stand firm in their faith. In modern life, we are pulled in many directions and distracted by many things. We are the wealthiest people in history, and we seem to have unlimited options before us. And yet this passage challenges us to ask: am I truly giving my life to the most important things?  
    • On a scale of 1-10, how much of your energy is focused on helping others stand firm in their faith?
    • Who are the key people God has put in your life to help in this regard? How are you helping them grow and stand firm in their faith?
    • A Challenge for Husbands: How are you leading your wife spiritually and helping her grow and flourish in Christ? What are the first steps you want to take if you need to start doing something?
    • A Challenge for Parents: How are you discipling your children? Do you currently have any rhythms of family prayer and worship? If so, what?

  • As we read the letter of Thessalonians, we see several ways we can help people grow and stand firm in their faith, including: prayer (1:2; 3:11; 5:23-24), highlighting the spiritual fruit we see in people’s lives *(1:4ff), reminding people of God’s past work (1:9ff), ethical instructions (4:3), and warnings (4:6), practical instructions (4:11-12), doctrinal instruction (4:13ff), and exhortations for life together with other Christians (5:12-28). As you look at this list, how would you like to help others stand firm in their faith?


 1Example Observations:
  • Timothy has returned to Paul with a good report about the Thessalonians (6)
  • The Thessalonians long to see Paul and he longs to see them (6)
  • Paul and his companions are in distress and affliction (7)
  • The news of the Thessalonian’s faith comforts Paul in his affliction (7)
  • Paul makes an extreme statement: we live if you are standing fast in the Lord (8)
  • Paul prays constantly for the Thessalonians and thanks God for their faith (9-10)
  • Paul prays three things: that God might allow him to see them again, that they would abound in love for one another, and that they would be established in holiness and so made ready for the coming of Jesus (11-13)