Steadfastness of Hope


First Thessalonians is one of Paul’s first letters outlining the Gospel he preached from his revelation on the road to Damascus. He delineates three virtues—faith, love, and hope—that define believers. In this message, Peter drills down on the steadfastness of hope and how that virtue adds form and structure to believing allegiance and selfless love.

Note: Peter refers to Deuteronomy 20 concerning the hanging from a tree. The correct reference is Deuteronomy 21:22, 23.

Patience (Steadfastness) of Hope  

1 Thess 1:1–3

Work of Faith

Labor of Love

Patience (Steadfastness) of Hope

Col 1:4–5 – hope laid up for you in heaven

History – New Believers 

Acts 17:1–10 – Paul and Silas come from Philippi

1 Thess 3:3–4 – Persecution starts immediately

1 Thess 1:5 – and in the Holy Ghost.

Paul was baptized in the Spirit and preached consistent with the baptism.

Acts 1:8 – will you receive power

Acts 9:17 – and be filled with the Holy Spirit

1 Cor 2:4–5 – preached in demonstration of the Spirit so your faith would not lie in the wisdom of men

They were baptized in the Spirit – “and in the Holy Ghost”

1 Thess 1:8–9 – how ye turned from idols to serve the living and true God (Israel’s YHWH) 

προς τον θεον “toward” God, not “in” God (NRSV) – this indicates a change of loyalty 

δουλευειν – to be enslaved to the living and true God

Paul identifies as a slave of Christ: Rom 1:1; Phil 1:1; Titus 1:1

Triad of Virtues

The embodiment of the Gospel 

God of faith(fulness) – he has sworn by himself

God of love – he is love

God of hope – sent forth his Son when we were all sinners

These mark the believer

Acts 1:8 – “You shall be my witnesses” 

The Gospel isn’t about just giving the evidence; we are the evidence. We embody his Gospel. That is the righteousness of God in Christ.

Fill Up What May Be Lacking in Their Faith

1 Thess 3:9–10 –  might perfect (fill up, restore) that which is lacking in your faith 

Paul had preached there 3 weeks – Acts 17:2, 10

Paul speaks of the Lord’s return – the steadfastness of hope

Steadfastness of Hope

Jesus is the source and focus of hope 

Steadfastness of hope is part of the content and structure of believing allegiance. They all work together.


1 Thess 1:9–10 – to await his Son from heaven . . . rescues us from the coming wrath

Rom 2:5 – the Day is yet to come 

Rom 1:16–18 – wrath of God is revealed from heaven

Jesus has drawn back the veil on the wrath to come  

Heb 2:9 – died apart from God (NSRV; manuscripts)

Acts 17:30–31 – Paul’s explanation of coming judgment

Jesus is God’s own agent of deliverance from wrath

Gal 4:4

Titus 2:13–14

Sons of Light and the Day  

1 Thess 5:6–10 – for God has not appointed us unto wrath

Eph 5:6

Col 3:6

Our Hope - Believers

1 Thess 2:19–20 – For what is our hope? . . . even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming

Phil 2:16–18 – rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain 

Meet the Lord in the Air

1 Thess 4:13–18 – I do not wish you to be ignorant . . . meet the Lord in the air 

Reflects ancient cultures with kings; the people come out to meet their new king 

εἰς ἀπάντησιν was a technical expression in Hellenistic Greek for the departure from a city of a delegation of citizens to meet an arriving dignitary in order to accord the person proper respect and honor by escorting the dignitary back to the city. 

Eph 2:12 – those without God and without hope in the world

1 Thess 5:1–5 – you are not in darkness

2 Peter 3:8–13– come as a thief in the night 

Holiness at His Coming

1 Thess 3:12–15 – stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God . . . at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ

1 Thess 5:23–24 – blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ

1 Cor 1:9 – God is faithful

2 Thess 3:3 – Lord is faithful, who shall establish you

The Spirit in the Church

1 Thess 1:9 – Paul preached with power “and in the Holy Spirit”

1 Thess 5:19–20 – Quench not the Spirit; despise not prophesyings

The look of a Spirit-filled body of believers


1 Thess 5:23–24