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Disarming the Power of Persecution: Imitators of the Churches in Judea
(1 Thessalonians 2: 13- 3: 13)

The Thessalonians are not simply imitators of Paul; they are also imitators of the churches of God in Christ that are in Judea. The Thessalonians’ suffering at the hands of their fellow citizens mirrors that of the churches in Judea. Paul denies his opponents the tool of persecution and suffering to separate him from the Thessalonians and make him feel like a childless parent (2:17). Instead, persecution, both his and that of the new converts, renews his commitment to the mission of sharing the gospel with those he considers the fruit of his labor, even in the midst of eschatological opposition (2:18)…

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