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Grace to You and Peace in God and Christ (1 Thessalonians 1: 1-10)

Paul’s usual claim of apostolic authority (1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:1) and his less acclaimed self-designation “slave of Christ” (Phil. 1:1; Rom. 1:1) are absent from his introduction. Instead, Paul simply names himself and his companions. He does, however, clarify the identity and status of the Thessalonian believers. With the use of the instrumental preposition en, Paul makes clear that the Thessalonian church is “brought into being by” and “lives through” God’s parental love and the security of Jesus’ saving power (1:10). To this ekkl?sia, the ones who have been called out from among the Gentiles of Thessalonica, Paul commends grace and peace. It is God’s grace, not the emperor’s beneficence, that secures a life people have reason to value. It is the peace of God made possible through Jesus Christ, not the Pax Romana, that shows them how they ought to imagine themselves in relation with one another and enables them to live a life that is pleasing to God (4:1)…

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