Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, by Witness Lee

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If we read 1 Thessalonians 1 carefully, we shall see that even in such a short chapter there are indications of what the Father has done, of what the Son is doing, and of what the Spirit has done and continues to do. In verse 4 Paul speaks concerning selection: “Knowing, brothers beloved by God, your selection.” Who selected us? Surely selection was not accomplished by the Son. The Father is the One who selected us. According to verse 10, the Son delivers us. This verse says that the Son “delivers us from the wrath which is coming.” I would call your attention to the fact that in this verse the word “delivers” is in the present tense, whereas wrath is spoken of as something which is coming. The deliverance is taking place right now, but the wrath is coming. The point here is that the Son accomplishes the work of deliverance.

Selection is of the Father, and deliverance is of the Son, but what is the work of the Spirit? According to this chapter, the Spirit is for propagating, for imparting. In verse 5 Paul points out to the Thessalonians that the gospel came to them not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit. In verse 6 he reminds them that they accepted the word with joy of the Holy Spirit. These verses indicate that the Spirit is for transmission.

As Paul was writing 1 Thessalonians 1, deep within he was exercised concerning the Triune God. He was burdened concerning the Father’s selection, the Son’s deliverance, and the Spirit’s transmission. It is very important for us to see this.


The Triune God is conveyed to us, transmitted to us, through the Word. In verse 6 Paul speaks of accepting the word, and in verse 8, of sounding out the word of the Lord. No doubt in Paul’s concept the Triune God today is fully embodied in the Word. The Word may be compared to a battery that contains electricity. As a battery is the embodiment of electricity, so in the spiritual realm the Word of God, a divine battery, is the embodiment of the Triune God. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all embodied in the Word. Thus, when we preach the Word, God is conveyed to others. Through the Word the Triune God is transmitted to others.

Paul had spent about three weeks with the Thessalonians. I believe that during those weeks Paul told the Thessalonians how God had selected them in eternity past. He must also have told them how one day God the Son became incarnate, how He was born in a manger and given the name Jesus. Surely Paul also told the Thessalonian believers how Jesus lived on earth, was crucified, and was resurrected to be the Lord, the Head, and the Christ, how He is now in the heavens, and how He has become the life-giving Spirit. Paul, therefore, preached the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This was his gospel, the word accepted by the Thessalonians.

(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)