Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.1 Thessalonians 1:1(NASB)
Both Silas and Timothy were at Thessalonica with Paul on his 2nd missionary journey when he wrote this letter to the Thessalonian Church, and despite differences in ages and backgrounds, they worked closely together in sharing the gospel of grace for the glory of God, and to exalt the person, work, and deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is lovely that these two fellow-labourers in the gospel were included in Paul's opening greeting, as they were personally known to the believers there. Silas became a 'secretary' to Paul and penned a number of his epistles, and although little is written about him, he was obviously a faithful brother and trusted friend.
Timothy was Paul's 'son-in-the-faith' who was not only effective in ministry, but entrusted with a number of tasks and responsibilities, including pastoring the thriving church at Ephesus and acting as an trusted courier, by delivering messages to and from the apostle Paul.
Paul was so comfortable with the Thessalonian believers, that he did not need to underline his calling as a chosen apostle of Christ, as he did to other churches who challenged his apostleship, nor did he find it necessary to remind them of his status in starting the Thessalonian Church. He simply addressed himself as 'Paul' the insignificant man who met with Jesus on the road to Damascus and became the greatest missionary the world has ever known.
His letter contained much to edify his readers and encourage them in their Christian life, and he also urged them to remain firm in the faith during the persecution they were going through. Paul himself experienced many attacks from both Jewish and Gentile opponents and in this letter, he exhorted these believers to remain faithful to the gospel and to continue to grow in grace and mature in the faith.
Through facing much persecution, the comforting words in this open verse reminded the Thessalonian believers of their position: "IN God the Father." But they are also IN God the Son, for we read: "Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians, in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace."
Not only are we In God the Father but also IN the Lord Jesus Christ, our Creator God and eternal Saviour. Our position IN God is the most secure place, for nothing can touch us or separate us from His love, His promises, and our blessed Hope.
God has promised that His grace is sufficient for any persecution or problem we may have to face, and nothing can happen to us that is outside of His control and permissive will. No wonder Paul added at the end of this verse His oft repeated blessing: "Grace to you and peace."
The grace of God has been extended to everyone in that Christ became the sin-sacrifice for the whole world, and the grace of God becomes our permanent possession the moment we trust in Christ for our salvation.
When we are recipients of God's grace, by faith, we have access to God's peace: Peace WITH God because our sins are forgiven, and the peace OF God which guards our hearts, as we rest and remain "in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
His grace is ours by believing what He DID on the CROSS, and His peace is ours when we believe what He SAYS in His WORD. May we abide in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ so we may enjoy ongoing fellowship with Him through prayer and praise.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing truth in this little verse of Scripture, that by grace through faith, we are positioned in God the Father and also in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You that I am safe in Your hand and that nothing in heaven above or the earth beneath, can separate me from the love of God which is mine by faith in Jesus. Thank You that I have peace with God through faith in Christ and access to the peace of God in my heart. And thank You for the lives and faithful witness of Paul, Silas, and Timothy, whose examples I can learn so much from. In Jesus' name, AMEN.