“For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God, etc.”

As of the Lord and of the apostle, (1 Thessalonians 1:6) so of the churches of God that were before them, who were gathered out of the world by the grace of God; and who were united in the fear of God, and assembled together for his worship, to bear a testimony to his truth and ordinances, and for the glory of his name: these they followed in the faith and order of the Gospel, and “became like” them, as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions render the word; or “equal” to them, were upon an equal foot with them, as the Arabic; that is, in suffering reproach and persecution for the Gospel, as the latter part of the verse shows; and their bearing these with patience, courage, and constancy, was a proof that the word of God had a place, and wrought effectually in them; otherwise they would never have endured such things as they did, and as other churches did:

“which in Judea are in Christ Jesus;”

For besides the church at Jerusalem, there were many churches in Judea and Galilee; (see Acts 9:31; Galatians 1:22) which shows that the primitive churches were not national, but congregational: and these were in Christ Jesus; “in the faith” of Jesus Christ, as the Arabic version renders it; which distinguishes them from the synagogues, or congregations of the Jews, which did not believe in Christ; (see Gill on “1 Thessalonians 1:1”).

“For ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen;”

The inhabitants of Thessalonica, the baser sort of them, who were stirred up by the unbelieving Jews of that place, to make an uproar in the city, and assault the house of Jason, in order to seize upon the apostles; (see Acts 17:6).

“Even as they have of the Jews;”

In like manner as the churches of Judea suffered by the Jews their countrymen; (see Acts 8:1,3) (Hebrews 10:32-34).



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