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  • Chad Werkhoven

1 Thessalonians 2:13 - Audible Authority

The Bible is different than anything else ever written, and it's at work in you!


1 Thessalonians 2:13 (ESV)

13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.


Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 5: The Authority of Scripture

We receive all these books [of the Bible]

and these only

as holy and canonical,

for the regulating, founding, and establishing

of our faith.

And we believe

without a doubt

all things contained in them—

not so much because the church

receives and approves them as such

but above all because the Holy Spirit

testifies in our hearts

that they are from God,

and also because they prove themselves

to be from God.

For even the blind themselves are able to see

that the things predicted in them

do happen.



Think of all the messages you receive on a daily basis; not just the notifications you get on your phone, but the interactions with people you have at work or in passing, and the conversations you have with friends and loved ones. Imagine that as you walked into a store, a stranger encouraged you to vote for a certain candidate or support a local initiative. You'd likely politely listen, but it's not likely you'd change your thinking about the subject based on that one interaction. Afterall, what the person said is just that person's opinion.

But if you were talking with a person you greatly respected about a particular political issue, you would probably be much more swayed by what was said because of the credibility the person had earned.

This is what Paul is rejoicing about in the case of these Thessalonians. They had heard the Gospel proclaimed, but they had likely heard all sorts of religious ideas proclaimed in the pluralistic society they lived in. They likely had developed a very strong skepticism about any religious claims because they heard so many conflicting ideas being preached, spouted by less than credible people.

But they recognized that the Gospel was different. They could sense that the words they heard and read were not the ordinary words of men. So they received and accepted the gospel as the very "word of God!"

Although there are all sorts of reasons to believe that the words of Scripture are true (we'll be looking at some of these reasons throughout the week), the primary reason that the Bible has the authority that it does is because every syllable of it was breathed out by God Almighty Himself.

Dig Deeper

Paul goes on to remind the Thessalonians and us that not only is the Bible different than anything else ever written because it is the Word of God, but it is also "at work in you who believe."

There's a ton of awesome theology going on in this short verse: You certainly play a strong role in your ongoing conversion, in that you must receive and accept God's Word (of course, you do so because you've first been empowered by the Holy Spirit!). But notice here what is being done to you. God's Word is "at work in you who believe." It immediately begins tearing out the filth and sin that clogs up your life, and after this sometimes painful demolition project is complete, God's Word immediately gets to work building you up into a new creation that more fully reflects the image of God that you were created to be.

Paul writes that this work happens when you hear the Word proclaimed. Certainly reading God's Word is an important daily discipline you need to continue, but God has designed His Word to not just be read, but to be heard. When you sit and listen to it preached, just as the Thessalonians did, know that those words you hear are at work in you!

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father God, whose authoritative Word is at work in us;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the continuing strength to do the hard work of receiving and accepting God's Word as you read it daily and hear it preached each Lord's Day;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Acts 10


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