Thessalonians - Glorification by Faith in Christ

By E. S. (Emanuel Sprankel) Young



The Bible Students' League was organized in 1886 and is one of the first Correspondence Schools to offer Bible instruction by mail. The work during the first years was largely experimental from the fact that text books written by different authors had to be adopted, therefore, it was difficult to offer uniform, complete, and systematic courses on the entire Bible.

After some years, the President of the League, realizing the necessity of a systematic course in the study of the sixty-six books of the Bible, prepared four text books known as The Bible Outline, The Bible Geography, The Old Testament History and The New Testament History. These text books give the student a general knowledge of the entire Bible, and are used for class work in many churches, and by Sunday-school teachers and ministers for home study. The students who have followed these books have found them loyal to the Word of God and the means of increasing faith in God and His plan for the human family.

After teaching these text books for about twelve years, many students were enrolled and completed the course, and realizing the advantages of systematic study, repeatedly asked for text books for a Second Course. Two text books were prepared for the Second Course fully in harmony with the system studied in the First Course.

The Life of Christ, or Harmony of the Four Gospels, is a book containing 348 pages. The Scripture given in the Four Gospels is arranged in chronological order. The Life of Christ is divided into nine periods. Each period - is illustrated with maps, by which the student can name and locate the important events and places. These give the student a systematic knowledge of the Four Gospels enabling him to follow Christ's journeys and name the events in chronological order from Christ's birth to His ascension. The Life of Christ is to be revised and published in two volumes giving additional comment upon each period.

The second book, Acts of the Apostles, contains 320 pages, giving the Scripture of one of the best versions, showing the full history of the Early Church and reasons why the Apostles and Early Disciples were able to make such rapid progress although bitterly opposed by the world and the Jewish Church. The book contains a number of maps on which are traced the journeys of the first missionaries and the important events are given in chronological order.

These two books, giving a knowledge of the Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, have been the means of helping many Sunday-school teachers and ministers, strengthening their faith in the Word of Truth and making them more efficient workers in the church.

The Second Course was introduced in 1915 and a number have completed this course and made a demand upon us for other text books by which the same System of study could be followed: The author of the above text books has been a student and teacher of the Bible for more than thirty-five years, and decided the best and most helpful course to be offered would be text books giving a systematic knowledge of what is presented in the section of the Bible known as the letters written to the seven churches. These letters were written for definite Christian instruction. It is the part of the Bible in which Christ is the author of All-truth, the Holy Spirit the guide into All-truth, and the Apostle Paul the chosen vessel to whom this truth was revealed, who put this truth into these nine letters that man might, through faith in Christ, become justified, sanctified, and glorified.

Although the author at the beginning of his study of these Church Epistles had the privilege of being under some of the most able teachers and constantly had the help of some of the very best commentators, he found it a task beyond his expectations to complete three text books showing fully the system presented by Christ and the Holy Spirit for Christian education in this age of grace. He does not claim, in the preparation of the manuscript for these books, entire originality, having used at times the very thought given by some of these teachers and commentators, and if their names should not be mentioned in the books, we take this method of acknowledging our indebtedness for any help received in the preparation of the manuscript.

We now in a humble way present to our students these text books: Romans as the first book, showing that all men have sinned and only by faith in Jesus Christ can they be justified; Ephesians, the second book, which admits the student into an advanced class of the School of Grace, so that through faith in Christ he becomes sanctified, dwelling with Christ in the Heavenlies, and realizes what it is to be a member of the Body of Christ; Thessalonians, the third book, written to the members of a model church who found Christ through the teaching of Romans, dwelt in a state of sanctification through the teaching of Ephesians, and were to receive instruction for glorification through faith in Jesus Christ.

The student should learn that only by confidence in the Author of Truth, Christ, and by confidence in the guide, Holy Spirit, can he receive from these text books the help and inspiration that will make him more efficient as a teacher and preacher of the Word. Those who will enter into this most important part of the Bible and be honest with themselves and the Word, will be willing to have answered and incorporated into their lives, the things asked for by the Apostle Paul in the two prayers recorded in Ephesians. (Eph. 1:17-23), “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” (Eph. 3:14-21), “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”

We admonish the student to constantly remember that the evangelists and teachers who are true to Christ and His Word are limited in their mission and must perform the task assigned them as set forth in the following Scripture (Eph. 4:11-16), “And he (Christ) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors, and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”