Does 1 Thessalonians 1:5 Teach A Direct Operation of The Holy Spirit Upon The Heart Of A Sinner/Saint?
No. This verse has been removed from its context to teach something that it does not teach. This false doctrine of the direct operation of the Holy Spirit is also not taught anywhere in the Scriptures [NOTE: Please consult our Q & A: Why Is The Direct Operation of The Holy Spirit Upon The Heart Of An Alien Sinner/Saint A False Doctrine?”]. What is 1 Thessalonians 1:5 teaching?
1 Thessalonians 1:2-5 states: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.”
When Paul states that the gospel did not come in “word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance”, he is not stating that the word of God is not powerful to convict, convert, and sanctify a person. For the Bible teaches elsewhere that God's word is powerful (Hebrews 4:12). It is so powerful that it brought forth the creation into existence from nothing! That is awesome power (Hebrews 11:3)!
Paul is stating that when he preached the word of God that he also confirmed the message that he proclaimed with miraculous signs and wonders (Mark 16:17-20; Hebrews 2:1-4). These miraculous gifts were ultimately from the Holy Spirit who baptized Paul in His miraculous power so that he could be equal with the other apostles in carrying out the mission God had commissioned him/them to do.
The gospel brings assurance because it is trustworthy - God always keeps His promises. He never lies (Titus 1:2).
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