Gathering together as the saints of the church, around the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, is one of the most essential aspects of our walk with Christ. What is so amazing about the hearing of the Word of God is not that it is only for the unbelievers to hear of the amazing grace of God and to believe and have faith in the finished work of Christ, but it is also for the believer to hear and to have their faith strengthened. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, “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.”
I believe there are three important truths found in this verse. The first was already mentioned, but it is that the preaching, hearing, and believing of the Word of God is what brings about faith. Paul also talks about this in his letter to the Romans when he says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
The second truth found in this verse ties directly with the first one and it is that we must accept the Word that we hear preached with faith that it is the inerrant, infallible Word of God, and not the word of men. Paul expresses that he is thankful that when the believers at the church of Thessalonica heard the Word preached that they accepted it not as the word of man but for what it really is, the Word of God. The importance of Scripture being preached faithfully, and heard in the gathering of the saints is not because of the importance of pastors, but it is because Scripture is the Word of God. Scripture is the way in which God has revealed Himself to us, giving us exactly what we need to know for salvation, justification, sanctification, and everything else we need to know to be followers of Christ.
The last truth I see in this verse of 1 Thessalonians is that gathering around the preaching of the Word of God is essential for believers because it is at work within us. To go even deeper than this verse we can go to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” This truth is so essential for the believer to understand because the Word of God that is at work within us is what sanctifies us. It is what trains us to know how we can obey God, how we can correct our sinful ways, and how we can be equipped to do the good works that God has laid out for us. If we neglect this aspect of our walk with Christ we are missing out on a beautiful time to gather with the body of Christ and praise God for the amazing truths that He has revealed to us in His Scripture.