“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” 1 Thess. 1:6-9.
Christianity came to this people and totally turned their lives inside out. The depth and manner of their transformation could be seen in the way they extended the borders of Christianity by even going to places that those that preached Christ to them had not reached. And when they i.e. those that ministered unto them got their they could tell that it was the Christians of Thessalonia that had been there already.
They became such effective Christians because of the “manner of entering” those that preached Christ to them did. This “manner of entering” had to do with how Jesus entered into them, how they received Him. And the “entering” matters a lot, it’s a defining factor on how the life would be afterwards. The Apostle Paul met some disciples and asked them some questions that revolved round this.
“..And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” Acts 19: 1-4
Your life will show the “manner of entering” Christ used to come in. It will show how much entrance you allowed Him. And there are different ways many exhibit this life. But the truth is you don’t really need anyone to tell you when one has truly encountered Christ. This is why its quite sad to see the “manner” of life of some, because the “manner of entering” was not as it should be.
The scripture tells us of only one “manner of entering” that would produce the right kind of life. But today, many profess to know Christ in their own way. What happened to the church in Thessalonia was the same thing that was seen in Paul. And this was what he wanted to do with those disciples he found at Ephesus, whose “manner of entering” was not yet perfected as it were. The same goes to Apollos too. He had to be brought aside even though he exhibited much zeal and the “manner of entering” had to be put straight (Acts 18: 24-26). Appollos and the disciples were sincere yet their encounter with Christianity had to be put upon the right foundation
The fruits of the true “manner of entering” are always seen. Paul encountered Christ and had a life altering experience. He was saved, baptized and not long afterwards, he went about preaching. This same thing reflected in the Thessalonian church. The life you see being exhibited will immediately tell you the “manner of entering”. There are those who desperately defend their ‘faith’ as it were. They have somehow entrenched their own personal philosophies within the gospel and they speak and preach it as if they are one. The same argument and excuses they proffer outside is the same one they have in their closet.
There is no 'this is how I serve my Lord' your life will show the "manner of entering". Philosophies will come and go but The Word would remain the same, The scriptures cannot be broken. Some would say that it is a personal thing yet they know what their hearts are privy to. The way Jesus was brought to them and the way they accepted Christ is now seen in the life they are now living. Paul's life was so transformed that those that were with him before started scheming on how they might get rid of him. Others would want to say that not everybody would be like Paul. This is true; there is only one Paul. They would want to say that Peter 'fell' many times and want to hide under this
mis-representation. It’s a mis-representation because Peter gave his all once and then started the walk of faith.
"Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord...fear not; from henceforth thou shall catch men" Lke.5: 8-10.
His stumbling at specific issues did not in any way remove the fact that he had fully committed to Christ. But there are those whose commitment is such that the telling mark of encounter, of transformation just misses you.
One has to re-visit his or her "manner of entering" to see any tangible change. It is the manner of entrance that is the key. And the good news is that it is not a once and for all thing i.e. once done can not be corrected. Those disciples Paul encountered at Ephesus, Apollos as he met the couple; they all had to be put on that path of perfection. Their manner of entrance had to be re-visited. The right manner of entrance opens the door for the right things to come in and be planted. The disciples received the Holy Ghost and from there sat down at the feet of Paul to learn the way (Acts19: 6-10).
It was the teachings that the Thessalonians went through that brought them to the stage where they became a blessing in the lives of others. Peter talked about adding one thing after the other, saying;
"For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 2 Pet.1: 11.
It is the "manner of entering" that would in the end determine your "entrance" as long as you continue in that walk. Those whose life does not reflect this addition i.e. does not show that "manner of entrance" are in danger of actually living a listless life, having forgotten that they were "purged" from their old sins.
The man that has met with Christ can't hide it; there is a way it comes out because he won't be able to contain it as it were. That entrance can be re-visited, The Christ of old is still alive today. People met Him then and had a life-changing encounter. Now many have to cry themselves hoarse that they have met Him yet they still find it difficult to convince onlookers, it's the "manner of entering".
Scripture quotes from King James Version (Authorized)