1 Thessalonians 1:6

Imitators of us and of the Lord (mimhtai hmwn kai tou kuriou). Mimhth (-th expresses the agent) is from mimeomai, to imitate and that from mimo (mimic, actor). Old word, more than "followers," in the N.T. only six times ( 1 Thessalonians 1:6 ; 1 Thessalonians 2:14 ; 1 Corinthians 4:16 ; 1 Corinthians 11:1 ; Ephesians 5:1 ; Hebrews 6:12 ). Again Paul uses ginomai, to become, not eimi, to be. It is a daring thing to expect people to "imitate" the preacher, but Paul adds "and of the Lord," for he only expected or desired "imitation" as he himself imitated the Lord Jesus, as he expressly says in 1 Corinthians 11:1 . The peril of it all is that people so easily and so readily imitate the preacher when he does not imitate the Lord. The fact of the "election" of the Thessalonians was shown by the character of the message given them and by this sincere acceptance of it (Lightfoot). Having received the word (dexamenoi ton logon). First aorist middle participle of decomai, probably simultaneous action (receiving), not antecedent. In much affliction (en qlipsei pollh). Late word, pressure. Tribulation (Latin tribulum) from qlibw, to press hard on. Christianity has glorified this word. It occurs in some Christian papyrus letters in this same sense. Runs all through the N.T. ( 2 Thessalonians 1:4 ; Romans 5:3 ). Paul had his share of them ( Colossians 1:24 ; 2 Corinthians 2:4 ) and so he understands how to sympathize with the Thessalonians ( 1 Thessalonians 3:3 ). They suffered after Paul left Thessalonica ( 1 Thessalonians 2:14 ). With joy of the Holy Spirit (meta cara pneumato agiou). The Holy Spirit gives the joy in the midst of the tribulations as Paul learned ( Romans 5:3 ). "This paradox of experience" (Moffatt) shines along the pathway of martyrs and saints of Christ.