1 Thessalonians has been one of my favourite books of the Bible for a long time. I studied it early on in Bible College and thoroughly enjoyed it. So when I was sent Sam Gordon’s easy read commentary ‘5 Marks of a Gospel Church’ I was pretty excited

The book is labelled as ‘1 Thessalonians made simple’ and it does exactly what it says on the tin!

Sam has a very easy-to-read writing style. The book is engaging with a good amount of illustrations, but not too many. Sam unpacks the wonderful truths found in this wonderful New Testament letter and applies it to the church and Christians today.

The book comes in at 320 pages, but you wouldn’t realise you’re reading that much. I would recommend this book to preachers, Bible College students and Christians who want to dive a little deeper into 1 Thessalonians.

I’ve followed Sam’s ministry for a wee while now, this is the first book of his that I’ve read but I would love to read more! There are so many one-liners in this book. I’ve underlined and dog-eared page! That means it must be good.

The only ‘bad’ thing (not bad at all, but a reviewer must be honest 😂) I can say is that Sam’s eschatological view is different from mine. It’s clear from the book that he is a premillennialist, which I am not. This only comes into play in chapter 4 and 5 of 1 Thessalonians and it is no criticism. Every author writes with their own theological framework in mind, which is good and understandable. Definitely not a criticism, just a comment 🙂

Here are some of the great comments in the book…

“Christianity is not a work to be endured for duty’s sake, it is a person to be served for love’s sake”

“Only the Spirit of God can illumine a darkened mind and quicken an enslaved will. We desperately need God to work, and when he does he uses the medium of his Holy Spirit. Therein lies the secret to effective gospel ministry and productive preaching. We must never divorce what God has married, namely his word and his Spirit”

“As long as one person does not know Jesus, our work is not finished. We do not have the luxury of folding our arms and resting on the laurels of past success. It is a case of every church, every member, every hand reaching the unreached and least-reached. There is no other way to reach the world for Jesus. God’s heart beats with a passion to save lost sinners”

“When maintaining status-quo programmes becomes intrinsically more important than ministering to people, the result is an ingrown, inward-looking, stagnant clique”

I would highly recommend you go and buy this book. Buy it here and whilst you’re there check out Sam’s ministry at Truth For Today.


Sam Gordon has an international Bible teaching ministry and over the years has travelled extensively around Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas.