Mileposts of Maturity: How can we know where we are; spiritually? Examples in the Bible: 1) Milepost of spiritual virtues (Faith; Hope; Love); 1Th 1:3; 2) Pilgrim analogy (faith to faith; strength to strength; glory to glory; Rom 1:17; Psa 84:7; 2Co 3:18); 3) Harvest analogy (from agriculture; Mat:13:3-8; Joh 15:1-8); 4) Stage of life analogy (babe; young man; adult; 1Jo 2:13-14); 5) Journey of Faith (five Hebrew words for faith; Gen 15:6; Psa 55:22; Psa 57:1; Isa 40:31); Mileposts of spiritual maturity in 1 Thessalonians: 1) they had received the Word with joy of the Holy Spirit (1Th 1:6) 2) they became followers of the Lord 3) they became examples to others (1Th 1:7) 4) they became ambassadors; 'from you the Word of the Lord has sounded forth' (1Th 1:8); Phi 2:25. The Thessalonians were making progress and the world could see it!
The Thessalonians were persecuted for their faith. Paul's first letter to them provides comfort, reminding them of the details of Christ's return for His Church ("The Blessed Hope") and providing practical spiritual lessons for living.