We know, brothers and sisters, loved by God, that he has chosen you, in that our gospel did not come to you merely in words, but in power and in the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction – 1 Thes. 1:4-5
Is there evidence in your life and church of a supernatural God? Paul is writing to the Thessalonian believers, and he says something so interesting here. He has told them that he always remembers them in his prayers, and now he shifts to saying that he knows they are God’s chosen and loved, because they did not merely receive the gospel in words but in the power of the Holy Spirit and in deep conviction.
It seems that Paul is pointing out the evidence that their salvation was real, attested to by God. How did the gospel come in power? What did that look like? Normally that word is used in the context of miracles or supernatural spiritual gifts being done.
What does he mean by “in the Holy Spirit”? It seems that in case after case throughout the New Testament, when the Holy Spirit filled people, there were evidences of that filling in some supernatural way. Paul seems to be pointing to that as part of his certainty of their having been chosen.
And finally Paul points to the fact that there was deep conviction. It seems that we have sought to remove conviction from much of the preaching today. Paul pointed to conviction as evidence.