I love the memory of this church -- their work of faith, labor of love and patience of hope. May every church be known for that. Oh, that I would be remembered and prayed for like that.
The gospel came, not only in word, but in power and with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. If the gospel produced faith, hope and love (1 Thess. 1:3), it obviously was not mere words.
They received the gospel with much affliction with joy. Those two don't normally go together. Only really, really great news can produce joy in affliction. They became an example to everyone who heard about them of how to embrace the good news of Jesus.