Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ 10/14/07
2 Thessalonians 2:13&14 ~ 13But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In strong contrast to the future of the perishing – he gives thanks for their drastically different future.
It’s God’s sovereignty & man’s responsibility.
One side is blown out of proportion into such a grotesque caricature that the other side is completely overshadowed.
Antinomy (an-‘ti-në-mē), not paradox, not one side is correct
What is needed is the humility to face this as a part of our own finiteness. The Bible is the divine revelation of the mind of an infinite God.
Luke 10:21a ~ At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.
Too often we take the position of the wise and seek to use or apply their own human logic to these difficult concepts of Scripture like divine sovereignty and human volition, the trinity, and the divine/human natures of Christ united in one person.
We become overinflated and act like we’ve got God figured out; we tell God how He is.
Isaiah 40:13&14 ~ 13Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has informed Him? 14With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding?
Should always = ojfei>lw pa>ntote eujcariste>w
Paul combines the present continuous tense of ojfei>lw, “to owe, be indebted,” with the adverb pa>ntote, “at all times,” to stress our obligation to eujcariste>w God.
- \\ Beloved = *ajgapa>w
Perfect passive participle of ajgapa>w, “to love.” Contextually, this is an intensive perfect stressing being loved as an abiding state resulting from past action. Christians, having been loved by God in the past, are the constant recipients of God’s love in the present.
- \\ Because = God has chosen you
from the beginning
for salvation swthri>a
By way of =
1) Sanctification by the Spirit aJgiasmo>v
2) And faith in the truth
He called you kale>w
Through our gospel
In order that you may be saved*
“From the beginning,” point to the pre-temporal choice of God. This choice was not on the basis of their love for God or any merit on their part, but because of God’s love for them.
The words, “for salvation,” express the purpose or goal.
Exactly how God chose them for or by Himself is now amplified. First, it was “through the sanctification (set apart) by the Spirit.”
The second means God uses is “faith in the truth,” as opposed to, “They did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved,” in verse 10.
Paul spoke of God’s pre-temporal choosing of the Thessalonians for salvation. Here he speaks of the actual work of bringing them to Himself by calling them through the message of the gospel. “Call” is aorist of the verb kale>w.
“So that you may possess the glory of our Lord Jesus,” points us to the ultimate fulfillment.
When sinners believe God’s truth, God saves them. When they believe Satan’s lie, and reject the love of the truth, they cannot be saved (2 Thes. 2:10-12). Being neutral about God’s truth is a dangerous thing. It has tragic eternal consequences.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
“And faith in the truth.” God chose us for salvation and likewise He has ordained the means as it pertains to man’s responsibility.
This responsibility is linked to the sanctifying work of the Spirit. The responsibility is faith in the truth as it is found in the gospel message of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
God’s election in no way bypasses the need of personal faith in Christ. These two must be held in balance.
Even though they were not in the Day of the Lord they were still living in a time when the force of lawlessness was at work.
In this regard there is a present danger of deception and a growing apostasy. Thus, believers must stand firm and hold on with a strong grip to the truth.
Both “stand firm” and “hold on” are in the continuous present tense imperatives.
“Traditions” is para>dosiv, which refers here to “a tradition of teaching,” not nice customs or ideas. These traditions had their source in God Himself.
2 Thessalonians 2:16&17 ~ 16Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
Addressing his prayer to the first two persons of the Trinity, Paul names the Son before the Father (contra 1Thessalonians 3:11).
As an illustration, we do not see the justifying work of God, the imputation of righteousness to our account. We did not see the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when we were saved or the baptizing work of the Spirit which joined us into union with Christ. We believe this to be a reality, but this is still a matter of hope—the confident expectation in its reality.
17comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 ~ 1Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 3But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 4We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you;
2 and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
4 We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command.
5 May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness (uJpomonh>) of Christ.
Prayer means that Godly confidence lay not in human plans, promotion, programs, or human personalities, but in the Lord Himself.
Paul’s awareness of his need of God’s hand and the important part the prayer of the saints has on our ministries.
The first need is that it may run, used figuratively of “proceeding quickly without hindrance.”
The second need is that the message may continue to be glorified.
The Second Request: The Word of God is not bound or imprisoned and Satan is impotent against the Word when it is accurately proclaimed. He may deny it, attack it, try to add to it or subtract from it, but his primary attacks must come against those who proclaim it. He will seek to use those under his influence and who do not have faith to imprison, kill, distract, detain, or in some way through temptation and deception to negate the testimony of the messenger.
The next clause, “for not all have faith” points us to the reason for this category of men. They are what they are because they have no faith or trust in the Lord.