Thursday, July 28, 2022

2022.07.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Thessalonians 3:1–5

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1–5

Questions from the Scripture text: With what word does 2 Thessalonians 3:1 begin? What does the apostle call them? What does he ask them to do? For whom? What does he say is doing the running? What are they to pray would happen to the Word among the apostolic team? Among whom else is the Word of the Lord being glorified? From what men do they ask to be delivered (2 Thessalonians 3:2)? What do unreasonable and wicked men not have? Who, however, is faithful (2 Thessalonians 3:3)? What two things will He do for the Thessalonians? What does the apostolic team have concerning them (2 Thessalonians 3:4)? In Whom is this confidence? About what are they confident? Into what two things does the apostle pray/pronounce that the Lord would direct their hearts (2 Thessalonians 3:5)? Whose love? Whose patience?

What is the main issue in Christian life and ministry?  2 Thessalonians 3:1–5 looks forward to the second serial reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these three verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that God glorifies His Word in our lives and ministries by using it to direct our hearts in that persistent love that keeps obeying Him, despite all efforts of men and demons to dissuade us.

The battle for obedience. Not all have faith. This statement in 2 Thessalonians 3:2 is obvious enough (especially in light of 2 Thessalonians 1:8) that he is almost certainly referring to those in the church (as the man of sin himself is “in the temple of God” in 2 Thessalonians 2:4). What do these unreasonable and wicked men do? They attempt to prevent the apostolic team from preaching the Word as they have been called to do (2 Thessalonians 3:1). In this, they are like the evil one (end of 2 Thessalonians 3:3), who attempts to prevent believers from doing what God’s Word commands (end of 2 Thessalonians 3:4). There is a battle on for proclaiming the Word. There is a battle on for obeying the Word. And if we are not on the right side of this battle, then we are on the wrong side of it.

By Whom the battle is won. Believers exert themselves in the Christian life, so it is important for us to be reminded that we are not the ones who win the battle. It is by the Lord that His Word runs swiftly, and by the Lord that His Word is glorified. This is why 2 Thessalonians 3:1 is a prayer request. 

It is by the Lord that hearts persevere in that love of God that produces obedience (cf. 1 John 5:1–5). This is why 2 Thessalonians 3:5 is a benediction/prayer request. Further, by the parallel, we discover that this love for God comes from God, just as our steadfastness comes from Christ. We do not have these in ourselves; they must come from Him. Not all have faith (2 Thessalonians 3:2), but those who do have faith get it from the faithful God (2 Thessalonians 3:3). Obedience comes from the heart, and it is the Lord Who directs the believer’s heart (2 Thessalonians 3:5).

Through what He wins the battle. Sadly, I’ve heard people who love learning and obeying the Bible be accused of idolizing the Bible. Well, if glorifying the Bible were wrong, God Himself would be guilty, according to 2 Thessalonians 3:1, and that wonderful statement we often quote from Psalm 138:2, “You have magnified Your Word above all Your Name.” God glorifies His Word by making it the means through which Christian life and ministry advances. 

How are you battling for the Word to be proclaimed and heard? How are you battling to obey the Word? How does your prayer life reflect that God must win these battles? How do your Bible-reading and preaching-hearing habits reflect that God has appointed His Word as the means by which He wins?

Sample prayer:  Lord, thank You for the fellowship that you gave the Thessalonians and the apostolic team in the battle for the Word to be proclaimed, heard, believed, and obeyed. Forgive us for when we are not aware of that battle or participating in it ourselves. Make Your Word to run, and direct our hearts into love from You and steadfastness from Christ, so that Your Word may be glorified in us through Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength” or TPH244 “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”

No comments:

Post a Comment