Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Mining the Scriptures: 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15

Shovel4

Christians are loved by God. Before the world was created, God chose them for salvation (cf. Ephesians 1:4) – the elect of God. This election, as noted by Paul, is accomplished through sanctification. The Holy Spirit separates us from the world through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are made holy through the blood of Jesus Christ, and as such obtain His glory.

This is a concise description of our redemption. We are saved by the grace of God, expressed through the sacrifice of the Savior. Saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). We are God’s workmanship, “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

This is why Paul, in giving thanks for the Thessalonians, admonishes them to “stand fast and hold the traditions you were taught” (vs. 15). Such is the only appropriate response to God’s grace, (cf. Titus 2:11-12).

Mining the Scriptures: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

Shovel4

Paul’s gracious prayer for the Thessalonians acknowledges that it is according to God’s grace that they would be glorified in the Lord Jesus Christ (vs. 12). This statement brings to mind two important considerations. First, we are saved by grace. Our glorification is a direct result of Christ’s gift, as He died on the cross for our sins. Second, to be glorified, we must be recipients of that grace.

Paul prayed that the Thessalonians would be counted “worthy of this calling” by God. It is God alone who determines whether one is or is not worthy. As revealed in the preceding verses, those who are not found worthy are punished with “everlasting destruction” (vs. 9), while the worthy are granted rest, “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels” (vs. 7).

Here Paul enlarges on the blessings of being found worthy. Those who are “fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness.” Again, it about God, not ourselves. Even when we have done all, we admit “We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10). When we live for Jesus Christ, His name is glorified in our obedience — and as a result, we too will be glorified as the result of our association with Him.

Mining the Scriptures: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2

Shovel4

Paul’s introductory words in his second letter to the Thessalonians is typical of his letters in that it contains an invocation to God on their behalf, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1).

There are two things to note in these first two verses. First, the inclusion of Silvanus in the salutation. The name is found only here, in his first letter to the Thessalonians, 2 Corinthians 1:19 and 1 Peter 5:12. However, the man is readily identified by the Greek variation of the name, Silas, one of Paul’s travel companions.

The more interesting phrase is “the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” It clearly indicates that such phrases are not proper names, but descriptions of a group. This group lived in Thessalonica, and were “in” God and Jesus. This means they had a relationship with the Father and the Son. This was a congregation of Christians.

This is the biblical use of the term church, and does not in any way coincide with the denominational use of the term in our time.

Mining The Scriptures: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

Shovel

 

2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

The apostle Paul suffered a great deal because of his ministry in the gospel. He was constantly in peril, and coveted the prayers of the saints for protection. His petition here is especially specific, as he requested protection from “unreasonable and wicked men.”

Why are some men wicked? Because, “not all have faith.” Those without faith are often actively antagonistic toward Christ.

Such a sobering reality is certainly cause for prayer, but not for despair. Despite the antagonism of the worldly, Paul had reason for comfort and confidence. “But the Lord is faithful.” (cf. Romans 8:31).
Not only was Paul confident in God’s faithfulness, he was confident in the faithfulness of the Thessalonians. They were doing God’s will, and he believed they would continue to be faithful to Him.

This prayer was that their hearts (referencing both devotion and will) would be directed into the Love of God (indicating a love for God, seen in obedience) and the Patience of Christ (indicating a need for the same patience evinced by the Savior Himself in His life on earth). A wonderful prayer indeed!

Mining The Scriptures: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10

Shovel

2 Thessalonians 1:3-10

A common circumstance of Christians in the first century was the suffering of persecution for the kingdom’s sake. Paul referred in this text to the “persecutions and tribulations” that the Thessalonians had endured.

He commended them for their perseverance, and promised them that God would “give you who are troubled rest” at the Advent of Christ.

The reason for the promise is the character of Almighty God. “It is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble” His children, and to give His children rest “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels” (cf. vs. 6-7).

Because of who God is (His person and character) we can be assured that he will treat us fairly in judgment. That is a reason for the ungodly to fear, but it is a basis for our hope and comfort as we live righteously in His service.