Trinitarianism in Thessalonica

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters. A word before I forget in doing tonight’s blog. I will be out of town this weekend so after tonight, there will not likely be another blog until Monday.  I ask my readers for their prayers this weekend. It will be a big one and I want it to be a really good one as well. I’ve spent some time learning about myself in preparation for this weekend and I pray I’m the man I am supposed to be.

Tonight, we’re going to start our look at 1 Thessalonians, which is accepted to be a genuine Pauline letter. We’re going to be in the first chapter and looking at verses 4-10. Let’s go to the text:

4For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

I chose this passage because it is thoroughly Trinitarian. All throughout this passage, we have references to God, to Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit. Some items worthy of mention include the imitation of the Lord, a reference to Christ of course as only Christ walked the earthly life, but this common reference to him as the Lord is what is noteworthy. We already see at work this usage of Lord in reference to Jesus and God to the Father, as if there needed to be an explanation already.

Note also the message given by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one who inspires the gospel and it is his message that is being conveyed in the preaching of the gospel. This would lean towards a high view of the Spirit which has already been seen as the one who empowers even the very delivery of the message in verse 5.

Note also that Jesus is identified as the Son of God at the very end as the one who delivers from the wrath to come. Now I’m not going to enter into an eschatological debate, but what the wrath is is clearly a divine judgment in some sense and Jesus is seen as the one who delivers us.

There is also the reference to the living and true God. What does this mean for Trinitarianism? Not a problem for sure. As a Trinitarian, I can speak of any one person of the Trinity as being in the true and living God. The only problem would be if the assumption of unipersonalism was in play. Since it is not, I do not have a problem.

There is much in here and I urge readers to look over this passage. If you’re one who marks in your Bible, you could consider three different colors of highlighers and going through and using a different color to reference a different person of the Trinity. This might be an interesting exercise to do with the whole of Scripture.

Okay! Pray for me this weekend! See you all Monday!

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