Hello everyone! Today is being a really good day! There have been two compliments, one of which was a very friendly endorsement I just found out about! It is such a joy when you know that what you are doing in ministry matters. Enough time later on to celebrate however! Tonight, we’re going to be looking at 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17. Let’s go to the text.
13But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.16May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
I hope that those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile have noticed the need to look for Trinitarian passages. I also hope that any new readers will also notice that need. I chose this passage tonight because it is thoroughly Trinitarian.
Notice that the thanks go to God at the beginning, so here we have the Father being referred to. What is next? They are loved by the Lord. By the Lord, we of course have learned that this normally refers to Jesus and we have no reason to think otherwise in this passage. Finally, there is the mention of sanctification through the Spirit. The Spirit is the one that comes and brings about holiness in the lives of the believers.
Paul continues mention of the work that is going on. Believers are the ones who are called by God. God is the subject of this section, but the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ are not absent. This was done so we could share in the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe this means that when the time comes that Christ is exalted before all the world, that it will be a known reality for all the world. We will participate in it in that we will be giving glory to Christ and he will honor us for honoring him.
Finally, Paul asks that our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God the Father encourage the believers in Thessalonica. The Lord Jesus Christ himself refers to the unique position that Jesus holds in the thought of Paul. Jesus himself is to be the one who is encouraging. Note also that Paul speaks of God the Father, which is a point we’ve noticed numerous times. There was a distinction that was being made. Paul doesn’t say “God and Lord” as that could refer to one person, but he takes both titles of deity and applies one to Jesus and one to the Father.
Once again, we see that in even a basic encouragement, Trinitarianism is essential for Paul.