Welcome back everyone to Deeper Waters, hopefully one of your favorite blogs to increase your understanding of the Christian faith in relation to apologetics and philosophy. Tonight, we’re going to conclude our look at the Trinity in 2 Thessalonians by looking at chapter 3. We have a strong message on who Jesus is right at the beginning of this chapter. We’ll be going from verse 1-5:
1Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. 3But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 4We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. 5May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
We have at the start the message of the Lord, and as we have seen, Lord consistently refers to Jesus. Due to the eschatological emphasis of this book, the constant mentioning of the Lord Jesus Christ could serve as a reminder of the one through whom God will fulfill his eschatological plans. Again, we are not going to get into the secondary points of eschatology, but all eschatological viewpoints can agree that the work of Christ being central in eschatology reveals a high Christology.
Paul wants his readers to know about evil men who are troubling him. Paul encourages his readers to pray for him as he continues the spread of the gospel along with his colleagues that they will be delivered from such men. It is easy to skip over this point, but the next verse reminds us of something revealing. After all, how would the readers do this other than by prayer?
Yet what does Paul say? The Lord is faithful. In essence, Paul is saying that the Lord is the one who is hearing their prayers, which would point to his omnipresence in being able to hear the prayers of all the believers in Thessalonica. Furthermore, he is seen as powerful in that he is able to strengthen all the believers. In the last point, he is able to stand against the evil one. This is hardly light terminology to be used to describe Christ!
He then says that their confidence is also in the Lord. Again, Paul could be pointing out the eschatological significance of the Lord, but let us not overlook the fact that it is the Lord that he keeps emphasizing. For Paul, Christ was central to the Christian life even in prayer.
Finally, it is the Lord who he hopes will direct their hearts to the love of God. There is no way to get to the love of God unless one goes through Christ. You will not find any love that does not come through him in some way. Insofar as that happens, it is Christ who will be the one who perseveres the people as they face the evil of their opponents in the love of God.
Tomorrow, we begin the pastoral letters.