Summary: This section forms a transition between the teaching on the Day of the Lord & exhortations for present living. In contrast to those who believe Satan’s lies, here are those who believe the truth of God. In this section there are three life impacts that co
[ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE FUTURE Series]
2 THESSALONIANS 2: 13-17
A PEOPLE OF TRUTH
This section forms a transition between Paul’s teaching on the Day of the Lord (2:1-12) and his exhortations for present living in view of that day which follow (3:1-15). Right here the Holy Spirit blows fresh breath upon His children as He contrasts the previous topics of judgment, eternal punishment, apostasy, and the Man of Sin with salvation, sanctification, security, grace, hope, and the Lord Jesus Christ. In contrast to those who refuse to love and obey the truth - here are those willing to do both. In contrast to those who believe Satan’s lies - here are those who believe the truth of God. In contrast to those who follow the Antichrist - here are those who follow Christ. In contrast to lostness is salvation. In contrast to rebellion is sanctification. In contrast to eternal judgment is glorification. For we find here warm thanksgiving and encouragement in the bright prospects which await believers.
The contrasts between the lost and the saved come about due to a belief in or a rejection of the truth. In this section there are three life impacts that come as a result of believing and acting on God’s truth (CIT).
I. PERSUADED BY THE TRUTH, 13-14. [CHOSEN & CALL BY GOD]
II. PERSEVERE IN THE TRUTH, 15. [RESPONDING TO GOD]
III. PRACTICE THE TRUTH, 16-17. [SUPPORTED BY GOD]
The character, grounds, and implications of Paul’s thanksgiving are included in verses 13-15. [This gratitude is grounded in the gospel, especially in God Himself taking the initiative in our salvation.] Verse 13 describes our obligation to offer thanks for the work of God in the lives of believers. “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”
In contrast to the unbelievers previously discussed, the Thessalonians were a source of gratitude to the apostles. Paul felt a strong obligation to thank God for them continually. Prolonged observation of the Thessalonian’s love and life revealed that God had saved them and was saving them. This made them brethren or brothers, but they were more than that, they were “beloved by the Lord.” They were his brothers and sisters in the faith, loved by the Lord though despised and persecuted by their godless neighbors.
Do you understand that you too are beloved by the Lord? Don’t let the tough circumstances of life keep you from realizing that you are one of God’s beloved children.
Those “in Christ” (Eph. 1:4; 1 Cor. 2:7) were chosen [heilato, past tense of aireō, “to take or pick,” used only here & in Phil. 1:22] by God from the beginning or before the foundation of the world. God’s sovereignty and man’s free will dwell side by side throughout the Scriptures. Human and divine responsibility are linked together as the divine initiative seeks and awaits human response.