Summary: words of encouragement and prayer for the Thessalonians are still words of encouragement and comfort for us today.
II. “Stand firm” 2nd Thessalonians 2:13-17 Paul’s words of encouragement and prayer for the Thessalonians are still words of encouragement and comfort for us today.
III. First let us look at verses 13-14, there are some key words to look at and to observe
a. “Ought” this words means to act of doing something presently. Also has a meaning of one who owes a debt.
b. “Always thank God for you” here is a heart that is grateful for the body of believers. As believers today we need to always have a grateful heart for whatever God is doing.
c. “from the beginning” indicating the first fruits of converts in Thessalonica.
d. “Sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit” a necessary aspect of salvation not something reserved for special Christians but for all believers.
1. According to the Holeman N.T. commentary sanctification is a process by which the
2. Believer becomes increasing holy. The Holy Spirit affects this process in conjunction with the individual who must choose continually to believe the truth.
3. The Holy Spirit works through the word of truth and that truth becomes energized by our faith and willful decision to believe and to obey!
4. When faith and the Holy Spirit works in harmony, the believer develops more like Christ, becoming increasing useful on the work of God and His kingdom
e. “Belief in truth” means to adhere to, trust in, to rely upon.
f. In verse 14 this verse re-assures the Thessalonians about their calling. This calling is a divine call and a present reality for us today! God continues to call us for his glory!
g. Redeeming His creation not only brings glory to God; it also brings glory to those who believe, “share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”
1. There is no glory other than God’s glory, Hebrews 1:2-4 we share in His eternal glory in heaven.
IV. Next in verse 15 we have two technical words that we are going to look at.
a. First is “Stand firm” to withstand, not to be moved, to offer resistance to somebody or something, a refusal to abandon one’s belief.
1. We are called to stand firm in the New Testament about 19 times. This word is repeated throughout the N.T. to let us know that we cannot be shaken…
b. Second is “hold” to grasp carry or support with one’s arm or hand. To keep or detain to constrain.
c. Paul encourages them to stand firm and to hold “to the teaching we passed on to you”
1. “Whether if it was by word of mouth or letter” these teaching included everything from salvation to daily conduct to the coming glory of Jesus Christ.
2. Paul wanted the Thessalonians to learn from him by any way possible.
3. Paul knew that there were other false teachers distorting the truth and wanted the Thessalonians to not stray from the gospel.
V. In verses 16-17 Paul offered a quick simple prayer on behalf of Thessalonians.
a. Paul called upon the name of Jesus Christ to intercede for them by:
1. “Who loved us” God always continue to love us.
2. “By his grace” we don’t deserve it but He continues to give it to us.
3. “Eternal encouragement and good hope” encouragement and hope are present realities for us today.
b. The comfort and encouragement that God gives us as believers are in contrast to what the world gives. God encourages us by:
1. His word
2. His Holy spirit
3. The fellowship or brethren of t the church
4. By answering prayer by prayers
5. By praying for others
c. In contrast the world discourages us by:
2. Experiencing hurt and pain
3. By divided families
4. By broken relationship By causing war or battles
5. By shattering our dreams and goals.
d. It is not only hope that God gives but “good hope” that means the certainty of a good future of things to come, eternal life!
e. In verse 17 tells us that all this is to encourage us and strengthen our heart!
1. This covers the totality of our experience from our inner state to our otter life.
2. In other word Paul has in mind the progressive maturing of the believer by good deeds and word.
3. Our words and action (deeds) need to exist in consistency with our belief. I.e. God is love demonstrates love, God forgive, demonstrate forgiveness, etc…
VI. Conclusion, Paul wanted to make sure that the believers in Thessalonica were being led and taught in the teaching of the gospel. Paul also wanted to assure the believer that if Jesus returns tomorrow all believers will share in the joy of being with Him in person. On the other hand, they know that if God takes His time, believers have all the more time to work to bring others to Him. Who can ask for a better situation? While we are alive and here on earth we do the work and the will of God, but if He comes today or this evening we will glory with him in person. But in the mean time we must do all that we can to stand firm and hold on to the gospel and to proclaim it until he comes.