Be Not Deceived – 2 Thess 1-2

Paul opens the second letter to the Thessalonians with a greeting from Silvanus (Silas) and Timothy as well, expressing their great pride for the brethren there because of their faith and strength, despite all of the persecution that they have suffered. He further praises and encourages them, telling them that God’s righteous judgment will see to it that they are rewarded, just as those who have afflicted them will be punished.

In chapter two, he warns them not to be deceived by those who would tell them that the the day of the Lord has already come (suggesting they had been forgotten). We do not know what sort of false teaching and other deception they had already been subjected to, but this suggests that Paul knows more is to come.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Thess 4, 1 Thess 5, 2 Thess 1, 2 Thess 2, 2 Thess 3

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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

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The Day of the Lord – 1 Thess 4-5

Theatre of the Macedonian Studies Foundation

Theatre of the Macedonian Studies Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul begins chapter four, encouraging them to keep themselves holy, and to abstain from the sexual immorality with which he knew they were surrounded. In the midst of their persecution, he encouraged them to keep busy working with their hands and “to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs.” This admonishment was no doubt to keep them from drawing further persecution to themselves. The next few verses suggest that the Thessalonians were distressed about those who of their number who had died (possibly because of false teaching about the dead). He reassured them that those who were “asleep” had not perished, but would rise first when the Lord returns.

He closes this first letter by telling them that although they will have no sign of the Lord’s coming (He will come like a thief in the night), that they will not be in darkness because they are children of the light. They are to keep themselves holy and be vigilant, sober, loving, and faithful. He tells them to encourage those who work, to admonish the idle, and to do good to everyone.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Thess 4, 1 Thess 5, 2 Thess 1, 2 Thess 2, 2 Thess 3

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul’s First Letter to Thessalonica – 1 Thessalonians 1

Thessonica today is called Salonica. It is the second largest city in Greece, and is a large commercial port. In the 4th century BC, it was founded by Cassander of Macedonia beginning from the city of Therma (or Therme), named for hot springs in the area. His wife was named Thessalonica, and was a sister of Alexander the Great.

English: Coin_of_Cassander

English: Coin_of_Cassander (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Silvanus, in Paul’s opening greeting to the Christians at Thessalonica refers to Silas. The church there was founded in Acts 17:1-9 on Paul’s second missionary journey. In this portion of the epistle, Paul praises and encourages them for their faith and the example that they have been for Christians elsewhere, as word of their conversion and faith in the Lord Jesus has spread throughout the region by reason of the comings and going of people doing trade there, and possibly evangelistic efforts on their part. They had moved from pagan idol worship to deep faith in the resurrected Lord, while at the same time facing tremendous persecution for doing so (Acts 17:5-8).

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Romans 15, Romans 16, 1 Thess 1, 1 Thess 2, 1 Thess 3

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

1 Thessalonians 5 – Final Instructions and Benediction

In this portion of Paul’s first letter, he continues speaking of the Lord’s return by reminding them that they already have been taught that the time is unknown and will come like a “thief in the night,” catching the unrighteous unaware and unready.  Paul refers to them in verse 5 as “children of light” (some translations say “sons of light”) and “children of the day.”  Jesus refers to believers as “sons of light” in a parable in Luke 16:8 and in John 12:35-36, as He is “the light.”  As Paul speaks here of the difference between they who know the Lord and the unrighteous, his words about not being “of the darkness,” along with those about the sins that take place at night, obviously show that being “of the light” has  other meaning as well (verses 6-7).  But his military imagery in verse 8 , is in the context of always being ready – which is the main point he is driving home.

Paul’s message of faith, hope, and love continues as he admonishes them to encourage and build one another up.  But in the middle of this, in verses 12-13, he says “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.”   This is clearly a reference to elders of the church; and we know from Acts 14:23 that he and Barnabas had appointed elders in every church on their journey through the area.  These verses and those following may have been to address specific concerns Paul had for signs of turmoil to which he was made aware (“be at peace among yourselves”).  But as “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16), the commands and principles through verse 22 apply to Christians everywhere (“Admonish the idle, the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all”).

Thessalonica Arch of Galerius

Not repaying evil for evil (verse 15) is not a mandate against punishment by the justice system, but a limit that a Christian has to put on his personal life, difficult as it may be – instead, we must “seek to do good to one another and to everyone.”  “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” are the will of the Father through Christ Jesus.  “Do not quench the Spirit” and “Do not despise prophecies” would appear to be speaking to the Spiritual gifts that were to end after the apostolic age, but the Spirit that one acquires from baptism can also be quenched by false teaching, and by the sins of not following these important principles.  “Abstain from every form of evil” ( the KJV incorrectly asserts “the appearance of evil”) in this context , as Coffman comments is: “having tested what is true and false, the believer should cling to the true and abstain from the false.”

He closes, wishing them the peace and grace of the Lord, exhorting them to keep their  “whole spirit and soul and body” blameless, looking toward the coming of the Lord.  He then charges them to have this circular letter read to all the brethren.

Side note: Good information and photos of Thessalonica (Thessaloniki) in this article at BiblePlaces.com.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

1 Thessalonians 4 – A Life Pleasing to God

This chapter begins with Paul urging the brothers and sisters at Thessalonica to remain pure and to abstain from sexual immorality.  Having been converted from the paganism and idolatry that the city was corrupt with, sexual immorality would have gone hand in hand (as it always had) with such practices, and they would need to be on their guard to keep each other from slipping.  It is believed that Paul was writing the letter from Corinth (the patron “goddess” of which was Venus), where promiscuity abounded.  D. D. Whedon said of social impurity that “heathenism had made sexual immorality trivial, jocular, rather smart, and even religious and right”.  Sounds very similar to the so-called “new morality” of this day and age, does it not?  But the brothers there were strong, and an inspiration to all Macedonians in the region.  They just needed some extra encouragement.

Paul is continuing this admonition against sexual immorality in verse 6 with “…that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter…,” rather than beginning a new thought.  The word translated “wrong” in the ESV is better translated “defraud” and “exploit” in other versions.  The sexual relationship that God intended for a man and his wife, when used otherwise, often hurts someone in the here and now; and the fleeting pleasure is always at the ultimate expense of both parties.

Finally, it is implied, as Paul addresses them, that there had been several deaths of brethren at Thessalonica since he left; and those remaining seemed to be sure that Christ was going to return during their lifetimes.  Their grief for their departed appears to have included the misguided notion that those who have died were going to “miss out” on Christ’s return.  Paul offers some encouragement for them, saying that those who are alive when Christ returns will go with Him after He has gathered those who have “fallen asleep.”

It is Jesus’ victory over death, he reminds in verse 14, that assures us that God will, through Jesus, bring with Him those who have fallen asleep.  This use of the term “asleep” occurs in several passages in Scripture, a few of which include Matthew 27:52, John 11:11, Luke 8:49-56, and 1 Corinthians 15:20.   While some of Paul’s Apocalyptic description of that great and spectacular day is figurative, his assurance of the resurrection of the dead is not.  One of the most beautiful reminders of that fact in Scripture is Jesus’ conversation with Martha in John 11:23-27, before he raises her brother Lazarus from the dead:

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

As Paul says of Jesus’ return to us in 1 Corinthians 15:26, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

1 Thess 1 – The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example

Thessalonica waterfront

Known today as Salonica, it is the second largest city in Greece, and a thriving commercial port.  In the 4th century BC, it was founded by Cassander of Macedonia beginning from the city of Therma (or Therme), named for hot springs in the area.  His wife was named Thessalonica, and was sister of Alexander the Great.

Silvanus, in Paul’s opening greeting to the Christians at Thessalonica refers to Silas.  The church there was founded in Acts 17:1-9 on Paul’s second missionary journey.  In this portion of the epistle, Paul praises and encourages them for their faith and the example that they have been for Christians elsewhere, as word of their conversion and faith in the Lord Jesus has spread throughout the region by reason of the comings and going of people doing trade there, and possibly evangelistic efforts on their part.    They had moved from pagan idol worship to deep faith in the resurrected Lord, while at the same time facing tremendous persecution for doing so (Acts 17:5-8).

Side note:This article at Ferrell’s Travel Blog shows pictures of the ruins of the Roman forum there.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.