Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians opens with prayer, praise and thanksgiving. Paul also, as always, keeps the focus on the object of our faith, our reunion with Christ on the day of the Lord.
3. a. Paul is grateful that their faith is growing, their love is increasing. They show perseverance and faith in the face of persecution and trials. Paul thanks God for these things because he understands that all of this comes from God, it is not by their own doing but only through the power and authority of God that these blessed things are occurring.
b. (Personal) I can see the maturity in my spiritual walk increasing this year. I can see my faith and conviction to the word growing and my love for others expanding. I am truly experiencing joy in seeing the legacy that I have been blessed to be a part of in helping teach 1st and 2nd graders about God – hopefully in a way that encourages them to stay in the word their entire lives. I understand when Paul talks about the blessing he feels from God by being able to share the gospel with these new converts – it isn’t just a blessing to them.
4. Paul says:
a. Jesus will be revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He comes to punish and be glorified and marveled.
b. Christ is glorified IN his holy people and marveled at AMONG all who believe.
c. Punished with everlasting destruction, shut out from the presence of the Lord and cut off from the majesty of his power.
5. Paul prays that God may
- count them worthy of his calling
- fulfill every good purpose of theirs
- fulfill every act prompted by faith
- the name of our Lord Jesus glorified in them and them in him
I was particularly struck by the prepositions in verse 10. He comes to be glorified in his holy people and marveled at among all those who have believed. I had always read this as: He comes to be glorified BY his holy people and marveled at by all those who have believed. Being glorified “in and among” the body of believers is a completely different and richer meaning.
Jesus doesn’t require any further exaltation – he is already at the right hand of God. He comes to reunite with the believers to raise the church up into glory with Him. What a magnificent reunion that will be!