After a brief training on the “Man of Lawlessness,” Paul picks back up on his message from chapter 1. Paul is overflowing with thanksgiving to God for these believers. His longing for communion with them translates into praise to God for the report he has received on how they are growing in the glory of the Lord. He glorifies and thanks God for them and encourages them to stay the path.
9. a. God the Father chooses us. God the Holy Spirit sanctifies us by becoming present in us. My responsibility is to believe, have faith and, as a result, begin living an eternal life right now.
b. I cannot fail. God does all the real work. He chooses the person, he calls me to them, he gives me the words to speak, he opens their ears and their hearts. They accept the gift. I’m just the delivery man.
10. There are two key parts to vs 14, the first is the word share, also written as obtain in some translations. This means it is personal, it is mine. It is something given to me and I possess it as my own. It isn’t loaned, it isn’t an unobtainable state to be sought, it is shared and I take it and not only does it become part of me, but I become a part in it. The second part of the verse is specifically about what we are sharing, the object, “the glory of our Lord Jesus.” One of the meanings in Strong’s dictionary for the Greek word Doxa, the word presented here for glory, is: “the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour’s return from heaven.”
11. I think there are several: We are chosen, we are sanctified (transformed into something holy), we share (possess the glory of Christ), we are loved by God and all this is given through grace (not earned, not conditional on anything we can provide).
I heard the most interesting compliment about one of the women’s group BSF teaching leaders in our town. The person talking about her said, “she prays more than any person I know.” What an amazing compliment and example. We see it here in Paul’s letter as well. This isn’t just a letter, it is a written document of praise to God. Look at 2:13. Paul says, “we ought always to thank God for you.” He doesn’t say we ought regularly, daily, when we pray, while at church, during quiet time or anything of the sort. He says we ought always to thank God for you. I believe that one of the reasons Paul became such a voice to the church is because he was constantly in communication with God.