Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 3
June 8, 2014
10 Ye [are] witnesses, and God [also], how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father [doth] his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
1901 ASV Translation:
10 Ye are witnesses, and God [also], how holily and righteously and unblamably we behaved ourselves toward you that believe:
11 as ye know how we [dealt with] each one of you, as a father with his own children, exhorting you, and encouraging [you], and testifying,
12 to the end that ye should walk worthily of God, who calleth you into his own kingdom and glory.
- I. You And God Are Witnesses.
- A. The repetition creates a recurring echo of things regarding which Paul wants the Thessalonians to be firmly settled: the Gospel is not for sale and it needs to be kept from the greediness of men.
- 1. In 2:5a the Thessalonians were witnesses of Paul's lack of use of "flattery"; in 2:5b it is God who is the witness. Both are "witnesses" of things they observed. Now, both are again called "witnesses" of Paul's character among them; the Thessalonians witnessed the outer fruit and God witnessed the inner motivations.
- 2. In both cases, Paul's case is established and no arguments can unseat it.
- B. The things "witnessed".
- 1. "Holy" behavior.
- a. This adverbial form of "holy" here is the only use in the New Testament.
- b. The noun is only used in eight texts, two of which are Acts 2:27 and 13:35 where the meaning is tied to the physical body that was not permitted to "see" corruption. It is used in these texts as "proof" that a physical resurrection was predicted through David.
- c. The adverb, as a reflection of the noun, means, according to Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon, that the verbal activity is springing out of an essential inner character. In other words, "holily" means "consistent with the inner 'rightness' of being empowered by the Holy Spirit". Paul uses the concept in Ephesians 4:24 to refer to behavior that springs directly out of the "new man" that God has created within.
- 1) Paul was always adamant that his approved behavior was not "his", but that of the Spirit of Jesus within his body (Galatians 2:20). I live, but it is not "I" who lives, but Christ lives within me.
- 2) Throughout this paragraph Paul's use of "ginomai" emphasizes that people are "made to become" something that they would not normally be, and this word builds on that concept so that he is saying that the Thessalonians, and God, were able to "witness" to the fact that the behavior had "Spirit-of-Jesus origins".
- d. His application of this concept to his "body" means that he clearly understood that the "body" was originally intended to be the vessel of revelation of the inner character and so it functions. The link to a promise of physical resurrection means that God is returning to His initial intentions by way of resurrection.
- 2. "Righteous" behavior.
- 3. "Unblamable" behavior.
- C. The "root": we were made to become.
- 1. Paul uses the concept of becoming something by the action of Another eleven times in this letter with chapter two being the majority user (2:1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 14).
- 2. It is fundamental to his "T"heology that God is the Author (absolute) of legitimate action. Boasting is, by this, completely eliminated for two reasons: no one can "boast" who cannot do legitimate action; and God, Who is the absolute Author of legitimate action, should always get the "credit" for it. The root of this "T"heology is one fact: the Creator, alone, can "create" in such a way that the "creatures" can act legitimately because He works within them to do so.
- D. The perspective: to those who are believers.