Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 4 Study # 2
Thesis: Paul's reference, again, to the coming of "our Lord Jesus Christ" indicates the link between our "deliverance" and our entrance into "the Joy".
Introduction: As Paul winds up this second chapter (the translators' division of his material, not his own) of his letter, we find him returning to his main theme: the coming of Jesus as the "Hope" of the believer. In this return to his main theme we find him linking the two issues first mentioned in 1:9-10: the "turn to God" was "to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven". There is, in this, a clear declaration that the "service" is motivated by "the Hope".
This evening we are going to consider Paul's example as something to imitate.
August 17, 2014
- I. The Coming of Jesus From Heaven.
- A. In the first mention (1:10), there is a deliberate focus upon what Jesus is accomplishing for us who have believed.
- 1. There is a past tense reality to the "accomplishment" indicated by a typical past tense verb.
- a. This is the "accomplishment" referred to by the phrase "Who raised Him from the dead".
- 1) That He was "dead" and subject to "being raised" automatically raises the main issue of the past tense "accomplishment".
- 2) In all places that deal with the death of Christ the issue is His vicarious death "for our sins", so that "He was dead" because He took on the problematic issue of how the Justice of God was to be applied to men if there were to be any men in God's kingdom.
- 3) Thus, the death of Jesus "accomplished" a total satisfaction of the demands of "Justice" so that men could be "forgiven" and "re-created" by the indwelling of the Spirit of God in the bodies of those who "believe".
- b. This past tense "accomplishment" is set against the idea of a "yet coming" wrath in which God will deal out vengeance upon those who reject the provision of Jesus.
- 1) This "wrath" theme is complex, but it serves as the backdrop of the work of Jesus at the cross.
- 2) That there is a "coming wrath" simply means that the future holds an encounter with Justice for everyone who has not believed in what Jesus accomplished.
- 2. There is a present tense reality to this "accomplishment" indicated by Paul's use of a present tense participle.
- a. This on-going "deliverance" indicates that, though the Justice of God was fully satisfied by the death of Jesus, there is an on-going problem that is yet attached to "Justice".
- 1) This on-going problem is defined in the Scriptures in two basic ways.
- a) 1 John 2:28 identifies it as the experience of "shame" by using a word that means "to be publicly proven to have been in the wrong" (the focus is upon public humiliation).
- i. This is an "attachment" to Justice in that Jesus is yet working to deliver us from "the coming wrath".
- ii. As an "attachment", we need to understand that it is "Justice" that establishes the criteria for all "judgment", regardless of whether there is any "vengeance" involved, or not (thus Paul's comment in 2 Timothy 4:8).
- iii. The "public humiliation" is rooted in a "just" evaluation of whether a person has done what is required and been found wanting.
- b) This automatically establishes the second basic issue of the on-going problem: the loss of "Joy" caused by the exposure mentioned above.
- i. That Jesus died to satisfy "Justice" has to be understood in terms of the active imposition of vengeance: forcing a person to experience what he/she has forced others to experience by the choices made and actions taken.
- ii. That there is "shame" in being unveiled as a faithless "servant" means that, though there will not be any forced "tit-for-tat" experience, there will be the inescapable consequence of being exposed as faithless: the loss of "Joy".
- 2) The statement by Paul of Jesus' on-going deliverance is simple a declaration that Jesus is currently working to minimize our loss of "Joy" by maximizing the motives and actions of "serving the living and true God".
- a) This is the connection between the two issues of "turning to God from idols": "serving" by reason of the "hope".
- b) 1 John 3:3 establishes "Hope" as the critical element in the motives for "serving".
- B. In this second mention (2:19), Paul is almost exclusively focused upon the positive aspect of being evaluated by what is "Just" and found to have been faithful.
- 1. There is a near proximity to the former issue of "wrath" (2:16), but it is tied to the behavior of the adversaries, not the saints.
- 2. But the immediate issue is Paul's "hope", "joy", "crown of rejoicing", and "glory" as expressed in 2:19-20.
- a. The context is Paul's unreserved blending of his soul with those of the Thessalonians.
- b. The larger context is the biblical teaching about what is going to happen "in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming".
- 1) What is going to happen is that "our Lord Jesus Christ" is going to call His servants to an "accounting" as illustrated in Luke 16:2.
- a) This is rooted in 1 Peter 4:10 and 1 Corinthians 4:2.
- b) It is declared in 2 Corinthians 5:10 and further explained in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15.
- 2) This "event" is supposed to be "front and center" in our thinking about all that we do.