Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
September 14, 2014
Dayton, Texas
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<073> Thesis: Paul's commitment to the Thessalonians put a significant part of his "Life" at risk because he tied his "soul" to their decisions about "faith and love". Introduction: As we have worked our way through Paul's lengthy description of his concerns regarding the Thessalonians and their reactions to the "tempter" and his "temptation" of them to jettison the faith, we have noted that he had made a rather amazing commitment to them at the level of his "soul". His words are, "we imparted not only the Gospel, but also our own souls (2:8)." For Paul, this was not just "relationship building talk". According to 3:8, he actually tied the emotional condition of his "soul" to the rather "iffy" issue of what kind of decisions someone else was making. This sounds almost idolatrous because, according to Paul's own Gospel, "Life" is supposed to be "expected" from God alone. What is Paul saying in this paragraph before us? My take on his words is that he is expressing a most fundamental reality of the "soul": at least part of its emotional state is determined by the health of the relationships to which he commits himself. There is something very valuable here and we are going to look into it this evening.