Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
Thesis: Paul's second letter to the church in Thessalonica was designed to address a corruption of his doctrine regarding the Second Coming and the Rapture in order to further establish and maintain "Hope".
Introduction: In 1 Thessalonians, Paul was fixed upon establishing and maintaining the expectation of the Thessalonians that Jesus was returning from heaven at some future point to absolutely fulfill all of the word of God to those who have trusted in the Gospel. This "doctrine" was designed to provide believers with "Hope" in the face of many persecutions and tribulations. We have to understand that "Rapture" doctrine is not designed to be an escapist concept that will deliver us from persecutions and tribulations. It is, instead, a doctrine designed to firm up the resolve of those whose commitment to the Gospel is challenged by all of the difficulties that are presented by life in a fallen world as a believer in the Truth. The bottom line in that God's promise is of a future, perfect, kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy to be established when Jesus comes again. Thus, "Jesus is coming again" is the foundational hope of the realization of all of the promises of God to the saints of all ages.
There is a persistent effort from Satan's minions to undercut believers' commitments to the Truth and, thus, the program of God in this fallen era. So, if attacking the doctrine of the coming of the Son from heaven itself doesn't work, the demonic "plan B" is to corrupt the believers' understanding of some of the more salient issues so that they become confused and, thus, less committed and, thus, less a player in the warfare being waged against God by His adversaries.
This evening we are going to begin to look into Paul's second letter to the believers in Thessalonica as it represents his response to the Satanic "Plan B" -- corruption of the understanding in order to diminish the participation of the confused.
June 21, 2015
- I. The Statement of Intention in Brief.
- A. Paul actually addresses it at the beginning of chapter two.
- B. The large issues are two.
- 1. The condition involved in being "shaken in mind and troubled", which leads to diminished conviction and, thus, involvement.
- 2. The conviction involved in being "shaken in mind and troubled", which consists of the false doctrine that "the day of Lord has already come".
- 3. The details will be a focus of our study when we get there, but suffice it to say that Paul is concerned that the concepts of "the coming of our Lord" and "our gathering together unto Him" will be sufficiently corrupted as to dampen the Thessalonian "work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope".
- II. Paul's Initial Issues.
- A. The laying of a legitimate foundation for the correction of false doctrine is necessary.
- B. Thus, as we begin to look into his second letter, we should expect that he would mention all of the pertinent issues and expand upon the most crucial of them.
- C. Thus, his "introduction": 1:1-2.
- 1. Though he begins with his own identity to that of the church of the Thessalonians, we are not.
- 2. Instead, I have chosen to move from the more comprehensive to the more specific.
- 3. This means that we will look at what Paul "typically" wrote in his introductions of his letters rather than what he "atypically" wrote as he tailored his letters to each situation and group.
- 4. The more "typical" issues are "grace and peace".
- a. It has begun to dawn upon me that there is a specific "setting" in every believer's life that insists that we be on target with "grace and peace".
- b. It has also begun to dawn upon me that the two have very specific "target" issues because of our setting in this world as the children of God in a corrupt generation.
- 1) Grace.
- a) Romans 4:16 is a critical conclusion statement regarding "grace".
- i. The root is grace: Paul's statement is "faith" makes it possible for the promise to be "according to the standard of grace".
- ii. The intention is the establishment of the outcomes of Promise.
- iii. The argument is this: anything that inserts human performance issues into the mix disestablishes the outcomes; God has retained all outcomes to Himself and His "grace interventions".
- b) The epistle to the Galatians is, most fundamentally, a dissertation on "grace" as it focuses upon "faith" as opposed to "performance issues".
- c) I draw this conclusion: "Grace" is God's rejection of man's "works" as the actual basis for results, and, as such, it is a rejection of man's "spirit" as the generator of those works.
- d) Thus, we shall always run into "grace" whenever men are toying with attempting to insert the "arrogance of functional capacity" into the processes of life by grace.
- e) God is absolutely opposed to "the pride of life" and refuses to rest any of His plans upon it.
- f) In respect to the Thessalonians, all temptation put forward by false doctrine is an attempt to blunt the potency of service to God by turning the "believers'" commitment to function by the Spirit of God to an attempt to function by the spirit of man: thus, the need for a focus upon grace.
- 2) Peace.
- a) Romans 5:1 is a critical statement regarding "peace": it identifies the most basic possession of the justified.
- b) As a "most basic" it must be addressed to a "most basic" problematical issue.
- c) As I understand it, "peace" is not a concern of the "spirit" but it is the concern of the soul.
- d) When the "soul" is not at rest, all manner of panicky impositions upon the "spirit" gush forth and the outcomes are "fleshly" and counter-productive to the progress of the Gospel.
- e) The absence of "rest" is rooted in either a lack of faith in the truth or a false confidence in a lie.
- f) Thus, Paul's concern regarding the troubled minds of the Thessalonians over the issue of the Day of the Lord indicates that he thinks their souls are at risk.
- 5. Thus, Paul presents "grace and peace" as the most fundamental elements in the resolution of the temptation.