Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
July 12, 2015
Dayton, Texas
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<005> Thesis: God is predominately characterized as "gracious" and men have an enormous need to come to grips with what that means. Introduction: In Paul's introduction to 2 Thessalonians, he deliberately focuses his readers' attention upon the character of God as a Person Who is, in a sense, "driven" by a desire to meet and exceed men's extraordinary neediness. Both Father and Son are cast in the mode of "generators" Whose inner essence is that of both a "father" and a "lord". The churches exist by Persons Who are driven to perfect men in order to deliver them into an eternal setting of "righteousness, peace, and joy". At the roots of this "essence" are the Father/Son characteristics of "love", as a characteristic that seeks benefit for the beloved, and "grace", as a characteristic that extends benefit without restraint caused by human failure, or, for that matter, "success". This evening we are going to begin to look into Paul's next major thought, which he expresses in terms of "obligation". Our question is this: why does Paul insert this "sense of obligation" into his readers' minds as a preliminary thought as he launches into his letter?