Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 3 Study # 2
August 23, 2015
6 Seeing [it is] a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
1901 ASV Translation:
6 if so be that it is a righteous thing with God to recompense affliction to them that afflict you,
7 and to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire,
8 rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus:
9 who shall suffer punishment, [even] eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
10 when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all them that believed (because our testimony unto you was believed) in that day.
- I. Paul's Conjunction [translated "seeing" or "if so be that"].
- A. He uses this conjunction five times in his letters; Peter uses it once.
- 1. In Romans.
- a. In Romans 8:9 it qualifies the preceding statement with an "if this is the case" kind of qualifier.
- b. In Romans 8:17 it serves the same qualifying function.
- c. In both of these cases, a statement is made that is then "qualified" with a condition that has to be met for the statement to be true.
- 2. In 1 Corinthians.
- a. In 8:5 it serves as an "admittedly it is the case that...but it is not true".
- b. In 15:15 it serves as a "If this is true, then the previous statement is also true" kind of connector.
- 3. In our current text it serves as an introduction to a truth that validates the preceding statement.
- 4. Peter used it in 1 Peter 2:5 to "qualify the previous exhortation by laying a foundation for it".
- B. In each case, the conjunction is used when a statement/exhortation is made and then followed by some kind of "qualifier" that makes or breaks the case for the statement/exhortation.
- II. The Truth That Gives the Thessalonians "Hope" That God's "Decision" ("judgment") is Legitimate ("righteous").
- A. With God it is a "righteous" thing to recompense.
- 1. At issue in the preceding statement is whether, or not, God has "qualified" the Thessalonians for an inheritance in His Kingdom.
- a. At issue in the "qualification" of people for His Kingdom is the fact that God has made two methods of obtaining "righteousness" from Him in order to obtain a participating presence in His Kingdom.
- 1) The first "method" is legal: those who seek righteousness through performance must "perform" so that their behavior breaks no parts of the Law.
- 2) The second "method" is grace: those who seek righteousness by grace through faith must "believe" so that God grants them a righteous standing before Himself in Christ.
- 3) Both of these "methods" include an evaluation of the "deeds done in the body".
- a. 2 Corinthians 5:10 addresses believers in light of their position in the Kingdom.
- b. Romans 2:6 addresses the general principle but in a context of the question of, not position in the Kingdom, but whether the person is even qualified to have a position in that Kingdom.
- c. There is a fundamental difference in the issue of how the "deeds done in the body" are generated: legal performance is an "on your own" issue; grace performance is a "by His Spirit" issue.
- d. The issue is most fundamentally a "legitimacy" issue because "Law" sticks rigidly to "Justice" and "Faith" sticks rigidly to "Grace". Given the particular foundation, it is a "legitimate" thing for God to "recompense".
- 2. The term Paul used (translated "righteous") is used in the sense of "legitimate" as revealed by the "body of evidence" contained in the suffering of the Thessalonians.
- 3. Thus, Paul uses the same term to advance his argument: what God has done is legitimate because what God is going to do is legitimate.
- a. God "has counted them worthy of the Kingdom" and He is going to deal with all men in regard to that eventual reality (the Kingdom is coming).
- b. His dealings with all men will be the outcome of His practice of recompense.
- 1) If men have dealt other men with misery, misery will be theirs by the hand of God.
- 2) If men have suffered for the Kingdom, rest will be theirs by the hand of God. The use of "rest" is given the definition of "loosening" or "relaxing" by the Logos Bible program. This is in keeping with the name "Jesus"; the One Who makes the dwelling place "large" so there is no "pressure".
- c. In His recompense there are two outcomes.
- 1) First, the "problem" will no longer be allowed to continue (those who persecute will no longer be able to persecute and those who are being squeezed will no longer be squeezed).
- 2) Second, the "payback" will be "in kind" (those who "trouble" will be troubled and those who have been troubled because of their commitment to the Kingdom will be blessed with active participation in that Kingdom).
- B. The timing of this recompense is "at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven".
- 1. This concept was mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 as the chief result of the resurrection of Jesus Who is consequently returning "from heaven".
- a. Jesus was declared to be "Lord" by the resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4).
- b. Jesus' return to this world in bodily, visible form is the essence of the promise of His coming "from heaven".
- c. In that text, the "point" of Jesus' resurrection/return is His "deliverance" of us from the coming wrath.
- 1) Romans 2:5 clearly indicates a culminating day when all of the wickedness of men will be recompensed according to their deeds. They are currently stacking up wrath for the day of wrath. In that "day" they will be repaid accordingly. This is not technically the wrath poured out on the earth in the Great Tribulation because every man who is due wrath will not be alive at that point. But, the concept of retribution built into the concept of wrath is a "type of meaning" wherein any recompense-event is a part of the concept and can, thus, be referenced by "the day of wrath".
- 2) We have been delivered, and are being delivered, from "wrath". No "wrath" awaits those who believe in the resurrection and hope in the coming.
- 2. That only one generation will experience the prophesied "wrath" poured out from heaven upon those dwelling upon the earth in no way mitigates the implications to all who have ever dwelt upon the earth; the earthly outpouring is merely the most potent of the examples accomplished in history by God. All who are qualified for "wrath" will be subjected to it in a massive and eternal way.