Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 4 Study # 2
November 1, 2015
12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1901 ASV Translation:
12 that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- I. Paul's Objectives.
- A. The "glorification" of the name of our Lord Jesus is an objective, but not the ultimate objective.
- 1. The method of the "glorification" is God "counting the Thessalonians worthy of the calling" and fulfilling both "every good desire" and "every work of faith". It is by these two major activities by God that "character" becomes visible.
- a. "Every good desire" has to do with the issue of "values" (love).
- b. "Every work of faith" has to do with the issue of "methodology" (faith).
- 2. The means of the "glorification" is the action of God in imparting the faith, motives, and power of "good" to the Thessalonians so that their behavior would make clear to the observers what the character of the "name" is.
- a. That it is rooted in the action of God is revealed by the fact that Paul "prays always". If "prayer" is at the root, then God is the One Who is seen as the Actor.
- b. There is a textual discrepancy between the Textus Receptus and the Nestle/Aland 26. It consists of the addition of "Christ" to the "name" in the Textus Receptus. The textual evidence leans toward the omission of this addition.
- c. At issue is this: the "name" is that of "Jesus" and that means that the "glorification" is an overt manifestation of "deliverance" ("you shall call His name Jesus for He shall save [deliver] His people from their sins"). As the Thessalonians experience the answer of God to Paul's prayers and find themselves walking in a manner that is "worthy" of the calling [to "trust Him"] and seeing God's power made manifest in the accomplishment of the "work of faith", others will see what it means to be "delivered from sin".
- 2. What Paul is doing is addressing the intermediate objectives that are necessary to the accomplishment of the larger objective.
- a. The "glorification" of any one or thing is a manifestation of the essential reality of that one or thing.
- b. Never is the "glorification" of a person or thing the "ultimate" objective; it is always a means to another, and greater, end.
- c. In God's economy, "glorification" is a "revelation" of some truth and it is, invariably, an attempt to get others (angelic or human) to recognize and benefit from that unveiling of truth. A comparison of John 1:14 and 1 John 1:1-3 reveals this connection. Because the glory was made visible, men can fellowship with God because they understand how to do that by means of the truth being revealed.
- d. Thus, one of the greater goals of "glorification" is the impact that understanding and believing makes upon the soul of the one beholding the glory.
- B. The "glorification" of the Thessalonians is, likewise, an objective, but not the ultimate one.
- 1. The glorification of the Thessalonians consisted of the revelation of their character as instruments of God's grace. According to Romans 5:2, we "rejoice in hope of the glory of God". Romans 8:18 ties this "glory" to "suffering" and 9:23 says we are being prepared for the experience of that "glory". 2 Corinthians 4:17 follows this up with the declaration that the present "light affliction" is working for us a "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory". 1 Corinthians 2:7 says that the spoken wisdom of God is "unto our glory". And 2 Corinthians 3:18 says "we are changed into the same image from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord".
- 2. Anyone who is genuinely motivated to pursue "good objectives" by genuine "faith" is, by their pursuit, "glorified" (made known as to this genuine inner reality).
- 3. To be "glorified" by God is an extremely significant blessing: it means that He lets it be known that the person(s) involved is/are held in high regard by Him.
- II. Paul's Standard.
- A. The structure of the grammar leaves the door open to the translation, "according to the standard of the grace of the God of us and Lord, Jesus Christ". But it is also very likely that Paul actually had both the Father and the Son in mind.
- B. The "grace" of our God.
- 1. "Grace" is always an action that does not have its roots in Justice. It is not, nor can be, "leveraged" by those who receive it. Grace is grace; an unmerited action of the one being gracious in light of those to whom the grace is given.
- 2. This "grace of the God" is always of this essential nature: God is absolutely free of any, and all, obligation. He does not "have" to be gracious because of anything anyone has done. The only necessity of "grace" is rooted in the character of the one being gracious. Because one is gracious, he/she is compelled to show grace by the presence of the attribute.
- C. The "grace" of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1. If, in fact, the grammar is to be understood as involving two persons and not one with two characteristic identities, there is yet no essential distinction between the "grace" of the one and that of the other. Grace is always grace. But, there has to be a legitimate reason for Paul to identify "grace" in terms of two key ideas, if not Two Sources.
- 2. The different ideas are that "God" focuses upon "power" and "Lord" focuses upon authority. "Grace" from "God" signals a significant input of "power". "Grace" from "God" indicates His work in doing for us what His Justice requires of us. "Grace" from the "Lord", on the other hand, signals a deliberate decision to guide the impact of "grace" toward a specific individual, or group of individuals. It was as "Lord" that Jesus graciously addressed Saul of Tarsus rather than any other of the host of Pharisees of the first century so that he became the selected instrument of "apostleship" among the nations.