Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 3
January 24, 2016
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
1901 ASV Translation:
14 whereunto he called you through our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours.
- I. Whereunto...
- A. A combination of the preposition "eis" and the neuter pronoun "ho" in the accusative case.
- B. Pointing towards a "thing".
- 1. Since there is no preceding neuter noun, the use of the neuter implies a preceding set of nouns with different gender identities.
- 2. The view is toward a set of realities: salvation, sanctification, and faith.
- II. He called you...
- A. "Calling" is a widely referenced concept in the New Testament, the word being used in at least 138 texts. But, in Paul's letters to the Thessalonians, it is only found four times. These four push us to consider them before going far afield in the other 134 texts.
- 1. 1 Thessalonians 2:12 indicates that God "is calling" with a view toward His own kingdom and glory.
- 2. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 declares that God has not called us upon the practice of uncleanness, but in respect to sanctification.
- 3. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 follows up the promise of God's personal involvement with our sanctification with another promise: that He who "is calling" is faithful to "do" for us what He has set before us.
- 4. And then there is our current text...
- B. This "call" is viewed as an "event" rather than a continuing action and points directly toward the earlier thesis of a "call" that has a view of "the acquisition of glory" in mind (1 Thessalonians 2:12).
- III. Through Our Gospel...
- A. Here Paul deliberately uses "dia" plus the genitive to direct our thinking to the vessel "through which" the "call" comes and gets us to the gate of the glory. It is the "link" between the "call" and the "acquisition of the glory".
- B. This intervening medium is called "our Gospel" because of the earlier emphatic "we" of 2:13. Paul and his associates are God's authoritative representatives who stand between God and the Thessalonians in respect to the need the Thessalonians have to hear God's "call".
- 1. This "Gospel" is most fundamentally "promise"; a commitment from God contained in His summons to actually do for those called what He is calling them unto.
- 2. As "Gospel" it is the most fundamentally "good" news that can be imagined. It is not "demand", nor is it "demand plus promise". It is "promise" requiring only that those who hear it, yield to it with thanksgiving (i.e., "believe" it).
- IV. With a View to Acquisition of Glory...
- A. The "with a view to" phrase indicates that the "Gospel" is not just about getting a person to "believe" that he/she will be able to go to heaven some day. God's purpose is not just "salvation from", but "salvation unto" and it is crucial that we understand that it is not just to exempt people from eternal justice. This makes 1 Corinthians 16:22 far more important than it's typical non-existence in the minds of most suggests.
- B. The word translated in the Authorized Version as "the obtaining" is a word used in five texts in the New Testament and is inconsistently translated.
- 1. Its etymological roots are found in Acts 20:28 and 1 Timothy 3:13 where the verb is translated "purchase". They consist of a preposition that indicates a "surrounding" ("around") and the verb "to make". The etymological sense is "to do something completely around oneself". This etymology maintains a certain influence upon the developed meaning: "to do something that surrounds oneself".
- 2. The resultant sense is that the Thessalonians have a God Who has called them to surround themselves with "glory". 2 Corinthians 3:18 is probably the exact idea that Paul had in mind: we are changed into the image of the glorious one in stages; from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord.
- C. The idea, though, is not just that we will gradually become images of the Lord. It has also the consequence of such changes so that what we "are" is the basis for what we shall "do".
- 1. According to 1 Thessalonians 2:12 God "is calling" (present, active, participle) us into His own Kingdom and Glory.
- 2. And, according to our current text, God "called" us to surround ourselves with the glory of "the Lord of us, Jesus Christ".
- D. Thus, God's goal in salvation is our transformation; physically (by resurrection), soulishly (by regeneration), and spiritually (by giving us a different Spirit to dwell in our bodies).