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"WHY WE SHOULD STAND FAST"
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
Wednesday AM Bible Study
June 2, 2004
The Thessalonian believers were unsettled because of letters, falsely
written as if from Paul, that suggested to them that the Day of the Lord
had come, and that the persecutions they were now suffering were because
of the outpouring of God's wrath upon them. Paul first dealt with that
false teaching by showing them what must first occur before the Day of
the Lord could come. But now, he assures them because of the nature of
his own confidence in God's call upon their lives.
Paul's intention in all of this is that they "stand fast" in the faith,
and not be moved from their confidence in Christ.
I. PAUL'S CONFIDENCE TOWARD THE THESSALONIAN BELIEVERS (vv.
A. He and his coworkers felt "bound" or "obligated" to give
thanks to God for them.
II. PAUL'S COMMAND TO THEM BASED ON HIS CONFIDENCE (v. 15).
1. He felt this obligation "always".
2. He felt obligated to give thanks for them as those who belonged
B. He felt this obligation of thanks to God because of their having
been chosen by God.
1 When - They were chosen from the beginning.
2. What - They were chosen for salvation.
3. How - They were sanctified by the Spirit and belief in the
truth. (Note that both divine and human involvement are indicated.)
4. Through what means - They were brought into this by the gospel
(which Paul calls "our gospel".
5. Unto what end - They were thus chosen, saved, sanctified and
enabled to believe through the gospel for the obtaining of the glory
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
C. Contrast this with the uncertainty that they felt from false
teachers and false letters (2:1-12). They could draw great assurance
from Paul's confidence.
A. "Therefore" - (literally, "So then . . ."). Paul here
points back to his confidence in the call of God as the basis of his
command. Note also that he further assures them by calling them "brethren".
B. His command to these troubled believers is this: "Stand fast"
- that is, don't be moved or shaken from your confident assurance
of God's promised salvation (v. 2).
C. As a practical part of this command, "Hold the traditions" -
that is, cling to the teaching passed on to them.
1. They were "taught" these things.
2. This teaching occurred either by spoken word in person, or
by letter (v. 2; see also 2 Peter 3:14-16).
D. This command is as valid to us today as it was to them (1 Peter
III. PAUL'S PRAYER FOR THOSE HE SO COMMANDS (vv. 16-17).
A. That their hearts will be comforted.
B. That they would be established in every good word (speech) and
C. That this would be done:
1. By our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
2. By our Father:
a. Who has loved them.
b. Who has given them by His grace:
i. Everlasting consolation.
ii. Good hope.
D. The effect of all this should be to establish our own confidence
in Christ as well.