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2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
Wednesday AM Bible Study
June 2, 2004
Paul was an utterly God-dependent man. That is why he could do all that
he did with great confidence. Here, we see a picture of that confidence;
and in giving it to us, he models for us how we too must trust God in
all our labors for the cause of Christ in the lives of others.
I. PAUL'S CONFIDENT DEPENDENCY FOR HIS OWN MINISTRY (vv.
A. That God would bless the preaching of the gospel (v. 1).
1. The word "Finally" can be translated, "In this connection
. . ."; and would point these words back as a logical outcome of the
things Paul stressed in chapter 2. There, he exhorted the believers
not to let go of the things they learned, but to "stand fast" and
"hold the traditions" that had been passed on to them.
2. And so, he asks prayer that the believers in Thessalonica pray
for him and his coworkers in their work of preaching the gospel.
He asks that it spread swiftly (in an unhindered way) and be glorified
by those who hear it - just as it was by the Thessalonians themselves
(1 Thess. 1:3-10; 2:13-14; 2 Thess. 3-5).
B. That God would protect those who preach it (v. 2).
1. Paul expresses the request that prayer be made for deliverance
from those who oppose the gospel. He calls them "unreasonable" and
"wicked" men. Their opposition is a result of the devil's blinding
both their minds and their wills; so that they neither understand,
or are willing to submit to the light of God's grace.
2. He says, in almost and understated way, that not all have faith.
C. Paul was clearly dependent upon the prayers of God's people for
the success of his ministry (Eph. 6:18-20; Col. 4:2-4).
II. PAUL'S CONFIDENT DEPENDENCY FOR THE THESSALONIAN'S CARE (vv.
A. That God would establish the believers in the faith (v.
1. His confidence was not in his own teaching or preaching
abilities, or on the impact he had on the Thessalonians, but on God
who is faithful. Paul recognized that God loved them more than even
2. Therefore, he didn't hesitate to entrust them to God who was
able both to establish them, and protect them from the devil (Acts
B. That God would enable the obedience of the believers (v. 4).
1. He not only had confidence in the Lord's ability to
establish them in their faith, but also to empower them for obedience.
He trusted God - not them, but God - that they would both do then
and will do in the future the things that Paul and company commanded
them (Titus 2:1-11-14).
C. That God would direct the hearts of the believers (v. 5).
1. Paul's closing prayer/wish for them was that God would
direct their hearts. Here, we see beliefs (establishment in the faith,
v. 3), conduct (obedience to commandments, v. 4), and attitude (direction
of heart, v. 5), all being entrusted to God.
2. Paul's prayer wish involved their being directed by God to
love one another with the love that is modeled after God's love;
and the patience (in trials) that was modeled after Christ's own
patience in suffering.