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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.

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).


A. That God would establish the believers in the faith (v. 3).
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 he did.

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 20:32).

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.

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