Questions for Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 19
3. a. Paul thanks God and praises the Thessalonians.
- Their faith increases beyond measure. (v. 3a)
- The love of every one of them toward one another super-abounds*. (v. 3b) (*Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)
- “Steadfastness . . . unflinching endurance and patience” (v. 4a AMPC)
- Their firm faith through “all the persecutions and crushing distresses and afflictions” (v. 4b AMPC)
Paul was so impressed by what God was doing among the Thessalonians [he] took the liberty to glory in that work. (Guzik)
b. Spiritual growth
The Apostle Paul spent only three weeks teaching these believers and a few months later, Paul received an amazing report about them. What a legacy!
Sadly, my spiritual growth did not progress so fast. No one taught me Jesus wanted to be more to me than a ticket to heaven.
The verses about God’s love didn’t feel personal because I got the impression He loved me enough to save me, but I’d have to earn His approval from then on.
Thankfully, now I know Him more each day, hear Him speak, and feel His loving presence.
4. Jesus’ return
The great persecution the Thessalonians were facing caused many to think that the “day of the Lord” that Paul taught about was already taking place. As a result, some believers were quitting their jobs in light of the Lord’s return. Paul found it necessary to give instruction concerning persecution and idleness and to correct doctrinal error. (AWLC)
Paul consoled the Thessalonians by saying that the anticipation of Jesus’ return brings us “relief and relaxation” in the stress and strain of persecution and affliction. (Based on Wuest New Testament)
Most versions I checked, translate the Greek word “anesis” in verse 7 as “rest” but it also means “relief or relaxation.” That makes more sense to me. (Strongs)
—The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with the angels in flaming fire.
—He will allot full justice to those who reject “God’s ultimate sacrifice, His Son.” (AWLC)
—Jesus comes “to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who have believed.”
5. Paul’s prayer
Paul knows they are being persecuted and need prayer, so he assures “them that he and his associates pray always for them.” (Enduring Word)
He prays “that our God may count you worthy of your calling”
i. We live worthy of His call when we ‘fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness,’ living lives touched by His goodness, and displaying His goodness. (Enduring Word)
ii. We live worthy of His call when we fulfill . . . the work of faith with power believing on Jesus and seeing His work done all around us by faith.
iii. We live worthy of His call when the name of our Lord Jesus Christ is glorified in us. We understand that this means more than the name of our Lord Jesus as a word, but also as a representation of His character.
iv. We live worthy of His call when we are glorified in Him, when He alone is our source of glory and exaltation, and who we are in Jesus is more important than who we are in anything else. (Enduring Word)
This is a good prayer to pray for myself and every believer.
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Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.
My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 19 Day 2