II Thessalonians 3:1-5

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Text: II Thessalonians 3:1-5

PRACTICAL ADVICE

I. PAUL'S REQUEST FOR PRAYER FOR THE GOSPEL MESSAGE AND FOR HIMSELF - 3:1-2

II Thessalonians 3:1-2 - (1) Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

(2) And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

Finally is understood in the sense of as far as the rest is concerned, beyond that, or in addition. Finally is used, not to conclude the letter, but to introduce the final subject, that of practical exhortations.

Brethren is brothers and indicates that Paul regarded the Thessalonians as fellow believers.

Pray for us is be praying, continue praying, or keep on praying; and its tense implies that they were already doing this.

That the word of the Lord may have free course indicates why Paul wants the Thessalonian believers to be praying for him.

That is in order that or for the purpose that.

The word of the Lord Paul means the message of the Lord. It may be the Lord's word (or message), the word (or message) from the Lord, or the word (or message) about the Lord.

In either case it is equivalent to the gospel message, i.e. the good news that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day from the dead (I Corinthians 15:3-4 ).

Paul consistently uses the Lord to refer to Christ.

May have (i.e. continue having) free course is literally may run (or be running). Here it is used in the sense of may proceed (or be proceeding) quickly and without hindrance or might spread (or be spreading) rapidly.

And be (or continue being) glorified i.e. be (or continue being) praised, honored, or magnified

Even as (in fact, just as) it is with you indicates that Paul wants the word of the Lord to be glorified and have free course with other people in the same way it has already had with the Thessalonian believers. They had received the gospel message gladly, and it had changed their lives.

II Thessalonians 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

Verse 2 indicates a second reason Paul requests prayer.

And that (in order that or for the purpose that) we (i.e. Paul) may be delivered (i.e. saved or rescued). Its tense suggests a once-and-for-all deliverance. Paul was apparently weary of the persecution that he had been enduring while presenting the gospel. He would like to be delivered from persecution for the rest of his ministry.

From unreasonable (men) (literally, out of place (men); and when used in a moral sense as here, it means from evil men, wrong men, or improper men. They were behaviorally out of place; they were evil, wrong, or improper.

And wicked (i.e. evil, vicious, or degenerate) men (the generic term for men = people)

For all men have not faith gives the reason Paul wants to be delivered from them. Not everybody receives the gospel as the Thessalonian believers had. Some, in fact, are downright nasty and mean in their rejection of it when it is proclaimed. The text is saying that not all people are saved.

II. PAUL'S CONFIDENCE IN THE THESSALONIAN BELIEVERS' OBEDIENCE - 3:3-4

II Thessalonians 3:3-4 - (3) But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

(4) And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.

In verses 3-4 Paul expresses confidence that the Thessalonian believers are already doing the things he is commanding them to do and that they will continue doing them.

But introduces a statement in mild contrast with the thought that all men have not faith.

The Lord (i.e. Jesus Christ) is faithful (i.e. trustworthy, dependable, or reliable). He can be counted on.

Who shall stablish (i.e. shall confirm or shall strengthen) you

And keep watch, guard, defend, or protect) you from evil (lit. the evil)

From evil may be masculine and mean from the wicked-intentioned (or evil-intentioned) person, from the evil doer, or from the evil one (i.e. from the devil).

It may instead be neuter and mean from the evil thing or from that which is evil.

II Thessalonians 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.

And we (i.e. I) have confidence in the Lord (i.e. in Jesus). The tense of we have confidence indicates that confidence has been placed in the Lord in the past and that this confidence remains in the Lord. It is a settled matter. It means we trust in, we are persuaded, or we believe.

Touching you is toward you or for you.

That ye both do (i.e. are doing) and will do (i.e. will continue doing)

The things which we command you is what things we are commanding (i.e. instructing or directing) you. It suggests by this letter that I am writing to you = II Thessalonians.

III. PAUL'S DESIRE FOR THE THESSALONIAN BELIEVERS - 3:5

II Thessalonians 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

And the Lord direct your hearts expresses Paul's desire or wish for the Thessalonian believers. May should be supplied after and so that it reads, And may the Lord direct (or lead) your hearts (i.e. you, deep within the innermost recesses of your beings).

Into the love of God speaks of the believers' love for God rather than in God's love for them. Just as God loved them, they needed to love Him. Because they were saved, they loved God; but their love was not yet as deep and thorough-going as it needed to be.

And into the patient waiting for Christ is literally and unto the patience, (endurance, fortitude, steadfastness, or perseverance) of Christ. Paul wants the Thessalonian believers to be steadfast and enduring in whatever comes their way, just as the Lord Jesus Christ was patient and endured whatever came His way. Although they had already made good progress in this direction, there was room for improvement.