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Strolling Through the Book of Second Thessalonians May 8, 2013

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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I’ve recently started reading through the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians with the aid of a commentary by John Calvin. I should note that I’ve previously read through 2 Thessalonians. As in my recent stroll through the book of 1 Thessalonians, I hope to comprehend 2 Thessalonians as a whole. In particular, I would like to compare and contrast this letter with 1 Thessalonians.

I plan to blog about this experience as I read through both the epistle and Calvin’s commentary. Each post will correspond to a specific section in the NIV translation.

For starters, here are my thoughts on 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2.

Summary: In this passage, Paul wishes the Thessalonians – who are the work and building of both God the Father and of God the Son – His unmerited favor and its attendant blessings.

Thoughts: In verse 1, Paul greets the Thessalonians as a “church…in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Calvin offers some thoughts on this point:

This salutation means that the Thessalonians…were the work and building of both the Father and of Christ. God adopts us for himself and regenerates us, and we are in Christ because of the Father.

It is clear, then, that Paul’s preaching of the Gospel in Thessalonica was an essential step in God’s “building” His church in that city. Of course, Satan then worked quite diligently to tear down this “building” by troubling the Thessalonians with various persecutions. Paul, though, did not want God’s construction work to be nullified; he wrote this letter and the previous letter to help maintain the structural soundness of the church in Thessalonica. Now I am unsure as to how long the Thessalonian church survived after Paul wrote these letters to them; knowledgeable readers should feel free to chime in.

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