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Category: Bible Study (page 12 of 25)

Withdraw from the disorderly–2 Thessalonians 3:6-12

Paul just finished asking for prayers in the previous section (read here).  In this section Paul addresses the second major issue facing the Thessalonian church (the other issue can be read about here and here).

Paul begins with a strong statement.  He commands the church by the authority of Jesus to withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly (3:6).  This is a strong exhortation for several reason.  First,  Paul evokes the authority of Jesus.  Second, “Command” starts the Greek sentence, thus providing it with added emphasis.  Third, the command that Paul gives is that they “withdraw.”  The word means “to avoid” or “shun.”  What Paul is commanding, in an emphatic way, is what we now call dis-fellowshipping (for another article on this subject click here).

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The Apostle’s Prayer Request–2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

Throughout 2 Thessalonians Paul emphasizes praying.  He shares with the church, in several sections, the content of his prayers for them (1:3,4; 1:11, 12; 3:5; 3:16).  The prayer sections not only reveal Paul’s innermost thoughts, but also urge the Thessalonians to live out Paul’s prayer.  It is a powerful means of encouragement toward faithful living.

In the beginning of this section, though, we are offered a different aspect of prayer.  Instead of Paul laying out his prayers, he asks the Thessalonians to pray for him.  Specifically in two areas:

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The Chosen and Called–2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

Paul has just finished emphasizing the importance of loving the truth.  In fact, he has clearly stated that judgment waits those who do not (2:12).  Paul, now begins to praise the Thessalonians.  They are God’s beloved, of whom Paul is thankful (2:13).

Paul is thankful for them because “God has chosen them”.  Chosen is modified by important phrases that help us understand what being “chosen” means.

1. Chosen to salvation.  God saves whom He chooses.  Those chosen by God are chosen for salvation.  Unlike the ones who are condemned for their “lack of belief in truth”, and “pleasure in unrighteousness”, those chosen receive salvation.

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Re-focusing–2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

If you have been following along in the 2 Thessalonians study, then you know we have spent much time on the Man of Sin (you can read the series here).  This was a needed study of a difficult passage to interpret.  However, sometimes stopping to deal with a special issue can interrupt the flow of the particular book you are studying.  So I want to use this post to get us re-focused on Paul’s argument in 2 Thessalonians.

The purpose of 2 Thessalonians is to encourage the church to continue in their progression.  Paul is pleased with how they have grown thus far, but wants them to continue.  In order for them to do so Paul has to provide further teaching.  Specifically, Paul teaches them concerning the Second Coming of Jesus, and how to deal with unruly members.

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Paul’s Man of Sin–Rejection of Other Theories

If you have followed the series then you know, my view of the Man of Sin is that Paul is referring to the Roman Emperors, starting with Domitian, who would require worship as god with the threat of punishment. The result of this requirement was that many Christians left the faith to worship the Emperor. (Read about it here).

I now want to look at some other common theories and briefly describe why I think they are lacking.  To test the theories I will compare them with the Criteria Paul gives in the text of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12.   You can see a list of the criteria in this post.

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