Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
The Twenty-Fifth Sunday
Third Last Sunday
#1: "A Great Apostles Letter to
1 Thess. 3:11-13
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, M.Div.
Suggested Introduction: Letters to
Philip--Letters to Karen. Pastor Charlie Shedd wrote letters
to his children in two books published in the late 60's. The first
was the small book to his son Philip when Philip got married, with advice
on how to build a healthy marriage. He wrote a similar volume to his daughter
after her marriage, entitled Letters to Karen. "The advice is
encouraging and convicting at the same time. Many of Shedds observations
apply in a courting context. After all, how a man treats his girlfriend, and a
woman her boyfriend, reflects how they will treat each other when they become
husband and wife," a reviewer wrote in recommending the Book.
Paul has some good advice for the marriage we call "The Holy Christian Church." He wrote for us A Great Apostles Letter to Beloved People. The advice is all the more compelling in light of the "Parousia", the coming of Christ. We all try to be at our best when we know that company is coming. Paul writes:
the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone
else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will
be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus
comes with all his holy ones."
I. Increasing &
overflowing loveCol. 1:3-6; Gal. 5:6b, 13-14; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 4:7-16.
heartsEph. 5:25b-27; Col. 1:22-23; Jude 1:24.
III. Holy hearts1
John 3:1-3; Acts 15:8-9; 2 Cor. 7:1; Heb. 12:14; 2 Peter 1:4-9; 2 Peter 3:14.
IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament
"Wish-prayers" ("Now may God
." addressed to those for
whom the prayer is offered) were considered genuine prayers in Judaism and were
offered with the expectation that God would hear them.
3:13 The Old Testament, Judaism and
Jesus teaching also looked forward to a future hope that gave meaning to
endurance in the present. The "saints" or "holy ones" here
could refer to Gods people (4:14) or to the holy angels (Zech 14:5); both
were called "holy ones" regularly in Jewish literature. Paul usually
uses the term for the former.
Believers Study Bible
It is encouraging to note that God "directs our way" to remove the
hindrances (2:18) that Satan places in our path.
apostles desire is to see them standing fast in holiness when the Lord
returns to examine them. The form of the word "holiness" (hagiosune,
Gk.) emphasizes not an act of holiness but the state or condition of holiness.
Gods will is that our lives be characterized in every area by
Christ-likeness. This includes both attitudes and actions. "The coming of
our Lord Jesus Christ" provides incentive to holiness.
Nelson Study Bible
Christ had told His
disciples that His followers would be identified by their love for one another
(John 13:35). Here Paul prays that the Thessalonians would love each other more
and more. Finally, Paul expresses his desire that their hearts would be blameless
in holiness, not simply before people but before God. The word saints
can refer both to saved people and to holy angels. Angels will participate in
the Second Coming (4:16; Jude 14; Rev. 19:14).
(Gk. parousia) (3:13;
4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1, 8; 2 Pet. 1:16) G3952: The Greek word parousia
literally means "presence." The word was commonly used in New
Testament times to describe the visitation of royalty or of some other important
person. Thus the word signals no ordinary "coming." The New Testament
writers uses the word to describe Christs second coming, when He will return
to earth in His ultimate, glorious visitation as the King over all.
Option #2: "God Everywhere!"
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
Rev. Kelly C. Bedard, M.Div.
A. In the details--even in relatively ordinary things,
like (Paul's) travel
B. In empowering us to fulfill the law of love, the
ultimate in Christianity
C. In assuring our ultimate safety, being declared
blameless and holy in His sight
1. Another part of the epistle, in which he speaks of the
duties of a Christian life. And he shows that the perfection of a Christian life
consists in two things, that is, in charity toward all people and inward purity
of the heart. And the accomplishment of these things is nonetheless deferred to
the next coming of Christ, who will then perfect his work by the same grace with
which he began it in us. (Geneva Notes)
2. Obstacles are those fearful things we see when we take
our eyes off the goal. (From Paul by Chuck Swindoll)
3. An atheist is a person without any invisible means of
support. (John Buchan)
4. What is holiness? To be set apart, from the world
and unto God--the holy person marches to God's drumbeat, not their own, or
popular opinion's. It is our hearts that must be made holy first; the devil
desires that we would develop a holy exterior while neglecting the
interior--like whitewashed tombs, full of death. Paul brings in a reminder of
Christ's return, because nothing can encourage us to holiness like remembering
that Jesus might come today. (David Guzik)
Ministry Health Sermon
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:31 PM