Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
Suggested introduction from Letters to Philip--Letters to Karen: Pastor Charlie Shedd wrote letters to his children in two books published in the late 60s. The first was the small book to his son when Philip got married. It contained 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 Shedd’s observations apply to a couple before marriage. After all, how a man treats his girlfriend, and a woman her boyfriend, are a preview of 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 Apostle’s 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: "May 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 and overflowing love--Col 1:3-6; Gal 5:6b, 13-14; 2 Pet 1:5-8; 1 John 4:7-16
II. Blameless hearts--Eph 5:25b-27; Col 1:22-23; Jude 1:24
III. Holy hearts--1 John 3:1-3; Acts 15:8-9; 2 Cor 7:1; Heb 12:14; 2 Pet 1:4-9; 2 Pet 3:14
IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament: 3:11 "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 God’s 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.
The 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).
Coming: (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 Christ’s second coming, when He will return to earth in His ultimate, glorious visitation as the King over all.
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When you receive an inheritance, you are richer (hold up money bag) than you were before. An inheritance becomes yours when someone dies, usually a relative. Being in God’s Kingdom is the inheritance Jesus left you. It’s yours because Jesus died for your sins. You can now look forward to your inheritance in eternal life.
Now that you have this inheritance, you have much to share. Jesus said that whenever we help someone with food or clothing or whenever we visit someone in trouble, we are doing it for Him. He died for all people, and when we care for others we are caring for Him.
What do you do with an inheritance? You share it! That’s what you do! And Jesus will reward when you receive your inheritance in eternal life.
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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 11:06:09 AM