September 9, 2001

                                 I Thessalonians 2:1-12

                            (Revised December 3, 2008)

 

 

v. 1 - “our entrance unto you” - ch. 1:5 - word, power,

            in the Holy Ghost and much assurance.

 

            “not in vain” - Hebrews 4:12, Isaiah 55:11

 

v. 2 - Acts 16:23-24 - The insulting treatment at Philippi had not scared him away.

 

Rough treatment, dragged into the market-place, beaten with

rods, cast into prison, feet made fast in stocks and to think

they were on AN ERRAND OF MERCY!

 

“we were bold in our God” - “to speak ....the gospel of God” ....”with much contention”or conflict.

 

Whether indifference, ridicule or open opposition, there is

need for courage to faithfully preach the gospel.  These must

be overcome on the receiving end as well.

 

The world needs the gospel the most when it is most opposed to

it!

 

The gospel is to be declared clearly, positively, and confidently –

it is a great mistake to think that a timid, apologetic tone will be

more conciliatory.

 

Now at Thessalonica - “Jews....and certain lewd fellows of

                                    the baser sort”

 

 

Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves!  A tight rope

which God enables!

 

They who are most deeply in communion with God in

private will be most thoroughly brave when in public.

 

Thus Joshua was made courageous by his vision of

the Captain of the Lord’s Host before Jericho.

Joshua 5:14

 

 

v. 3 - “our exhortation” - not of deceit, nor of uncleanliness

            (sensuality) - nor in guile - we were not deceived nor

            did we try to deceive others.             II Cor. 7:2

 

Not so Darwin, Marx, Freud, Voltaire, Ted Turner, Eleanor Smeal,

Barney Frank, other and modern pseudo-intellectuals that daily pour in their deceptive and fatal venom into the homes of America daily via the media.

 

Inspired by stars, flight of birds, entrails of animals, who knows?

 

Isaiah 8:19-20            Deuteronomy 13

 

“he had not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made

known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”

II Peter 1:16

 

He did not water down the gospel - it was unadulterated.

 

“renounced the HIDDEN THINGS of dishonesty, not walking

in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully”

II Cor. 4:2

 

 

v. 4 - “we were allowed (approved) of God” - tried, tested,

            as of gold in fire is approved. 

 

            “to be put in trust with the gospel” - entrusted with

            its publication.

 

Glad tidings of salvation to all people - a message of pardon to

the guilty - of adoption into the family of God of the disowned &

the disinherited  - the communication of Divine life & happiness.

 

The Gospel is of great value!  It needs to be carefully

guarded and administered.  It is in danger of being lost,

forgotten, perverted and corrupted.

 

            Psalm 19:7-11

 

God entrusts it to men.  They are chosen and approved of God!

The trustees are not permitted to tamper with the trust.  We

have no right to add to or to detract from “the truth as it is

in Jesus”.

 

 

The truth is not to be wrapped up in a napkin, (parable of the

talents) but made use of for the good of all mankind.

 

“give account of thy stewardship” - Luke 16:2

 

God employs only those who have sympathy with the Gospel!

 

He did not consult opinion polls - “not as pleasing men” – we are not

to please men as though we were responsible to them.  We are not to

consult their false tastes nor their natural distaste for the gospel.

We are to please God and when we have been faithful and

withstood the test we will hear “Well done, thou good and

faithful servant”.  That should be our goal – God’s glory and

His approval!

 

“God which trieth our hearts” - same word as “allowed”

 

 

            Appealing to God as to their sincerity.

 

v. 5 - “flattering words” - Jude 16 - “their mouths speaking great

            swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration

            because of advantage”

 

JUST OPPOSITE OF THE WORLD’S METHODS

 

“...do I seek to please men?  for if I yet pleased men, I should

not be the servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10

 

Flattery is a gross dishonor both to God and man and implies

untruthfulness.

 

Acts 20:33 - “I have coveted no man’s silver or gold”

 

“God is witness” – thus appealing to God, as the infallible

                                 Judge, that he was not covetous.

 

Men look on the outside – only God looks on the heart!

 

v. 6 - “nor of men sought we glory”

 

            “nor ... burdensome” - Acts 20:34

 

 

 

 

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v. 7 - Gentle as a nursing mother - II Tim. 2:24-25

 

            Hosea 13:9

 

Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit - Gal. 5:22

 

Acts 24:16 - “And herein do I exercise myself, to always

have a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward

men.”

 

“cherisheth” - reference to birds love & care covering

 their young.  Deut. 22:6 - “dam sitting upon her young”

 

Attitude of mother in King Solomon’s famous decision

from I Kings 3:26

 

The picture is the mother at the time of nursing.  An

expression of great tenderness and unselfishness.  She

does not think of receiving from her child but thinks

only of giving.

 

v. 8 - In the animal world mothers ready to defend or

            sacrifice for young - “because ye were dear to

            us” - Rom. 9:3

 

What Their Preaching Was!

 

There is very strong evidence for the word “babes”

 

 

St. Paul means that their character was one of childlike

simplicity, free from selfish motives; “they were babes in

malice, but men in understanding” – I Cor. 14:20

 

But the word “gentle” suits the context better – “the servant

of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle to all men, apt to

teach, patient” – II Timothy 2:24

 

Gentleness wins more hearts than sternness.

 

The cross of Jesus Christ draweth all men to the Savior,

because it is the manifestation of that love that passeth

knowledge!

 

 

The love of souls is the essential requisite for real success

in the sacred work of the ministry.

 

v. 9 - Tent maker by night, preacher by day - “we

            preached unto you the gospel of God”

 

            Freely & without charge.

 

“we preached unto you the gospel of God”

 

v. 10 - “we behaved ourselves” -  the personal demeanor

            of Paul, Silas and Timothy

 

v. 11 - Terminology to that of a father superintending

            their spiritual education.

 

It is the role of the father, not only to tell the children of

their duty but to exhort, to urge them to duty.

 

“exhorted” - by the authority of God, love of the Spirit,

            by the blood of Christ, by the dreadful issues at

            stake, by the solemnity of judgment, not to allow

            themselves to be cheated out of happiness and

            life eternal.

 

“charged every one of you” - it was not a sermonette,

by a preacherette given to Christianettes - McGee

 

v. 12 - “That ye would walk worthy of God”

 

            “Who hath called you to His kingdom & glory”

 

The minister’s duty to tell the people of their high destiny,

of their great dignity in Christ, being called by God into His

Kingdom and Glory!

           

            A HIGH AND HOLY CALLING - a high destiny.

 

            * Conformity to His revealed will

            * Adornment of the gospel by a holy walk -

 

“adorn the doctrine of God their Savior in all things”

Titus 2:10

 

 

 

A holy life is an evidence of the reality of those facts

which the preacher describes in words.  Paul did it through

Christ who strengthened him.

                                                           

            I Peter 1:4                  I Cor. 3:11-15

 

It is called a “walk”.

 

God’s revealed love by His Offering of His only

Begotten Son calls for gratitude & devotion on our

part!

 

 

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v. 13 - Effects - they believed - the Word of hearing - received not

            of human origin but “as it is in truth, the Word of God”

 

A Word given under Divine direction, coming from the heart of

God, an overflowing of Divine love.

 

“truth, the Word of God”  - God is abundant in truth – Exodus 34:6

 

It deals with human and earthly as well as  heavenly affairs.

 

Rom. 10:17, 14-15 - “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the

                        Word of God.”

 

“mixed with faith in them that heard it” - Heb. 4:2

 

I Cor. 1:21 - “...it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching

                        to save them that believe”

 

It was effective both as to preachers & to hearers.

 

God’s Word Infallible/inerrant – has the IMPRESS of DIVINITY!

 

Not the word of man, nor a result of man’s wisdom, not even

from human thought, nor from his intellect.  IT IS THE WORD

OF GOD! 

 

Not even human speculation - the world is full of it!   “I THOUGHT”

 

I recommend Spurgeon’s Sermon – I Thought  - (See II Kings 5 –

Spurgeon Sermon – I Thought)

 

I recommend Dwight Moody’s Sermon – Pleasure and Profit in

Bible Study – How to Study the Bible  (See II Thessalonians 2 -

Moody Sermon – Pleasure and Profit in Bible Study – How to Study the Bible) 

 

Inspirational, energetic, living and powerful!  The preaching of

the cross might be a stumbling block to the Jews, seem foolish

to the Greeks, but to those who had the precious gift of faith,

it was “the power of God and the Wisdom of God”  I Cor. 1:24

 

The gospel is the  “power of God unto salvation unto every one

that believes” - Rom. 1:16

 

They submitted to its influence, they let it work in them,

the Word of God is a word of grace and a word of command.

To accept it aright we must avail ourselves of the grace and

obey the command and that is THE PROBLEM

 

As Dwight Moody says “there are four things necessary in

studying the Bible”  Admit, Submit, Commit and Transmit.

First, admit its truth; second, submit to its teachings; third,

commit it to memory; and fourth, transmit it!

 

To receive it as the Word of God - there is a Blessing in store.

 

Matthew 9:29 - to the two blind men Jesus said - “according

            to your faith be it unto you”

 

Divine salvation is fitted to reach men and is from the heart of God!

It was accompanied with Divine efficacy, working in the believer!

 

John 1:12        John 6:63 - “the words that I speak unto you,

                                                they are spirit and they are life”

 

Who am I that a King should live and die for?

 

* They had shared what they had seen & heard.  Acts 2:32

* Paul was a different situation - Gal. 1:15-18

*Remember his calling - Acts 26:16-18

 

v. 14 - Imitators of churches of God ... in Christ Jesus.

            In Christ Jesus - living branches in the True Vine!

            John 15

 

It would do well for churches today to beware of the Laodecian

church and her characteristics in Rev. 3:14-21

 

This pattern for other churches, an honor & privilege.

“.... were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and

in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied”  Acts 9:31

 

They showed their faith by their works - “faith without

works is dead” James 2:20

 

ch. 1:6 - “received the Word in much affliction” - first outbreak

               in Acts 17:5 from heathen countrymen, i.e. liberal-

               fundamentalist controversy of today is close to it.

 

Their faith genuine - there is no opposition to dead faith!

 

v. 15 - for envy - “killed the Prince of Life & killed their own

            prophets.

 

In effect played out Mark 12:7 - “this is the heir - let us kill

Him?

 

Matthew 23:31 -”children of them that kill the prophets”

 

            “please not God” - but provoke Him.

 

            “are contrary to all men” - at cross purposes with all men.

 

God wills that all be saved - II Peter 3:9 - “The Lord is not slack...

 

Really, in their anti-christian position, setting themselves

against the Divine ends.  Going against their whole meaning of

 existence as a nation, against the teachings of their laws,

against miracles, against the evidence which should have carried

conviction to an  honest heart.

 

v. 16 - Sin overflowing - “Fill ye up then the measure of your

                                          fathers” - Matt. 23:32

 

“forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved”

            Matt 23:13     Luke 11:52

 

“but the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost” - nothing

between - wrath and the people - The destruction of Jerusalem

was still future, but the days of vengeance were already come.

The fire was already burning, the apostle seems to regard the

rejection of the Messiah as marking the outpouring of the

Divine wrath.  The history of the Jews from that moment is

a significant commentary on the passage.

 

Judgments/sufferings on Jerusalem came within 15 yrs.

Matt. 23:13

 

It is a sad thing that it could be said of the Jews with Divine

helps, as of the Amorites without Divine helps, that they

were filling up their sins.  Gen. 15:16

 

They had accumulated sin upon sin in slaying Christ and the

prophets, in expelling the apostles from their communion, and

finally in hindering the Gentiles from receiving that gospel

which they had rejected for themselves.  But there was to come

an end to this tale of wickedness.  The time was drawing near

when the Jews would no longer have power to hurt the cause

of Christianity, and when swift punishment for their

accumulated iniquities would descend in the destruction of

their city and nation. 

 

Today, like the Jews of yesterday, America seems to be

putting God away from them, disregarding His merciful

calls and warnings!  Jews play a big role in the ACLU –

I am not minimizing the role of Christians in this “who love to

have it so” – Jer. 5:31 nor the role of secularists and non-
Christians – this is a new cup of iniquity which the Bible

teaches for the Jews is “the time of Jacob’s trouble” and for

the rest it is called the GREAT TRIBULATION.

 

Matthew 24:21 – Christ said “For then shall be great

            tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of

            the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be”

 

Matthew 23:13 – “woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,

            hypocrites:  for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven

            against men:  for ye neither go in yourselves, neither

            suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”

 

* Compare ch. 1:10 with Rev. 15:7

* What part of Psalm 75:8 do we not understand?

 

Beware of opposing the Gospel  - let us beware of

throwing obstacles in the way - especially children.

Matt. 18:1-7

 

An end to this tale of wickedness - the swifter the rush down

hill the bigger the crash, more tares sown in spring, the more

to harvest in fall, he who fills this life with sin shall

have the next life filled with wrath.

 

There is a fullness of sins.  There is no fullness in virtues.  The

good man is growing up to perfection.  The bad man is being

corrupted.  Evil has limits; goodness has none.

 

Job 38:11 - “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further

            and here shall thy proud waves be stayed”

 

II Tim. 3:9 - "But they shall proceed not further:  for

            their folly shall be manifest unto all men"

 

v. 18 – “but Satan hindered us”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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vs. 19-20 – Paul ever looked forward to the coming of Christ,

            his Lord and Savior – the Great Day was always in his

            thoughts – what joy there would be to present these

            happy souls to Christ as a “chaste virgin” – II Cor. 11:2

 

 

As woman is said to be the glory of man (I Cor. 11:7), so converts are said

here to be the glory of ministers.

 

Christian parents and ministers ought to be in a position before God at

the Judgment to say, Here I am….. “Behold I and the children which

God hath given me” – (Hebrews 2:13)

 

What if the Lord said to us as Joseph said unto his brethren?

 

“Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you” – Genesis 43:3