Paul gives thanks to God first of all for the growing faith and love of the Thessalonians in the midst of persecutions. He comforts them by assuring them of the righteous judgment of God. He also mentions the continual prayers of him and his co-workers on their behalf.
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1a. For what does Paul give thanks to God?Hide Answer
Paul gives thanks to God because their faith grows exceedingly and their love abounds toward each other (3). He is also thankful for their patience and faith in all their persecutions and tribulations that they endure (4).
In his first epistle, Paul prayed that he may perfect the faith of the believers and that the Lord may make the believers increase and abound in love. He also urged the believers to abound more and more in living to please God. Now, as he writes the second epistle, he has heard of the spiritual growth of the Thessalonians—an indication that God has heard his prayer and the believers have obeyed his exhortations.
2. “We are bound to thank God always for you…” What attitude can you learn from this?Hide Answer
The words “we are bound” indicate that thanksgiving is a personal obligation to God. A strong sense of gratitude compels us to thank God. “Always” tells us that thanksgiving must be constant. “For you” reminds us to always remember our brethren and to acknowledge the work of God in their lives.
3. Is your faith growing exceedingly? How do you know?
Record what this paragraph teaches about The persecutors: a. The persecutors; b. The persecuted:Hide Answer
a. The persecutors: God will repay them with tribulation (6), take vengeance on them (8), and punish them with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (9).
b. The persecuted: God will count them worthy of the kingdom of God (5), give them rest when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels (7). When the Lord comes, He will be glorified in them and admired among them (10).
What is evidence of the righteous judgment of God? Why?Hide Answer
The believers’ patience and faith in persecutions and tribulations is evidence of the righteous judgment of God. The present endurance of the saints is a demonstration that God’s future reward of the saints is just.
What does it mean that the believers be counted worthy of the kingdom of God? Does it mean that they deserve to enter God’s kingdom by virtue of their endurance?Hide Answer
Being counted worthy of the kingdom of God does not mean earning our way to the kingdom by our own merits. Rather, it means that God makes us fit for His kingdom. He does so by enabling us to endure sufferings— a test that all disciples of Christ must go through. In other words, the believers’ endurance is a sign that God has indeed chosen them into His kingdom.
To whom will God take vengeance?Hide Answer
God will take vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (8). These include both the gentiles and the Jews who persecuted the Thessalonian believers.
8. How does this prayer encourage believers who are suffering persecutions?Hide Answer
This prayer is a reminder that through the believers’ patient endurance in persecutions, God is accomplishing His good purpose in them and that His name is glorified in them.
9. What is “the good pleasure of His goodness” (11)?
10. What does it mean that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in us and we in Him (12)?
11. What is the basis of Paul’s prayer?Hide Answer
Paul’s requests in prayer are based on the grace of God and the Lord Jesus Christ (12). It is by God’s mercy and the atonement of Jesus Christ that believers are called into God’s kingdom and that God’s glorious purpose is accomplished in the believers.