I Thessalonians

I Thessalonians 3 Timothy, And Continuing In The Faith.

As previously noted, Paul and his companions were prevented from visiting the Thessalonians, but they finally were able to send Timothy, their “fellow labourer in the gospel of Christ” (vv. 1-2a Cf. Rom. 16:21). It is very important that those who have entered into the faith that they also be established and encouraged in it (v. 2b). It is especially important when facing afflictions, even when one knows that we are appointed for this (vv. 3-4 Cf. Acts 14:22; 20:24). It was because of these afflictions, and the temptations from Satan who was hindering Paul and his party, that Timothy was sent to engage in a pastoral ministry (v. 5). Paul was also concerned that their earlier labor may have been in vain (Cf. Gal. 2:2).

However, now that Timothy had returned from his visit, Paul and his companions were also encouraged when they learned of his readers “faith and love” (v. 6a), and also of their mutual desire to see them (v. 6b Cf. Phil. 1:8). The knowledge of their faith also brought comfort to Paul and his fellow workers (vv. 7-8 Cf. II Cor. 1:4). All of this was cause for thanksgiving to God for beginning and strengthening the faith that they preached, and that their readers had received (v. 9). This was also the subject of their prayers-to be with them and perfect what may be lacking in their faith (v. 10 Cf. II Cor. 13:9). Paul did not give up on praying to the Father and the Lord Jesus together, that their way might be directed to the Thessalonians (v. 11).

Nevertheless, even if they all could not be together, it was still their desire and indeed the purpose of this letter, that the Lord would cause the faith and love of the Thessalonians to increase, like unto the love that Paul and his companions had for them (v. 12 Cf. Phil. 1:9). The goal was that in their hearts, that is, the core of who they are, they would be “blameless in holiness” (v. 13a). Ultimately, we will all appear before the Father and the Lord Jesus, when the genuineness of our faith will be revealed (v. 13b). “The work of sanctification already begun in believers is brought to glorious completion at the Second Coming of the Lord (5:23; cf. 1 Cor. 1:8; Phil. 1:6; 2 Thess. 3:3; Jude 24)” (NGSB p. 1897).

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