II Thessalonians 1:1-12 Love, Patience, And Faith.
In Paul’s typical greeting, peace always follows grace, the former being necessary to establish the latter (vv. 1-2). This greeting comes from Paul and his two trusted companions and co-workers-Silvanus and Timothy. It is a greeting “to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 1b). Much is made, and rightly so, that we are ‘in’ Christ, but we are also ‘in’ God our Father-we are family. It is also from both that this grace and peace come (Cf. I Cor. 1:3). They were bound to thank God for the Thessalonians, because they were brethren, and that could only be because God had showered His grace upon them (v. 3a). The evidence that their faith was genuine was in the love which they showed to each other (v. 3b). Added to this was their evident patience and faith in the midst of “persecutions and tribulations,” for which Paul makes clear God’s just judgment on their enemies would be well deserved (vv. 4-6).
There will be a final rest for the people of God when Jesus comes to judge the living and the dead (v. 7). There will be a final vengeance that will come upon those who have denied the knowledge of God, and have not obeyed the gospel call of repentance and faith (v. 8). Judgment will come from the Glory-Presence of the throne of heaven where the Son reigns at the Father’s right hand (v. 9). Those who believe will give glory to the name of Jesus Christ in that day (vv. 10-12). It was therefore right for Paul and his colleagues to pray, as we also ought to pray, for three things in particular. First, we ought to pray that we would be found worthy of the calling as Christians to glorify God in the midst of persecutions and tribulations. Secondly, we also ought to pray that “the good pleasure of God’s goodness” would be fulfilled in us all (v. 11). Finally, we ought to pray for a faith that shows itself in our work and in power to live it.