Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessaloniansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Verse 9 continues, “Who shall pay the penalty of eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His strength.” Those who do not know God and those who do not obey the gospel will pay the penalty of eternal destruction. This is eternal perdition.
In verse 10 Paul speaks of Christ coming to be glorified in His saints: “Whenever He comes to be glorified in His saints, and to be marveled at in all those who have believed (because our testimony to you was believed) in that day.” The Lord is the Lord of glory (1 Cor. 2:8). He has been glorified in His resurrection and ascension (John 17:1; Luke 24:26; Heb. 2:9). Now He is in us as the hope of glory (Col. 1:27) to bring us into glory (Heb. 2:10). At His coming back, on the one hand, He will come from the heavens with glory (Rev. 10:1; Matt. 25:31), and on the other hand, He will be glorified in His saints. For Him to be glorified in His saints means that His glory will be manifested from within His members. It will transfigure their body of humiliation into His glory like His glorified body. He will be marveled at, admired, wondered at, in us, His believers, by the unbelievers.
From Colossians 1:27 we know that we have Christ in us as our hope of glory. This indwelling Christ is the coming glory. Christ will come from the heavens, but He will also come out from within us. Therefore, the coming of the Lord is both from the heavens to the earth and also from within us. For Christ to come from within us is for Him to be glorified in us. Christ is now within us as glory. But this Christ of glory is concealed in us; He has not yet been manifested. At His coming back, the Christ of glory within us will be glorified in us. This means that He will come out of us and will be made manifest from within us. Thus, His coming will be a marvel. This is the reason that Paul says that when Christ comes, He will be glorified in His saints and marveled at in all those who believe.
As believers, we all may have the assurance that we have Christ in us and that this Christ is the Christ of glory. However, our unbelieving relatives, friends, and neighbors do not know that we have Christ in us. But when Christ comes, not only from the heavens but also from within us to be manifested, then our unbelieving relatives, neighbors, and friends will marvel.
The Christ who is glorified in us will be marveled at by unbelievers. Someone may say, “Aren’t you my son-in-law? What has happened to you?” Then that one may respond, “I testified to you a number of times about Christ living in me. But instead of believing me, you mocked me and despised me. But now you marvel because my Christ has come out from within me to be manifested in glory.” One day this will be our situation.
We have Christ in us, and we are in the process of being filled with Christ. But our Christ is veiled, even to us. When the Christ of glory comes out from within us and is manifested, others will marvel at us.
Sometimes even we may find it hard to believe that the glorious Christ is within us right now. Doctrinally, we may believe that Christ is in us. However, we may have some doubts. In the past I wondered if I really had Christ in me. I said to myself, “Is Christ really in you as the hope of glory? Look at how poor you are. It seems that you were better years ago than you are today.” Perhaps you also have doubted that Christ is in you. But the day will come when the Christ in you, the hidden Christ, will be made manifest. That manifestation will actually be the glorification of Christ in us. When He comes out from within us, He will be marveled at by all the unbelievers.
Verse 11 says, “For which also we pray always concerning you, that our God may count you worthy of the calling, and may fulfill every good pleasure of goodness and work of faith in power.” To call us into the heavens is not God’s calling; it is to call us into His kingdom and glory.
The Greek word rendered “good pleasure” also means delight. The apostles prayed that God would fulfill the delight, the good pleasure, of the Thessalonians in goodness.
In verse 12 Paul concludes, “So that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord Himself within us as our life and life supply that we may live a life that will glorify the Lord and be glorified in Him.
In verse 12 Paul speaks of the name of the Lord Jesus being glorified in us and of our being glorified in Him. Such a glorification will be according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. This grace is something far more than unmerited favor. Grace is the processed Triune God becoming the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit for our enjoyment. It is according to such a grace that the name of the Lord Jesus will be glorified in us and that we shall be glorified in Him. As we enjoy this grace, it will cause the Lord Jesus to be glorified in us and us to be glorified in Him.
When we read these verses in chapter one of 2 Thessalonians, we see that they are truly a word of encouragement. In 1:1-12 we have encouragement concerning the basic structure of a holy life for the church life. We have encouragement for our faith, love, and hope.
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