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Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessaloniansby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-87083-154-2
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 25 of 31 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF SECOND THESSALONIANS

MESSAGE ONE

A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT

Scripture Reading: 2 Thes. 1:1-12

The opening of 2 Thessalonians is very much like that of 1 Thessalonians. In 1:1 and 2 Paul says, “Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” This Epistle and the First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians were both addressed to the local church in Thessalonica, a city of the Roman Empire in the province of Macedonia, north of the province of Achaia. This church was composed of all the believers in Christ in that city. Such a local church is of the believers and is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. This indicates that such a local church is born of God the Father with His life and nature and is united with the Lord Jesus Christ organically in all He is and has done. On the one hand, it is of human beings, in this case the Thessalonians; on the other hand, it is in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ. The organic union in the divine life and nature is the vital base for the believers to live a holy life for the church life, which is the theme of the two Epistles to the Thessalonians.

In chapter one of 1 Thessalonians we see the structure of a holy life for the church life. This structure is composed of faith, love, and hope. As we shall see, 2 Thessalonians also has the same structure.

ENCOURAGEMENT AND CORRECTION

Second Thessalonians is a book of encouragement and correction. The young believers in Christ at Thessalonica needed further encouragement; they also needed some correction. Paul encouraged these believers in his first Epistle. Nevertheless, in the second Epistle he gives them a further word of encouragement. While he is encouraging them, he also corrects them in certain matters.

Actually, 2 Thessalonians is more a book of correction than a book of encouragement. Paul was wise, gentle, and kind. Therefore, he does not directly give a word of correction. Rather, first he encourages the believers and then goes on to correct them. If we read this Epistle carefully, we shall see that a word of encouragement is followed by a word of correction. Then there is some further word of encouragement and after that another word of correction. This book, therefore, is composed of two sections of encouragement and two of correction, in addition to the introduction and the conclusion. In this message let us consider Paul’s first word of encouragement to the believers at Thessalonica.


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