A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
Study 9: DIVINE STRENGTH AND COURAGE FOR STEADFAST SAINTS
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17
Therefore, brethren, stand fast. These believers were called brethren (1 Thessalonians 1:4-6; 2:14; 3:7; 4:1,10; 5:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 2:13; 3:1,13) because they had responded to the Word of God in repentance and faith and were truly converted and genuinely transformed. The Apostle called them brethren in every chapter of both Epistles because they gave evidence of being elected, selected, chosen out of the world, changed and transformed, patient and persevering in persecution, growing in faith and faithfulness as their persecutions increased. They also showed evidence of willingness to please God and to love one another. There was no doubt concerning their love for God and their commitment to one another. The gospel message had free course in their hearts and lives; they were saved, sanctified and obedient to Gods word, watching and waiting for the coming of the Lord.
Yet, in view of the predicted falling away from the faith, the appearance of the man of sin, the son of perdition, the rise and deception of false prophets and antichrists, the danger of being seduced by counterfeit miracles, false signs and lying wonders, and the necessity of possessing the love of the truth, these brethren were called to greater faithfulness and unwavering steadfastness. God had called and chosen them to salvation and subsequently sanctified them as they consecrated and believed the revealed truth of the gospel. Saved, sanctified and made holy, they were exhorted and encouraged to keep growing in grace until the obtaining of the glory by our Lord Jesus Christ.
ESSENTIAL COMMANDS ON OUR STEADFASTNESS
2 Thessalonians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 16:13,14; Philippians1:27-30; 1 Thessalonians 3:3-8; 2 Timothy 1:13,14; Hebrews 3:6,12-14; 10:23,35-39; Revelation 2:25-29; 3:3,11-13;
Therefore, brethren, stand fast. Their obtaining eternal glory depended on their faithfulness to God and steadfastness in the belief of the truth. Many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14). Their calling did not necessarily and irresistibly lead to salvation through faith; nor their experience of salvation to the sanctification of the Spirit; nor their sanctification of the Spirit to the final glory with our Lord Jesus Christ. Had they not responded to the calling, they could not have believed unto salvation and eternal life; had they not believed, they could not have been sanctified; had they not been sanctified, they could not have been glorified. All these things depended on each other; they were necessary steps in their journey to glory, necessary in order to finish their Christian race.
And hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or by our epistle. These traditions are not the traditions of men which make the word of God of none effect (Mark 7:6-9,13). Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Colossians 2:8). Any traditions which are contrary to the word of God are worthless, dangerous and soul-damning. The Apostle directed the believers in Thessalonica to stand fast and hold the revelation which they had been taught by word or by his divinely inspired epistle.
EXCEPTIONAL COMFORT FOR STEADFAST SAINTS
2 Thessalonians 2:16,17a; Romans 15:4-7; 2 Corinthians 1:3-7; Philippians 2:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-3; 4:13-18; 5:11-15; 1 Peter 3:8-12; John 14:16-18; 15:26; 16:7,12-15; Hebrews 6:18-20.
Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, comfort your hearts. This is really a prayer offered to the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ and to the Father, the Almighty God. The prayer recognizes Christ as well as God the Father in union as the source of our comfort and consolation. The Father, God our Creator and the Son, Christ our Redeemer are the common source of our consolation, comfort and all other blessings for life, godliness and glory. Christ and God hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace. Gods love for us is manifested in redemption and shown or revealed to us through Christ. Redeemed, saved, forgiven and justified, we have everlasting consolation, comfort which is not temporary, but which will endure forever, made available to us. The comfort or consolation from earthly sources will soon fade away and will terminate at death. Divine comfort and consolation will abide with us through all circumstances and situations in life, until death and even beyond the grave. His comfort, consolation, joy, support, compassion and sustaining grace are perpetual, unchanging, abiding, on earth, at death, after death, eternal. In Christ, we have good hope through grace which shall continue to strengthen and sustain us to the conclusion of time, till our entrance into the everlasting kingdom.
EXPECTED COMMITMENT TO SACRIFICIAL SERVICE
2 Thessalonians 2:17b; Ephesians 2:8,9; Matthew 5:13-16; 2 Timothy 2:21; Titus 2:11-14;
2 Corinthians 5:17-20; 1 Timothy 4:12-16; 3:1-7; 1 Corinthians 15:10,58; Revelation 2:25,26.
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father stablish you in every good word and work. The same God who through Christ has saved us also enables and establishes us in every good word and work. The good word and work are the indisputable and indispensable evidence of the gracious act of salvation freely and divinely wrought in our hearts. Antinomianism says: Believe only and you are forever saved. The true Gospel is: Believe, love, obey: none of these can subsist without the other. The faith of a devil may believe and be without loving obedience; but the faith of a true believer worketh by love.
The Apostle prayed that God would establish the believers in every good word, that is, in every true doctrine, inspired and revealed by the Spirit, through the Apostles, to the church. Established in the divinely revealed truth, we shall be no more tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Ephesians 4:14). Established in every good work, sanctified, and meet for the masters use, and prepared unto every good work, living by the faith of Christ who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, we shall neither be barren nor unfruitful (2 Timothy 2:21; Titus 2:14; 2 Peter 1:8).
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